Are you looking for wedding menu ideas for your wedding reception? Wedding food can range from traditional to modern, incorporating elegant and upscale items or fun foods like carnival fare and street food. Here are some wedding food ideas for your reception!
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First, let's start with coming up with a few fun tables of specific types of food. These foods can be served as appetizers, desserts, or late-night snacks. Here are some wedding menu ideas for reception food tables.
1. Popcorn Table
A popcorn table can include bowls or paper popcorn holders, popcorn, melted butter, hot sauce, and various salts and toppings.
2. Ice Cream Bar
An ice cream bar can be an incredibly fun dessert after dinner. People can make soft serve cones, hard ice cream cones, banana splits, sundaes, or milkshakes.
3. Brunch Bar
You might love a brunch bar if you are having an earlier wedding. Even if your reception is later in the day, most people enjoy breakfast foods at all times. Many different types of food can be in a brunch bar. You can include hot items like eggs, pancakes, waffles, crepes, and breakfast meat. You could also serve bagels, toast, muffins, croissants, danishes, and other pastries.
4. Bagel Buffet
If you love bagels, you should have a bagel bar. You can include a variety of bagels, butter, and spreads.
5. Waffle Table
Waffles are another popular wedding table choice. Waffles can come in various flavors and have different syrups and toppings, including fresh fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate chips.
6. Pizza Table
Are you, your fiancé, or your family and friends big fans of pizza? Why not have a pizza station? You can have regular pizzas, breakfast pizzas, dessert pizzas, and pizzas with a wide variety of flavors and toppings.
7. Taco Table
If you are not big on pizza, what about tacos? A taco table can be a lot of fun too! There are a wide variety of ingredients you can use and different levels of heat.
8. Donut Station
Donuts are a great choice. You can serve donuts and coffee together and have a variety of flavors and sizes, from full-sized donuts to donut holes. You can include specific flavors if you have a wedding near the holidays or the fall. Some ideas could include apple, pumpkin, cranberry, orange chocolate, and donuts topped with crushed peppermint candies.
9. Dessert Table
You can have a whole table devoted to desserts if you need more than donuts or ice cream. When looking for wedding menu ideas, a dessert table might be the best option! The table can include a little of everything, such as cake, cupcakes, pies, pastries, brownies, fudge, muffins, and candy.
10. Grazing Table
A grazing table is becoming a more and more popular choice for modern weddings. A grazing table is a table that has fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, nuts, and small snacks like pretzels and crackers on it. This allows people to snack throughout the reception.
11. Salad Bar
Another great choice when looking for wedding menu ideas is a salad bar. A salad bar can be simple or extensive, depending on the type of ingredients and how many you include. You can also use the choices like certain ingredients and dressings to continue a theme. For instance, if you are having an elegant wedding, a seasonally themed wedding, or a modern wedding – the salad bar can be part of the theme by including or excluding certain dressings, vinaigrette, or toppings.
12. Seafood Station
Not everyone enjoys red meat or vegetarian and vegan offerings. Offering a seafood table can satisfy the culinary choices of some of your guests. You can serve mussels, clams, popcorn shrimp, and lobster rolls.
13. Sushi Bar
You can always pair the seafood station with a sushi bar if you love seafood. A sushi bar will be a big hit at your wedding, especially for the younger guests.
14. Cocktail Station
design their own cocktail for their wedding. Why not kick this up a notch by
having a specialty cocktail station to go along with your bar? You can serve a
select number of cocktails at this table. Of course, you can decorate this area
with unique cocktail glassware, napkins, and signage describing each available
15. Charcuterie Table
A Charcuterie Table is very similar to a grazing table. When most people talk about charcuterie today, they refer to a mix of cheeses, crackers, meats, nuts, and vegetables. However, you may want to up your charcuterie table beyond a grazing table. In that case, you can ensure a section dedicated to the traditional charcuterie fare. This would include various cured meats such as sausage, ham, and bacon. You can also serve pate, roulade, galantine and terrines.
16. Soft Pretzel Table
Finally, why not have a soft pretzel table. Who does not love soft pretzels? Your table can include full-sized soft pretzels, mini soft pretzels, soft pretzel sticks, and soft pretzel bites. Make sure to include some with salt, some without, and a variety of dipping sauces.
