At the Culinary Vegetable Institute, we believe that wedding ceremonies and receptions are meant to be unique expressions about the couples themselves and their personal love stories, plus their hopes and dreams. So, in this post, we’ve stayed away from sharing what colors are trending, what materials are popular for dresses and tuxedos, and what styles of rings are selling most often—because what’s best in each of those categories is what suits your taste and fulfills your dreams of your own big day. What’s “right” are choices that reflect the couple themselves.

Wedding Photo under Living Tunnel

Instead, we’re looking at four broader wedding trends and what experts are predicting about each of them—and then sharing how what the Culinary Vegetable Institute offers dovetails with those trends. Overall,  according to, the overarching wedding trend for 2019 is that couples want ceremonies and receptions that are more personal than ever before—and, of course, we agree.

More specifically, 2019 wedding trends included in this post include:

  • sustainability in wedding planning
  • off-the-beaten-path venues
  • unique seating (it’s about more than just where seats are placed!)
  • craft cocktails that express a couple’s uniqueness

Wedding Trend #1 Sustainability

The International Wedding Trend Report for 2019 names sustainability as the trend with the biggest momentum, while notes how “it’s cool to care about the planet, especially on your big day.”

Outdoor Wedding Setting

In general, increasing numbers of people are putting their eco-passion into practice by planning sustainable weddings. High-profile weddings that have recently set examples include the October 2018 wedding of Princess Eugenie of York when the bride banned plastics (linens and glassware look much more elegant, anyhow!) and the May 2018 wedding of England’s Prince Harry and his bride, Meghan Markle, when they asked guests to donate to a pollution-fighting charity instead of gifts. notes that having a sustainable wedding “doesn’t mean surrendering every luxury you had previously dreamt of in the name of saving the planet.” Instead, it involves making mindful choices that still allow you to celebrate your special day in unique and fulfilling ways.

One expert wedding planner polled in the Domino article note how more couples are serving “incredible vegan and vegetarian food at their weddings. When done well, plant-based menus present so many opportunities to ‘wow’ guests with a range of rich flavors, seasonal menus, and Instagram-worthy presentations.”

This could include zucchini noodles or cauliflower steaks—or something else entirely!

Perhaps the idea of a 100 percent vegan/vegetarian meal doesn’t appeal to you. If so, another one of the quoted experts notes how wedding receptions are “an opportunity to have incredibly fresh and seasonal ingredients while also lowering the environmental impact overall.”

As one more angle on this trend, as points out, “Guests want to know the exact food origin and backstory. This year, we’ll see unique food stations with a more personalized sourcing story.”

At The Culinary Vegetable Institute, we use farm-fresh vegetables, edible flowers, herbs, greens and more that are sustainably farmed at The Chef’s Garden. There, the team recognizes and embraces traditional farming philosophies and techniques that have sustained farmers for generations, growing crops through a natural, environmentally friendly way,

Other sustainably friendly wedding ideas focus on decorating with herb plants, trees, and other greenery that can then be planted in the couple’s garden; using dried petal confetti that looks and smells wonderful, with these petals naturally biodegrading; and choosing vendors who have a sustainability mindset. By supporting companies that promoting sustainability, you’re automatically reducing your event’s carbon footprint.

Consider using edible flowers for your wedding favors, ones that guests can take home to enjoy. Or, as suggests, you can offer a food- or drink-related favor, such as “artisan olive oils, custom hot sauces, and special spice blends.”

Pinterest also shares how sustainable weddings are in demand. In fact, searches for sustainable ideas for weddings have increased by 181 percent and, as Millennial and Gen Z-ers continue to wed, this trend is likely to continue to grow. This often involves, Pinterest explains, weddings where people can connect with nature.

The Culinary Vegetable Institute can provide exactly that kind of unique setting for a sustainable wedding, one customized exclusively for the couple. Our natural surroundings provide a beautiful ambiance, ever-changing with seasonal authenticity. The menu reflects the couple’s stories with ingredients they love, all presented in the singular and artistic style of our internationally renowned chef who has become widely known for his commitment to a sustainable kitchen.

Weddings at the Culinary Vegetable Institute are magical, creating memories as exceptional as the couple of the hour. If you’d like to talk specifics about your own special day, please contact us online.

Wedding Trend #2 Off-the-Beaten Path Venues

Today’s couples are looking for offbeat venues for their weddings and receptions, and also proudly sharing their nontraditional choices by including pictures of the venue on their wedding invitations. follows along the same theme by pointing out how fulfilling your wedding day can be when you can find a “unique wedding venue that fits your vibe, has a cozy atmosphere, and that hasn’t been used by every couple in town.” also gives thumbs up to choosing an offbeat venue, and they especially recommend receptions that are the “ultimate mashup of fine dining and comfort food.” Examples they give are “root beer floats in champagne flutes, or mac and cheese cups topped with fresh lobster. The pairings and presentation possibilities are endless.”

If this appeals to you, then we invite you to consider the Culinary Vegetable Institute, which offers up an idyllic environment for outdoor weddings with an out-of-the-way location, complete with gorgeous flower gardens and a wooded natural landscape. Our rustic backdrop is perfect for the most elegant wedding—and the most laidback one, too.

