Are you coming up short on wedding food ideas? Your menu is one of the trickiest decisions you’ll make during the wedding planning process. Make sure to ask your venue about any limitations they may have before you decide. Some venues use in-house catering, others charge a fee to bring in outside vendors, and some have a preferred vendors list that you will need to choose from. Once you find out all the details, make a list of you and your sweetheart’s favorite dishes and take it to your caterer. They will be able to help you blend in your faves with their expertise to create a menu that is delicious and unique to your event.
To get an idea about what your guests would like to eat, send options in your wedding invitations and give your caterer an accurate count. Whether you want to include classics like chicken or beef, or serve up something unique like vegan burgers, these wedding food ideas are sure to inspire.
Keep reading or jump to one of our wedding food idea sections below:
- Best Buffet Ideas for Every Theme
- Entree Options for Your Reception
- Finger Food Ideas for Cocktail Hour
- Wedding Food Ideas On a Budget
- Delicious Dessert Ideas
Wedding Buffet Ideas
One of the biggest trends in wedding receptions is the inclusion of interactive food stations during the cocktail hour or as the main course. These buffet tables can be as casual as a popcorn bar, or as intricate as a grazing station filled with fine meats and cheeses. The sky's the limit with these wedding buffet ideas. Choose the best examples that fit with your wedding theme, and use them as inspiration for your interactive food stations.
1. Brunch Bar
Whether your wedding is happening earlier in the day or you and your sweetie are big fans of brinner (breakfast for dinner), a brunch spread is sure to make your guests happy. Include savory options like biscuits and gravy alongside sweet jams and fruits so there is something for everyone.
2. Popcorn Table
Serve this classic snack with a twist during your cocktail hour or as a late-night snack. Your guests can happily munch away while mingling and your pocketbook will thank you.
3. Ice Cream Bar
Source: Gift of Hospitality
You scream, I scream, we all scream for—well, you know how it goes. At the end of the night, there is no better way to treat your guests than with an ice cream station. Add a special touch with some fun toppings like hot fudge, sprinkles, or candy.
4. Waffle Table
Source: Megan Rei Photography
Waffle buffets are the perfect option for weddings at any time of the day. Add a few breakfast options for early celebrations or the iconic fried chicken and waffles pairing for evening events .
5. Pizza Platter
Source: Magnolia + Ember
What better way to celebrate with your amor than to serve pizza pie? This easy wedding buffet idea is a crowd favorite and a great way to cater to a variety of tastes. You can serve classics like pepperoni and cheese, or you can get creative with vegan and vegetarian options.
6. Taco Table
Taco buffets are a great way to serve crowds of any size. Make sure to combine classic favorites, like guacamole and pico to gallo, with unique additions, like mushrooms and mango, to make your spread tasty and memorable.
7. Donut Station
Source: Sarah Brookhart Photography
Donut walls and spreads have grown in popularity over the years for their fun flavors and, of course, their Insta-worthiness. This buffet idea is perfect for couples who prefer wedding cake alternatives.
8. Salad Bar
Source: Cater Cow
A salad bar is a fabulous wedding buffet idea for all the veggie lovers out there. Place your basics, such as spinach and romaine, alongside toppings like rice, fruits, vegetables, and dressings.
9. Grazing Table
Source: Grazing Acres
If you and your partner enjoy the finer things in life, what better way to celebrate than with charcuterie? These giant meat and cheese spreads have mesmerized wedding guests for the past few years and are sure to be a hit.
10. Bagel Buffet
This idea gives your guests the freedom to create their perfect snack. Whether they love lox or prefer peanut butter, there is sure to be something for everyone at the bagel bar.
Wedding Entree Ideas
Whether you want to serve a plated meal or buffet style food, the entree is the toughest decision. The best way to go is to choose two or three main entrees and let your guests decide for themselves. This will allow them to enjoy their favorite item and cater to any dietary preferences that your guest might have.
11. Steak and Salad
Source: Fannetastic Food
Steak and salad is the perfect option for summer weddings when you don’t want to weigh your guests down with heavy sides. , talk to your caterer about infusing some fruit in the salad or dressing for a pop of color and flavor.