Finger foods can be served as appetizers, with the meal, or later in the evening as snacks. Here are some finger food choices to consider. Some of these can also double as food tables!
Bruschetta is a great choice for cocktail hour or appetizers with the meal. Bruschetta allows for almost endless combinations, allowing you to create options for meat lovers, seafood lovers, vegetarians, and vegans! You can also have seasonal ingredients to pull in the time of the year you are getting married or to highlight your wedding theme.
18. Caprese Cups
A Caprese cup is an Italian salad in a cup. Typically they feature a ball of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil leaves, and an olive oil drizzle. This is a great upscale appetizer or an excellent way to feature an Italian theme or heritage.
19. Mini Tacos
Mini tacos can be shared as an appetizer or late-night snack. The waitstaff can serve these treats, or you could choose to have a cute mini-taco table. If you are considering a late-night finger food table, you can include many foods in this selection in one location for your guests.
Sliders are another fun choice. You can make sliders from any sandwich, including burgers, veggie burgers, chicken, shredded meats, and more. One of the best parts of sliders is that they are so small, so your guests can try different varieties.
Meatballs can be served by the waitstaff during cocktail hour. You can use different meats and sauces, such as beef, turkey, and pork. Different sauces will allow you to have both sweet and savory options.
22. Spring Rolls
Spring rolls can also be a lot of fun during cocktail hour. Typically, spring rolls are filled with veggies, but you can be a little more creative if you wish. Take the lead from Disney, who serves non-vegetarian spring rolls in their parks. They offer both pepperoni pizza and cheeseburger spring rolls. However, sometimes they have unique flavors like Buffalo chicken. So be creative with your spring roll offerings.
Roll-ups are another choice that can be customized to the type of food you want to serve, including offering vegetarian or vegan offerings for your guests. You can roll up veggies like zucchini slices with fillings, or your can roll up tortillas with veggies or meat centers.
24. French Fries
French fries are a guilty pleasure for most people. You can serve fries in cute paper cones or cardboard boats with sides like ketchup, mayo, vinegar, or bbq sauce. This would make a fun finger food snack for later in the evening.
25. Flat Bread
Another great choice is flatbreads. Flatbreads can be made with all types of toppings, like meats, cheeses, and veggies. You can choose traditional pizza toppings or use more elegant and adult ingredients.
26. Grilled Cheese Bites
Mini grilled cheese bites or slices of grilled cheese can be passed out to the crowd by the waitstaff. To up this a level, you can include mini cups of tomato basil soup for dipping.
27. Mac and Cheese Bites
Another fun finger food that gets overlooked all too often is mac and cheese bites. Mac and cheese bites combine the delicious flavors of mac and cheese with fried breading. This makes them easy to enjoy without sitting down with a plate and silverware.
28. Cotton Candy Station
If you are looking for a fun party atmosphere, like a night at an amusement park or the country fair, you can bring in a cotton candy machine! With the correct color dyes, you can also serve cotton candy in your wedding colors!
29. Fried Dough Station
Another fun amusement park treat is fried dough. This one is a little messier and harder to prepare, but worth the effort. You can serve fried dough plain, topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar, or add other toppings. Fresh fruit is a popular topping, such as baked apples, strawberries, or blueberries.
30. Food Truck
For the ultimate finger food and late-night snack experience, you can hire one (or more) food trucks to serve your wedding guests. Food trucks serve up a variety of options, such as burgers, tacos, ice cream, or smoothies.
Now that you have ideas for unique food tables and finger foods, what will you serve as the main entrée? Wedding reception dinner is usually served one of three ways. The traditional wedding allows guests to pick a main entrée, and the waitstaff will deliver a plate with entrees and sides to each guest. A more modern choice is a buffet dinner with a few different main options and several sides. Finally, some weddings choose family-style dining. This is where every table has the same platters of food to share among themselves. While deciding how to serve the food, you may want to come up with some main courses you want to see at your wedding!
31. Meat and Veggie Kebabs
For a laid-back affair, you can serve meat and veggie kebabs. Typically kebabs are a mix of cooked meat and veggies on a stick. You can have different kebabs with chicken, pork, red meat, seafood, and some that are only vegetarian.