Our chef’s suite is ideal for day-of preparations for the bride and bridal parties, and for a romantic retreat for your wedding night. This expansive suite includes the following: a fully equipped kitchen, dining area, bathroom with shower and Jacuzzi tub, fireplace and deck. You are welcome to bring in your own salon services to assist in your preparations. Non-alcoholic beverages and light snacks will be offered in the Chef’s Suite for the bridal party before the service.

There is additional lodging available, too, to accommodate wedding party members or families.

The celebrated kitchen team will work with you to create a reception menu that’s just your style, either outdoors under white tents or inside our vaulted, natural wood dining room.  And, yes. We are experts in combining fine dining with comfort food!

Wedding Trend #3 Unique Seating

Multiple wedding blogs, including, share how increasing numbers of couples are choosing to use in-the-round seating. Traditionally, of course, seating for ceremonies have been row-based, such as how pews are laid out in most churches. Ceremonies in the round, though, go beyond being just another way to place the seats. That’s because curved seating arrangements can offer up a much more intimate setup, one that “creates an atmosphere of infinity and invitation—plus, what better way to show off every angle of your epic wedding dress than this?”

Also trending: outside-the-box seating assignments. points out how seating assignments can be quite fun as you go beyond standard place cards. In 2019, experts suggest that “seating charts can take on any form imaginable, from personalized acrylic slabs to leaves to gold animal figurines. The sky’s the limit, and your nearest and dearest can even treasure your pick as a post-wedding keepsake.”

Some couples are using images of animals to indicate where people should sit, and we’d like to suggest distinct choices of edible flowers to accomplish the same in a colorful and beautiful way.

At the Culinary Vegetable Institute, we believe that weddings should be the most personal expression possible as the bride and groom begin a new life today. Couple choose our venue because they know their event will truly be distinctive—because no two events at the Culinary Vegetable Institute are ever the same. And, if having unique seating arrangements are part of your personal vision, just let us know!

Our Culinary and Event Operations team will fulfill your vision of your ideal day, orchestrating the planning, coordinating vendors and services, set-up, managing the time and place, flow of the event, menu and all of the special details that will make it truly your own.

Wedding Trend #4 Craft Cocktails shares how younger couples often gravitate towards craft cocktails, drinks that are “so beautiful they’re conversation pieces.” They especially highlight handmade craft cocktails that “pair different liquors with fresh flowers and seasonal produce for a unique sipping experience.” Many couples go even further, sharing their unique love story through signature cocktails created especially for them.

As another part of this trend, more weddings include stations “equipped with flavored syrups, fruits, edible flowers, and herbs for guests to add to the base of the cocktail themselves.”

Liz Studer, who serves as the wine steward and head of the Culinary Vegetable Institute’s beverage program, regularly creates signature cocktails for every event held in our unique venue. These cocktails showcase farm-fresh vegetables, edible flowers and fresh herbs that are sustainably grown at The Chef’s Garden, with Liz gaining inspiration for drinkable ideas through history, places, people and their stories.

Elizabeth Studer

She may use bitters that have been created by infusing alcohol with botanical matter, such as edible flowers, leaves, herbs, bark, vegetables, and so forth. More specifically, she has used marigold, root beer leaf, watercress blooms, mustard pod, lemon balm, carrot, lavender, basil, chocolate mint, lucky sorrel, thyme blossom, cucumber, English mint, and even baby beets. These bitters are then used to enhance and balance sophisticated cocktails—ones that embrace the philosophy of sustainable use of resources to invent out-of-this-world cocktails.

For an added layer of flavor, she often creates ice by freezing cold-water herbal infusions, perhaps by using lemon verbena ice. This adds another layer of flavor to her signature cocktails while also avoiding the ice of plain ice that, as it melts, dilutes flavors. She also steeps herbs in simple syrups as another layering technique.

To discuss what craft cocktails would appeal to you for your wedding day, please contact us online.

More About Wedding Trends

Here are wedding trends we spotlighted in 2017 that might also interest you.

Unique Weddings at the Culinary Vegetable Institute

“We had our wedding at CVI and everything about the day was perfect! The staff have a great attention to detail—which meant nothing was forgotten. And of course—the food! Chef Jamie prepared an unforgettable meal custom to our requests and ideas. You cannot go wrong booking an event here. My husband and I didn’t want to leave and cannot wait to come back for a dinner or a class!”

To find more specifics about holding your wedding and/or reception at The Culinary Vegetable Institute, you can find information about each of the following:

  • ready room
  • ceremony reception and set up
  • wedding capacity
  • cocktail hour and dinner
  • beverages
  • wedding night
  • outside services
  • rehearsal dinner or brunch

The 11,000-square-foot facility, built of locally quarried limestone, pine and cedar exterior with a wild cherry, black walnut, tulip poplar, oak and ash interior, sits on approximately 100 acres of fertile land and includes a 1,500-square foot state-of-the-art two-story kitchen designed by Mark Stech-Novak. The facility boasts full audio-visual capabilities; a 1,426-square-foot dining room with 22-foot ceilings capable of seating 90; an executive chef suite with luxury amenities; a root cellar and wine cellar; experimental vegetable, forest and herb gardens; and more.


There are numerous picturesque places to take photos and, as just another option for your personalized wedding day, you can arrive in style in our Belgian Horse-drawn wagon! Farmer Lee Jones will drive the carriage harnessed with two stunning Belgian Horses. The carriage can then be made available to you and your guests for tours throughout the Culinary Vegetable Institute grounds.

We look forward to talking to you! Please contact us online or call 419.499.7500 today.