A ‘Family Style’ Wedding Dinner
By Craig Chapman, Photo by Craig Chapman and Ian Hunter

The focus on intimate weddings at home with close friends and family lends itself easily to the emerging trend of ‘family style’ meals at wedding receptions. Sharing food at the table is one of the most intimate ways to spend time with family and friends. Food is calming and comforting, so passing around a delicious platter opens up the conversation for each side of the family to get to know one another better.

Green Turtle Catering has been on point with this trend and is very keen to plating up family style platters that the whole table can enjoy together. Chef Ercan Ekinci, partner at Green Turtle Market, says for a smaller wedding in a home, family style is the way to go: “It’s definitely one of the upcoming trends. We usually start with some hors d’oeuvres, then we have platters that we pass around the tables. It’s usually grilled meat and seafood… usually for smaller, twenty-five to thirty person parties.”

With food trending in general over the past two decades, everybody these days is a home cooking enthusiast and brides come to caterers with family recipes in hand. These recipes carry meaning in all facets; they are steeped in tradition and culture and evoke feelings of comfort and family — all emotions brides and grooms want to share with their guests.

“People are really knowledgeable about food now, and they know exactly what they are looking for so we need to be able to cover all of the bases,” says Chef Ercan. “Literally anything from around the world, we need to be able to make. Brides are coming in with their own recipes and pictures and specific requests. They have some really great unexpected elements.”

These unexpected elements are a welcome challenge for Chef Ercan and his staff. “You have to pay attention to the details, from beginning to end. Starting with the day I first meet the client, to the food tasting, to going over the details of the event… it sometimes takes eight, nine months to even a year. The key point on that day is the delivery, the service, the cleanliness, and especially the food. I take pride in all of that!”

Taking care of all the food elements of a wedding is heavy weight on a caterer’s shoulders, and Chef Ercan feels that pressure. This is especially true when trying to recreate a family styled dinner because you’re doing more than just feeding people, you’re attaching a heavy dash of emotion to it, which if done right makes the occasion extra special for everyone.

“Our approach is to take the burden off the brides; they already have a lot on their plate,” explains Chef Ercan. “You’re taking ownership; someone’s wedding is a very important day and you have to hit the mark. The product we sell is all upper-hand from the seafood to the vegetables to the meat. It is so important to me that everyone, from the chef to the servers to the captain, is passionate about food and wants to learn and taste new things.”

It’s this type of inherent passion for family and culture in a bride and groom that is bringing the importance of food back to the table.



Top Wedding Food Trends of 2016
by Chef Ercan Ekinci

  1. Family style meals
  2. Locally sourced meats and seafood
  3. Sustainable seafood
  4. New cuts of meat
  5. Ethnic condiments and spices: fermenting, curing, pickling, Sriracha
  6. Innovative and interactive food stations
  7. Grains: quinoa, farro, couscous
  8. Middle Eastern and African flavors
  9. Poke, ceviche, sashimi, and crudo


Catering provided by:
Green Turtle Market
855 E Eau Gallie Blvd., Satellite Beach
(321) 773-2001 |