Source: Midwest Foodie
Kebabs are convenient entrees If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding. These tasty skewers allow your guests to enjoy their meal on the go.Try including a vegan skewer with mushrooms in place of beef or chicken to give your guests meatless options.
13. Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is a staple at weddings, especially in the south. This tasty entree is sure to fill your guests and remind them of home. Fried chicken is also great if you intend to serve each table family style.
This seafood favorite can be paired with various sides to create the perfect wedding plate any time of the year. Try adding rice, pasta, or grits for a southern twist.
Fish has been a wedding classic for years. Customize the glaze based on the season for a fresh and unique twist. Try a bright lemon garlic glaze in the summer or something savory like a red wine mushroom sauce for the colder months.
This wedding classic is perfect for treating your guests. Talk with your caterer about different options for choosing the cut. Some classic choices include tenderloin, t-bone, rib-eye, and New York strip.
If you want to serve your guests the best of the best, offer a lobster option. Place the lobster atop a bed of risotto or serve with butter. Make sure to include a second choice for those who are allergic to shellfish.
This Italian classic is perfect for weddings in colder months. One of the best parts about lasagna is the easy swaps your caterer can make to offer a vegan zucchini option so everyone can take part.
19. Spaghetti Squash
These amazing veggies can turn into a gluten-free pasta dish in under an hour. Ask your caterer what they can do with these veggies. Whether you serve spaghetti or chicken parmesan, your guests are sure to be thrilled.
If you would like to serve your guests a nice entree and are tired of beef and chicken, try to incorporate lamb into your feast. Whether you choose to pair it with shrimp or veggies, this unique option will impress your guests.
Wedding Finger Food Ideas
When you’re mingling at weddings, you just feel better with something to munch on. Whether you plan to serve hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour or throughout the night, your guests will appreciate each bite. Here are a few crowd favorites that will keep your guests happy all night long.
21. Caprese Cups
If you and your partner plan to feed your guests Italian cuisine, then these Caprese cups are the perfect savory appetizer for cocktail hour. Your guests can carry their snacks in one hand while talking to friends and family.
Consider serving bruschetta during cocktail hour for a quick and easy appetizer. The options are endless for these bite-sized snacks, so speak with your caterer about their specialties. They will help you decide on the perfect ingredients.
Sliders are everything you love about hamburgers and sandwiches all in one bite. Offer a variety of meat and vegetarian options to choose from so all of your guests can enjoy these snacks.
24. Mini Tacos
Tiny tacos will be the talk of any event. They’re delicious and adorable — what more could you ask for? Serve these tacos with traditional toppings, or get creative and include dessert toppings to mix things up.
25. Veggie Roll-ups
For some lighter fare, mix in some fresh vegetable apps. Your guests will love popping these zucchini roll-ups in their mouths in between heavier options. You could also try using summer squash or cucumber for some variety.
For a simple and cheap option, talk to your caterer about including meatballs in your event. Choose among beef, pork, turkey, or falafel (or some of each), and don’t forget a tasty sauce on top.
27. French Fries
Source: Chrisman Studios
This popular appetizer gives guests a savory and filling bite that is full of flavor. Put your fries in cones for easy handling and offer unique dips like aioli, queso, or flavored mustard.
28. Spring Rolls
Source: Heidi Lau
Veggie-filled spring rolls are a great vegetarian option for cocktail hour and are mess-free so guests can grab and go without a thought. Make sure to include mini cups of sweet and sour sauce for guests who want it.
Whether you’re in love with the classic margarita flatbread, or you prefer sweet balsamic and chicken toppings, there is sure to be a slice for everyone. If you can’t choose, include a little bit of everything. The more, the merrier!
30. Grilled Cheese Bites
Source: Next Exit Photography
Between the crunchy bread and melty cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches are a classic. Pair these tiny sammies with shot glasses of tomato soup for a match made in heaven. These cheesy bites will capture the hearts (and the stomachs) of your guests.
Cheap Wedding Food Ideas
Everyone wants to serve their guests the best of the best, but sometimes steak and lobster just aren’t in the budget. Just because you can’t spend much money on your catering doesn't mean you have to settle for boring meals. Use these ideas as inspiration and work with your caterer to come up with the perfect menu.