32. Steak and Salad
When looking for wedding menu ideas, steak and salad is a popular choice for people getting married in the warmer months (or climates), and they want a lighter and more refreshing meal. This would be a meal of sliced steak placed over a bed of fresh greens.
33. Fried Chicken
If your wedding has a more down-home feel, you should serve the main course that reflects that. Fried chicken is perfect for this. You can have bone-in fried chicken if you are all in on this concept. If you prefer a cleaner and less messy meal, you can have fried chicken breasts which can be enjoyed with a knife and fork.
34. Shrimp and Salmon
If you have seafood as your main course, you might want to combine a few different types of seafood to create your entrée. Shrimp and salmon are an excellent combination of seafood, allowing different tastes and flavors. For instance, for the shrimp, you can have fried shrimp and cocktail sauce or pan-fried shrimp with various flavors or breadings like coconut shrimp, lime shrimp, or lemon and garlic butter shrimp. Salmon has even more ways to prepare (stovetop, vide, skillet, steamed, roasted, grilled, etc.), with various flavors and sauces that you can use.
Lobster is another possible choice for a seafood wedding. If you are looking for the best of the best type of options, go with Lobster. If you are concerned about not everyone loving seafood, you can make this just one choice or serve Surf and Turf.
Steak is always a popular choice. If steak is going to be your main entrée, you will probably have a plated meal. Guests who choose the steak option before the wedding can tell you how they prefer their steak to be cooked to their own preferences.
If you are having a wedding in the colder months, pasta and comfort foods could be a big hit. Chief among them is lasagna. Lasagna is popular as it can be made in many different ways with various ingredients. You can also offer your guests gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan selections.
Lamb chops or a rack of lamb is also an excellent choice, although it can be rather expensive. You will want to pair this with lamb sauce, veggies, and other sides like soup, salad, or an excellent risotto.
39. Pork Chops
Baked or deep-fried pork chops can also be a good choice. Pork chops can fit into any delivery method, from a buffet meal to a sit-down plated dinner. Many different sides go great with pork; just don't forget the applesauce.
40. Baked Chicken
Baked chicken is also a popular choice for wedding receptions. Chicken is usually a safe dish that most people enjoy. Of course, using different sauces and seasonings, chicken is like a food palette that you can cook to cover a wide range of flavors, seasons, and spice levels.
Brisket is also a lovely choice, especially if you want a red meat offering but do not want to over steak. This meal can go with a wide variety of side dishes.
42. Dim Sum
Dim Sum is a fun choice if you want to have the dishes prepared in front of your guests. Guests will have a wide range of Chinese food to choose from. Traditionally these are brunch items, but you can choose to alter what dishes are available for your wedding.
A large chunk of your overall wedding budget will be spent on food and drinks. If you want to save a little bit of money, you can always opt for more affordable entrees. Many food items are affordable yet oh-so-delicious. Here are some cheaper wedding menu ideas.
43. Chicken Fried Steak
Chicken fried steak covered with gravy are a great idea. This can be served with homestyle mashed potatoes and gravy, corn or green beans, cornbread, or biscuits. This is a fantastic comfort food. Although it could work for all weddings, this food may be best enjoyed in the cooler months.
44. Soup and Salad
If you are looking for a lighter meal for your guests, you can serve soup and salad as a main course. You could have fancier soups or salads or create an all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar with plenty of options for everyone.
Another comfort food that most people enjoy is pasta. You can serve fan favorites like spaghetti, linguini, angel hair pasta, or fettuccine. These pasta dishes can have different sauces and add-ins (like meatballs, chicken, and broccoli). You could also serve different varieties to cater to guests on a healthier diet and eat wheat pasta or varieties like gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan.
If you are getting married in the summer, why not embrace the season and serve burgers as your main dinner course? This can include sides like fries, chips, pickles, pickle chips, pasta salad, and potato salad.
Looking for winter wedding menu ideas? There is nothing more comforting on a cold day than chili. Chili can be served on its own or with add-ins like oyster crackers and shredded cheese. You can serve it with crusty bread, on top of a baked potato, or both.
If you are on a budget, fajitas are another excellent choice for wedding menu ideas. Your guests can choose different types of filings and customize their fajita to their diet. You can keep this meal interesting with a wide variety of toppings, fillings, and sauces.
