Wedding Reception Ideas: Food & Fun
A grand multi-course wedding feast will never go out of style–the tried and tested favorites are popular for a reason. However, with so many great foodie options out there, from food trucks to DIY dessert stations, it’s easier than ever to take your wedding reception guests on an unexpected food journey. That could mean a personalized menu that includes a favorite childhood dish, or a bespoke signature cocktail that plays up your heritage or where you first met. Playful, personal and pure fun, these are a few of our favorite wedding catering food trends for your big day.
The importance of style and substance
A good caterer will be able to get creative with some cool and quirky food ideas for your wedding reception, be it street food or an overarching theme that represents both the bride and groom. A great caterer, however, will dream up fun ways of presenting your food while keeping an unwavering focus on quality (think local and organic food options) to ensure that every bite is hands down delicious. It’s the epitome of good taste.
Whatever you decide, don’t be afraid to get personal. After all, your menu should help tell a story to your guest. Your story. It needs to interweave effortlessly with the music, decor, and ambiance of your whole wedding day.
The Main Event
If you’re looking for cool wedding reception food station ideas then food trucks are a great option if your wedding venue allows it, especially when incorporated for just one element of your reception, like dessert. Then again, there are a host of other delightful ways to inject personality into your wedding food.
Instead of serving appetizers, why not ask your caterer to share ideas for a gourmet grazing station that’s as much fun to watch as the food is to eat. Great wedding reception food stations include an oyster and champagne bar; sushi; shrimp and grits; Spanish paella. Whatever your heart desires.
The once humble food truck has been jettisoned into the mainstream over the last few years and is now a staple of many wedding receptions. At Eco Caters, we love to work with food trucks. So many have taken street food to a whole new level–art form, even. To avoid your guests forming concentric lines around the venue as they wait for dinner, think about hiring a food truck for dessert or late night snacks.
Whether it’s grown up mac and cheese, banana split sundaes, or milk and cookies (our San Diego team love the ones by those cookie connoisseurs over at The Cravory), this is your chance to personalize a dish–one to represent each of you, of course.
A relaxed sharing menu is a perfect way to get family and friends talking around the table from Italian antipasto, seafood platter, or Moroccan tagine that everyone can dip into.
Love bacon? Serve bacon-wrapped shrimp, bacon donuts, bacon salt, even cocktails. How about truffles? Add them to mac and cheese or slider. Whatever your food obsession (and, believe me, we have many) share it with your nearest and dearest in as many different ways as you can imagine.
Small is beautiful
When you think of wedding reception finger foods, you’re spoilt for choice with everything from mini lobster rolls, grilled cheese bites, to teeny churros. And why not rethink your classic tiered wedding cake when multiple small versions can have maximum impact? It’s all to play for. Remember, variety is always a great idea.
Ditch the wedding cake and let your guests have their pick of mini desserts. Donuts are easy to personalize with different toppings, sprinkles, colors and flavors. Make them fancy by serving them in beautiful glassware on ornate silver trays. When it comes to wedding reception ideas, another one is to have a donut wall of sugary joy to address the late night munchies.
Ready to Roast S’mores
There’s nothing like participation food to create a buzz. Set up a s’mores bar and guests will love gathering around a fire pit on a summer evening to toast their treats. Or why not offer s’mores as a wedding favor? (Just remember to leave out wet napkins to combat sticky fingers.)
The best of both worlds on a warm summer’s day, the popsicle cocktail injects a little fun into cocktail hour. At once fruity and refreshing, sophisticated flavors like lavender and raspberry sorbet mixed with champagne give it a grown-up twist.
Deep fried everything! It’s what we dream about. All dressed up in fancy wrappers and plates with an array of toppings and dipping sauces on hand. And late at night, treat your guests to a fresh hot funnel cake.
Think garden party and finger sandwiches and cocktails on the lawn. Heck, why not throw in a champagne tower for extra pizazz? Vintage and art-deco-style weddings are still big because let’s face it, glamour never ages.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Of course, we see no reason to stop at your wedding reception when you can get just as creative at your wedding breakfast. Maybe have your favorite breakfast fayre for dinner? Or mix it up and serve brunch instead on your special day. Late nights can be fuelled by churros and chocolate, or a cereal bar (glass canisters of a mix of your favorite breakfast cereals) to keep everyone topped up until the early hours.
Local, seasonal, organic ingredients
At Eco Caters, our creative menus are made using locally sourced, organic ingredients that help you tie all of the diverse elements of your day together. Bringing your story right into the here and now with ingredients that symbolize you and the place in which you’ve chosen to get hitched. Best of all, they taste far better than non-organic ingredients, which gives you the bigger bang for your buck when it comes to the all-important wedding budget.
Top tip: When you’re dreaming up wedding reception ideas, by all means, go wild, but always serve the food you love. Trends come and go so your menu, like every other aspect of your big day, should be all about you and your loved one.
Once you’ve selected your food, it’s time to start thinking about alcohol! Deciding how much alcohol to have at a wedding can be tricky so we like to stick to the following formula as a general rule of thumb: Assume guests will have 2 drinks in the first hour of the open bar, and 1-1.5 additional drinks each following hour.