31. Fried Chicken and Gravy
Source: Zona Cooks
The best part about serving southern comfort food at your wedding is that it is filling and will require less food than others meals. Fried chicken and gravy is not only cost-effective, it’s delicious. The creamy gravy and crispy chicken are a match made in heaven.
BBQ is also a fantastic choice if your catering budget is limited. Whether you’re hosting a backyard wedding or ballroom bash, your guests will enjoy this menu that’s tasty and hearty.
Soup is the perfect way to warm up your guests if you’re planning a winter wedding. Talk to your caterer about including a meat-heavy soup like a stew, a cream-based soup like broccoli and cheddar, and a brothy option like chicken noodle.
Tacos are a crowd favorite and cost-effective. The perfect combination! Set up your taco station with unique ingredients like mushrooms or mango to make it unforgettable.
If you and your honey love to celebrate with pasta, serve your guests spaghetti or alfredo. These options are filling, delicious, and are made of cost-effective ingredients. Serve your dish with a side of garlic bread for the final touch.
In 2020, many large weddings have pivoted to intimate backyard celebrations. With the change in size came different menu options. If you’re itching for the backyard wedding of your dreams, lean into the theme with burgers. Don’t be afraid to get creative with toppings.
37. Vegan Burgers
If your friends and family would rather swap veggies for meat, vegan burgers can be even more cost-effective than beef burgers. Try portobello mushrooms in place of a beef patty or costly, plant-based meat.
Similarly to tacos, fajitas are a great option for couples on a budget. The ingredients are affordable and filling, and guests can customize their meals to fit their diet. Make sure to include a mix of meats, vegetables, and other toppings to keep it interesting.
Whether you’re on team beans or team no beans in your chili, everyone loves to love this hearty meal. Serve chili with baked potatoes, bratwurst, or over rice for a low-cost and yummy meal.
40. Fish and Chips
If your heart is set on serving fish at your nuptials, consider offering fish and chips. It’s substantially cheaper than serving salmon or cod, and with a French fries and some lemon, you can serve your guests a plate of comfort food.
Wedding Dessert Ideas
Traditional wedding desserts consist of wedding cakes or cupcakes. While these classics are still a staple in many weddings, couples are starting to use the dessert table to showcase their favorite sweets instead. Whether you and your honey want to keep it classy or think outside of the box, these wedding dessert ideas will be the talk of the event.
41. Wedding Cake
Wedding cakes are just as tasty as they are beautiful, and they’re a wedding staple for a reason. If you and your partner want to serve wedding cake, choose flavors and icings that compliment your theme. Pre-cut the cake for easy serving.
Source: The View From Great Island
Cookies are a great choice for wedding desserts because you can customize them to fit your big day perfectly. Add edible flowers for a romantic theme or use your alma mater logo to excite the super fans.
Regular or mini cupcakes are another popular dessert idea. These desserts give your guests all the flavor of a traditional wedding cake in a portable package. Cupcakes also allow you to choose multiple flavor options if you can’t pick your favorite.
Popsicles are an ideal dessert for hot summer weddings to help your guests cool down. Try experimenting with unique flavors and ingredients like the edible flowers and liquor in these boozy pops!
45. Hand Pies
Many couples choose to celebrate with pie instead of cake, but serving guests the flaky dessert can get messy. Hand pies solve that problem by containing all of the fruity goodness in a neat package.
46. Mini Pies
If you would rather keep the classic pie shape instead, you can serve mini versions to your guests. These adorable pies are just as tasty as they are cute.
47. Pot de Crémes
Source: The View From Great Island
These sweets are a favorite for a reason. They have all the flavor that you love in pudding and custard, packed in small pots for convenient and adorable service. Try garnishing with flowers or fruits to add a special
48. Mini Cheesecakes
Source: Beautiful Life and Home
Bite-sized cheesecakes give your guests the perfect amount of dessert with a beautiful presentation. Ask your caterer about tailoring these for your wedding season by opting for seasonal fruits.
These tasty, French treats make your wedding day feel extra fancy. Arrange your macarons in an appealing way to make them look just as wonderful as they taste.
50. Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry shortcake is an enjoyable summertime sweet during the hot months. The combination of shortcake, cream, and berries is the stuff of dreams. Serve these desserts in personal cups for a beautiful display and easy grabbing.
If baked goods aren’t your jam, set up a candy bar for dessert. Include your and your sweetheart’s favorite options and lay out some bags for your guests to fill. All of the kids (and the kids at heart) will be thrilled with this unique set up.
Deciding on the perfect fare for your big day can be stressful. Make the process as easy as possible and discuss your ideas with your caterer to come up with a good list of options. Once you get your wedding invitation responses back, you’ll be able to give your caterer a final headcount and they’ll help you prepare an amazing menu for your big day.
What is the most popular entrée served at a wedding? ›
“Chicken, beef, and fish are the most commonly served main course items as they can maintain their heat when served to large groups and all work well with sauces,” says Strauss. So, don't go wild and ask your caterer for more obscure meats like quail, rabbit, duck, rack of lamb, or pork chops.What is the cheapest option for food at a wedding? ›
- #1: Order a wedding meal from a local restaurant.
- #3: Set up do-it-yourself (DIY) food stations for guests.
- #4: Go big on 'cheese & charcuterie. '
- #5: Have a potluck wedding.
- #6: Hire a food truck.
- #7: Go for pre-made or frozen appetizers.
- All meat, all the time. If you're a meat lover, it might be tempting to serve nothing but meat at your reception. ...
- Food that requires a big to-do. ...
- Raw food. ...
- Mini versions of everything. ...
- An eight-course meal. ...
- Overly complex dishes. ...
- Only exotic eats. ...
- Typical wedding foods.
- Green Chile Enchiladas. Elise Bauer. ...
- Best Ever Sloppy Joes. Elise Bauer. ...
- Easy Chicken Lo Mein. Nick Evans. ...
- Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake. Elise Bauer. ...
- Easy Tomato Soup. ...
- Grilled Cheese BLT. ...
- Turkey Tetrazzini. ...
- Mexican Tostada.
There are 5 fundamental types of menus that are used in restaurants, and they are the most commonly used. These are a la carte, static, du jour, cycle, and fixed menus.What is the most loved dish? ›
Pizza is the topmost liked food in the world. Today you can find pizza in almost every corner of the world.How many appetizers do I need for 100 guests wedding? ›
For a party of 100 guests, this adds up to roughly 600 appetizer portions. You can also offer light snacks like nuts, fruits and pretzels to give guests something to munch on when they first arrive — stock up on these items in bulk.
Most receptions for 100 people cost between $6,000 - $12,000, with $8,000 being the average cost. Here's a general estimate of what you can expect to pay for food, service/staffing, alcohol, and rentals for a wedding of this size.How do you feed guests on a budget? ›
Spend No More Than $5 Per Guest
“For someone on a budget and counting pennies, $5 per person is within a range that they should be able to afford.” So if you're preparing a meal for 12 people, a simple menu will cost you $60. You can find a multitude of recipes for $5 dishes at 5DollarDinners.com.
- Cookies. For the people in your life who don't like cakes, a selection of cookies is a great way to feed people with varying tastes. ...
- Pies. Pies can be a great way to have dessert while providing lots of variety. ...
- Ice Cream Sundaes. ...
- Cheese and fruit.
What are the 5 things a bride needs? ›
The tradition is based on an Old English rhyme that dates back to 19th-century Lancashire. It describes the items a bride should have on her wedding day: "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, a sixpence in your shoe."What should you not do at a wedding reception? ›
- of 15. Don't show up early. ...
- of 15. Don't show up late. ...
- of 15. Don't record the ceremony. ...
- of 15. Don't overshare on social media. ...
- of 15. Don't steal the photographer's shot. ...
- of 15. Don't wear white. ...
- of 15. Don't bring an unexpected plus one. ...
- of 15.
- Both of your outfits—from head to toe. ...
- Your marriage bands. ...
- The marriage license! ...
- The wedding timeline. ...
- Vendor contact information. ...
- Payment and tips. ...
- An overnight bag (and honeymoon luggage). ...
