Harvest tables – a How-to-guide

By Michelle Huysamen

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Woolf

When it comes to harvest tables in particular, you need to plan very well:

  • You want to ensure that the foods pair well with one another and that you cater to the tastes of the guests as well
  • Keep the colour scheme of the clients wedding in mind when choosing food.
  • Besides discussing what type of foods your client would like to include, you need to consider the length and width of the table in order to ensure that you have enough space.
    • Remember to keep in mind the size of decorative elements as well when you plan the layout
  • Ensure that a protective covering is available to keep away pests
    • Remember that your covering should not create an eyesore and draw the attention away from the room.
  • It is a great idea to re-plate food items and remove the packaging.
    • Something that will help to create a creative look, is to use wooden, glass and ceramic dishes and coverings
  • Ensure that warm foods are kept warm and cold foods, cold.
  • To keep cleanliness a priority, use tooth picks and skewers to avoid multiple hands touching the food
  • You can also include hand sanitiser and napkins (especially during the pandemic)
  • Fresh and natural ingredients serve as excellent decorative elements for your table
  • Finger-foods are very popular as they are easily handled and easily eaten with little fuss
  • Add name tags to avoid confusion amongst guests
  • Ensure that you cater to the client’s dietary specifications (provide meat alternatives like macon or tofu, plant and/or vegan-based dairy
harvest tables for weddings, a guide for couples
  • and meat products, etc.)                                                                             

As the wedding planner it is your job to understand your client as well as possible in order to make sure that you have the ability to understand event planning jargon and the ability to explain it to your client should they ask.

Common event planning food jargon you should know includes:

  • Canapé (can-a-pay) a small piece of bread/pastry served with a savoury topping
  • Appetiser (app-a-tie-zer) – a small amount of food/drink served before the main course to stimulate one’s appetite (also known as a starter)
  • Charcurterie (sha-coot-ary) – a cured meat board consisting of various meats (smoked ham, salami etc.)
  • Crudités (crew-di-teh) – sliced, raw veggies served with a dipping sauce

There are a variety of items which you can add to a harvest table, the possibilities are endless.