The world is growing more conscious of where its food and products are coming from. This heightened awareness of food and product sourcing has propelled the farm to table movement, which started in the restaurant industry. At its heart, the farm to table movement is when a chef prepares food that is locally grown and serves it at the very place where it was sourced. This movement has expanded to chefs and restaurants serving food from a farm where they have a direct relationship—and in some ways has even moved beyond the plate to other items like flowers, coffee, wine, and beer. In other words, people are more interested than ever in knowing where and how their products are being made or grown.
Whether you want to support a local business, are interested in the environmental impact of locally grown food, or you simply love the idea of having a reception at a quiet, picturesque farm, a farm to table wedding might be your idea of a dream wedding. Here are ideas for throwing a farm to table wedding that your guests won’t soon forget.
1. Choose to Have Your Wedding at a Local Farm
If you live near a farm (or even a vineyard) that hosts weddings, consider booking it for your ceremony and reception. What could be better than kicking off your wedding shoes and saying your “I do’s” surrounded by beautiful crops and acres of pasture? Should you choose to have your wedding at a local farm or vineyard, be sure that there is plenty of parking and that it’s easy for your guests to travel to. Also, like any other outdoor wedding, ensure that you have a Plan B in case of bad weather—whether it’s a barn structure or a tent setup.
2. Work with a Caterer Who Sources from Local Farms
Interested in having a farm to table wedding, but don’t necessarily want to get married at a farm? You can still have a locally sourced meal by working with a caterer who does business with local farms and growers. There are many benefits to working with a caterer who sources from local farms, including a fresh meal and the guarantee that the food you serve will be in season. This will also be a way for any out-of-town guests to get to know the foods that are locally grown in your area.
3. Incorporate Local Plants in Your Decor
When you think of a farm to table wedding, you generally think about the meal that will be served at the reception. But why not take it a step further and also incorporate locally sourced plants in your decor? Whether you use wheat, succulents, or even herbs like rosemary or basil, using a local plant can really enhance your wedding decor and give it a more natural, rustic look.
Better yet, offer to give your plants to your guests at the end of the reception as a gift so they can take a piece of your wedding—and your city—home with them. This will not only make a great favor, but it will also cut down on wedding waste at the end of the night.
4. Serve Only Locally Made Beer or Wine
Serving locally made beer and wine might not have been a possibility 10 years ago, but thanks to the major increase in local breweries and wineries all over the country, your entire bar can be stocked with only local favorites. Better yet, choose to have your reception at a local brewery or vineyard to really give your guests a full taste of what your city or region has to offer.
5. Scale Down Your Guest List
The farm to table movement is rooted in environmentalism, so it’s a good idea to view every wedding decision from this lens. One way you can make your wedding more environmentally friendly is by cutting down your guest list to just include those who you really want at your ceremony and reception.
Choosing to use locally sourced foods, plants, and beverages at your wedding will likely increase the overall cost of your celebration, so paring down the guest list will save you some cash. Cutting the number of guests will also mean that there are less people traveling to your area, decreasing the overall carbon footprint of your wedding. It may be difficult to make the cuts, but at the end of the day, your wedding will be more environmentally-conscious and you’ll be surrounded only by those who truly want to celebrate you.
6. Pick Flowers that Are in Season and Grown Locally
What better way to showcase the city or state you’re getting married in than by using locally grown flowers to incorporate in your bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces? Not only will your flowers be more vibrant since they will be in season and won’t have to travel far, but they will also be more environmentally friendly.