- Some snacks and water!
- White Pesto Spinach Lasagna (10 servings) ...
- Slow Cooker Crispy Carnitas (10 servings) ...
- Baked Sausage and Cheese Rigatoni (8 servings) ...
- Caramelized Shiitake Mushroom Risotto (8 servings) ...
- Korean Beef Tacos (12 servings) ...
- Healthy Instant Pot Turkey Chili (8 servings)
12 course meal: A 12 course dinner menu includes an hors d'oeuvre, amuse-bouche, soup, appetizer, salad, fish, first main course, palate cleanser, second main course, cheese course, dessert, and mignardise.What are the 7 sequence of menu? ›
Seven-course meals often begin with an aperitif, or cocktail hour, move into dinner and finish with dessert. The typical meal consists of an appetizer, soup, salad, palate cleanser (sorbet), fish, poultry or red meat and dessert.What is the number 1 popular food? ›
The Number 1 Most Popular Foods in America are Hamburgers! What is this?What is the most delicious dish ever made? ›
Source Often called "the world's most delicious dish," Rendang is prepared by simmering beef with coconut milk with a mixture of the best of spices including turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, chillies, and galangal.
Rice is a food staple for more than 3.5 billion people around the world, particularly in Asia, Latin America, and parts of Africa.How many bar staff do you need for 50 guests? ›
If you wish to keep the bar service at basics such as soft drinks, wine, bottled beer, you could be comfortable with 1 member of bar staff for every 40-50 people.
How much food to feed 50 people? ›
The easiest rule is the “One Pound Rule.” Provide one pound of food for each adult guest (not including drinks or dessert).How many waiters are needed for 50 guests? ›
A very general rule of thumb is 1 server for every 25 guests, but here are some more specific guidelines to help you determine how many servers you will need: 1 Bartender for every 50 guests. For seated dinners, 1 server for every 2 tables. For a buffet, 1 server for every 40 guests.What is the biggest expense in a wedding? ›
The most expensive parts of most weddings are costs associated with the reception venue, including the cost of renting materials, including tables and chairs, and serving food or alcohol.How much do you give for a wedding in 2022? ›
Traditionally, etiquette states that spending between $100 and $200 is appropriate for a wedding gift, but there are a few other factors to consider.Is 50 wedding guests a lot? ›
How many guests are typically invited to each size wedding? These numbers may vary a little depending on who you're speaking with, but a small wedding typically includes 50 people or under, a medium wedding has a guest list of anywhere from 50-150 guests, and a large wedding has over 150 attendees.How to feed 20 people for cheap? ›
- Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches.
- Hearty Baked Penne Pasta.
- Tasty Taco Bar.
- Crockpot Breakfast Casserole with Bacon and Gruyere.
- Killer Carnitas.
- Chicken Spaghetti.
- Easy Ham and Cheese Sliders.
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Cheese Taquitos.
So, for an event of 100 guests, you'll need 80 platters to feed the guests at “full meal” capacity. You may feel the need to order 1-2 more than your calculation, but keep in mind that different guests have different levels of appetite.What to feed 100 people? ›
- 2 gallons Applesauce.
- 3 gallons String beans.
- 2 gallons Baked beans.
- 24 pounds Beets (cooked)
- 2 pounds Butter.
- 12 Loaves of bread (1 pound loaves)
- 10 pounds Coleslaw cabbage.
- 30 pounds Carrots (cooked)
Wedding cake may be the most popular wedding dessert—but it's certainly not the only wedding dessert. In fact, according to that same survey, a solid 50% of couples will serve other sweets in addition to cake on their wedding day. So, options abound.What do brides regret most about their wedding? ›
- Not retouching your makeup. Oil absorbing sheets are a bride's best friend. ...
- Making guests wait at the reception on an empty stomach. ...
- Cash bar. ...
- Not hiring a professional photographer. ...
- Trashing your dress. ...
- Drinking too much. ...
- Not hiring a videographer. ...
- Not eating.
What do most brides walk down the aisle to? ›
- Canon in D - Pachelbel. Play.
- At Last - Etta James. Play.
- Songbird - Fleetwood Mac. Play.
- Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles. Play.