49. Fish and Chips
If you really want to serve seafood but do not want to spend the money on a seafood bar or a main entrée of lobster, you should consider fish and chips. Beer-battered fish and French fries are a superb selection for fish lovers.
If you are having a summer wedding, especially outdoors, there is no perfect dinner than BBQ. A BBQ dinner has so many options. You can start with the basics like hot dogs, hamburgers, and sausage and go from there. You can serve just about anything. The list is endless – for instance, you can serve green salads, pasta salads, brisket, steak, chicken, pork, or seafood!
51. Poke Bowl
Poke bowls traditionally have seafood-based protein and other healthy ingredients like veggies. They are usually served with other ingredients like beans and rice. Poke bowls are another way to let guests make their own dishes and choose the flavors they like the best.
Finally, we made it to dessert. For many people, this is the highlight of the night. What sweets treats, and desserts will you provide your guests with. Here are some ideas to get you started!
52. Wedding Cake
Traditionally, a wedding cake is the main dessert. At some weddings, this is the only dessert provided. The majority of couples still serve wedding cake, but some people are choosing to forgo this tradition. Many couples serve a cake and give their family and friends other dessert choices. When selecting your cake, if you decide to have one, make sure you have a cake tasting. Although white and yellow cakes are still the most popular, there are many different wedding cake flavors to choose from! Make sure you understand your options before you commit.
Cookies are an easy handheld snack everyone can enjoy. You can serve a mix of homemade or gourmet cookies in different flavors and varieties. Of course, the cut-out is a popular wedding choice if you have cookies as part of your dessert options. Cut-outs can be in wedding and love-related shapes, and as an added bonus, they can be decorated in your wedding colors.
Another popular dessert choice for big parties like wedding receptions is whole pies that your guests can enjoy by the slice. You can serve a wide range of flavors. If choosing pie as a dessert option, you should consider sharing the bride's favorite flavor, the groom's favorite flavor, family recipes, and seasonal choices.
55. Hand pies
Want unique wedding menu ideas for dessert? Hand pies are fried dough with pie filling inside. Typically, these are fruit, chocolate, or custard pies people can enjoy on the go.
Cupcakes are almost always the most popular dessert outside of wedding cake. Some couples choose to replace the wedding cake with a cupcake tower. In contrast, others add cupcakes as an added bonus dessert. Cupcakes can be decorated to match your colors and wedding theme. One of the other great things about cupcakes is that it is easy to make them in multiple flavor combinations. This will allow your guests to have an excellent selection of flavor profiles to choose from.
If you are having a summer or tropical wedding, popsicles are a fun way to help keep your guests cool. You can serve popsicles in the traditional flavors or make your own ice pops to add additional flavors, including ones that match your tropical location or theme.
58. Mini Pies
If you like the idea of smaller pies but would rather have your guests eat their dessert with a fork, mini pies are the way to go. Just like cupcakes, mini pies will allow you to provide pies in one or two flavors or as many as you wish!
59. Mini Cheesecake
Mini cheesecakes are just like mini pies, allowing you to have various flavors. This can include classics like NY cheesecake or strawberry-topped cheesecake. Of course, you can add other flavors like chocolate, peanut butter, pumpkin, key lime, and more!
Macarons are also a popular treat. They are looked at as a French cookie. That is partially true. They were created in France, and it does resemble a cookie. Still, it is actually meringue based instead of made of cookie dough. They also have buttercream, frosting, ganache, or jam fillings. Typically, food color is used to make them vibrant and bright. For a wedding – this will allow you to match this dessert to your wedding colors or theme.
Cheesecake is an excellent idea for your guests. Cheesecake can come in many different flavors, so before deciding if cheesecake is right for you, you should nail down a flavor profile first. Besides the typical flavors, you can make flavored cheesecakes such as cookies and cream, chocolate chip, apple crumble, salted caramel, raspberry white chocolate, blackberry cobbler, and so much more!
62. Strawberry Shortcake
If you are having a summer wedding, think about serving a plated dessert to everyone, like strawberry shortcake.
The final treat you should serve is candy. There are many different types of candy you can give out and many ways to distribute it. For instance, you can add candy to the dessert table, create a candy station or have a bowl of candy on each reception table.
Now that you have seen our wedding menu ideas, maybe you want to get some ideas from some great video content creators! Check out these Youtube and TikTok videos on how to research your wedding menu and related ideas