- A Thousand Years - Christina Perri. Play.
- Somwhere Over The Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole. Play.
- Make You Feel My Love - Adele. Play.
- Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder.
The belief that July is an unlucky month for weddings is a superstition that has endured for generations. It's origins can be traced to several old, anonymous rhymes that warn couples married in July of everything from bitter-sweet memories to laboring for daily bread!What are the 7 promises of wedding? ›
- Groom Promises: Om esha ekapadi bhava iti prathaman.
- Bride Promises: Dhanam dhanyam pade vadet.
- Groom Promises: Om oorje jara dastayaha.
- Bride Promises: Kutumbum rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam.
- Groom Promises: Om rayas santu joradastayaha.
- Bride Promises: Rava bhakti as vadedvachacha.
Horseshoes have long been seen as a symbol of good luck in everyday life. For your wedding day, if the bride carries a horseshoe with ribbons tied on it during the ceremony, it collects all the good luck from the day. After the wedding, the horseshoe can then be placed above the doorway of the couple's new home.What are the 10 important things every couple should do before getting married? ›
- 1 Understand each other's values. ...
- 2 Take a trip. ...
- 3 Have the money talk. ...
- 4 Talk about kids. ...
- 5 Take dance lessons together. ...
- 6 Live together. ...
- 7 Play the name game. ...
- 8 Meet each others' favourite people.
Grandmothers often gift the bride a piece of vintage jewelry for the “something old” segment, and “blue” can be interpreted in many ways— from ribbons to shoes to bridesmaids dresses and so on. Some brides choose to give themselves the objects, but this is less common than receiving small gifts that fit the old rhyme.What are the mother of the bride duties? ›
The mother of the bride plays the role of hostess, meaning you should spend some time greeting guests during the reception. Although there are exceptions, other wedding-day duties may include sitting at the parents' table and dancing with the father of the bride to help warm up the dance floor.How much money should you give a bride? ›
The average wedding gift amount hovers right around $100, which is a great place to start, and you can increase or decrease that based on how close you are. If you're very close or related to the couple (and have the wiggle room in your budget), you may choose to spend more—about $150 per guest (or $200 from a couple).What is the main meal at a wedding called? ›
The reception is the name for the entire post-ceremony celebration, from drinks to dinner to dancing. The wedding breakfast is the name for the main meal of the wedding day.What food item is traditionally thrown at weddings? ›
Why Do We Throw Confetti? Traditionally, rice was thrown at the newly married couple to encourage fertility, but it was the Victorians who first used shredded paper. We're pretty chuffed about that one, because the thought of picking food out of our hair on our wedding day does not appeal.
What are the 7 classic parts of a menu? ›
7 course meal: A 7 course dinner menu includes an hors d'oeuvre, soup, appetizer, salad, main course, dessert, and mignardise.What is the most popular wedding dinner? ›
Plated Sit-Down Dinner
The most traditional reception style, a plated meal is what the majority of couples choose. This is when all the guests are seated and served a formal dinner. Typically, it consists of two courses (an appetizer and an entrée), plus dessert if it's served tableside.
Rehearsals are followed by rehearsal dinners. This "party before the party" kicks off your wedding weekend. The most important part of a rehearsal dinner is the chance it offers for both of your families and your wedding party to spend a little more time together before your wedding day arrives.What is a 3 course wedding breakfast? ›
Our most popular style of wedding menu consists of a traditional three course meal served to the table. You choose one starter, one main and one dessert with a vegetarian or vegan choice included if required.What does the husband throw at the wedding? ›
What Is the Wedding Garter? The wedding garter is a piece of bridal lingerie worn under the wedding dress. During the reception, the groom will remove the garter from underneath the bride's gown (with his hands or teeth) and toss it into the crowd.What do people throw at weddings instead of rice? ›
Rice Toss Alternatives
Environmentally friendly options like seeds, dried flowers, or herbs. Include your wedding colors in your toss by using non-staining flowers or lavender.
What are some of the special dishes that are cooked? Ans. Pua, mutton, gujhia and dahi bhalle are the main special dishes which are cooked on the eve of Holi. Sevain is the special dish that is cooked on the eve of Id.