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24 inspiring wedding food ideas for the big day
Your wedding food plays such a big part in your big day – it’s one of the things that people really remember (whether for better or for worse!), and it’s a great area to really add your own personality. These days a three-course sit-down meal isn’t a requirement, and more and more couples are thinking outside the box when it comes to their wedding menu.
From tasting menus of the finest haute cuisine to nostalgic comfort foods and fun food stations, as well as plenty of creative twists on old favourites, there are more options when it comes to your wedding catering than ever! Here are just a few wedding food ideas you’ll love for the big day…
Why should canapés miss out on the comfort food trend? Miniature versions of classic comfort foods such mini burgers and hot dogs, mac and cheese balls and fish and chip buckets are sure to be a massive hit with your wedding guests.
Small and sweet
If you have a sweet tooth, then why not mix up the classic savoury canapé selection with sweet bitesize treats? Sweet canapés that work well are miniature fruit kebabs, sweet tartlets and miniature eclairs. Just be sure not to mix the two on one plate to avoid confusion!
One canapé trend that we’re seeing more and more of is the grazing table, where wedding guests can help to create their own canapés. For example, guests can create a delicious bruschetta with baguette slices and bowls of vine tomatoes, crushed peas and freshly sliced parmesan shavings, or a Middle Eastern inspired canapé with pittas, homous, babaganoush and roasted vegetables. Cheese tables are also likely to go down well with your guests!
Combine delicious canapés with mini glasses of paired drinks for a canapé selection that will taste as amazing as it looks. Think sliders with miniature glasses of beer, skewered shrimp with shot glasses of Bloody Mary or tacos with a miniature bottle of tequila. Non-alcoholic versions work well too – mini mason jars of smoothie or bottles of milkshake are an adorable way to join in with this food trend.
Crostinis are one of the easiest and most versatile canapés you can offer, and they work well with both savoury and sweet toppings. Options include tomato, basil and mozzarella, gorgonzola, bacon and honey, goat’s cheese and marinated red peppers and cream cheese, smoked salmon and spinach.
The biggest trend in starters is undoubtedly sharing boards. Presented to the table, often on rustic boards (which look fantastic), sharing boards can take on a Middle Eastern mezze feel, with falafel, olives, flatbreads and dips, or Italian antipasti with charcuterie, mozzarella and marinated vegetables.
Soup, glorious soup
Soup is a classic for a reason! Although you might associate it with a winter wedding, soup works for all seasons, especially if you’re choosing fresh, seasonal ingredients. For a classic autumn/winter wedding, rich soups such as pumpkin, butternut squash or cheddar and ale work perfectly, or you can have miniature French onion soup with cheesy croutons, hearty sausage and bean soup or a spicy coconut curry soup are wonderful wedding food ideas to warm up your guests. For spring/summer wedding, try fresh soups such as summer vegetable minestrone, pea and watercress soup, haddock and sweetcorn soup or fresh tomato and basil. Chilled gazpacho is also a great option, or you could opt for an Asian feel with ramen.
Starters are small enough that you can have rich, delicious foods in small portions to whet your wedding guests’ appetite. Think breaded camembert, brandied chicken liver pate, black pudding wrapped in bacon, creamy garlic mushrooms on toast and glazed pork belly.
Barbecue is an incredibly popular option for British summer weddings – because who doesn’t love a barbie when the weather gets warm? You can go for a classic barbecue with burgers, sausages and salads, or ramp up the gourmet factor with braised ribs, rib eye steaks, rose harissa lamb skewers, or grilled scallops? Be sure to provide a vegetarian option and plenty of fresh, seasonal salads for the ultimate BBQ wedding menu.
For a light bowl-food menu with a twist, tapas is an alternative wedding menu idea that’s up and coming for 2019. Calamari, meatballs, patatas bravas, Spanish tortilla and croquettes are delicious dishes that will please guests of all ages and palates.
Another popular alternative to the three-course sit-down wedding breakfast, afternoon tea is a British classic that always goes down well at a wedding. Combined with mismatched vintage china, fresh floral decorations and plenty of tea, afternoon tea is guaranteed to keep everyone happy, including children!
Give your wedding food a festival feel with food trucks! Street food vans can create anything from sweet to savoury and gives you a great range of options if you want to vary your menu between different cuisines and preferences. Options include crepes and waffles, gourmet mac and cheese, gumbo and jambalaya, wood-fired pizza, poutine and pulled pork.
Not all desserts don’t have to be sweet! Give your guests the option of a savoury dessert with a rustic cheese board with fresh fruit. If there’s room in the budget, you could even have a separate cheese course before the tea and coffee!
Make your own sundae
Everyone’s childhood favourite gets a new lease of life with this fun wedding dessert option. Either present your sundae pudding as a buffet with plenty of different ice cream flavours and toppings for guests to choose from, or serve wedding guests bowls of ice cream or gelato and put topping options in the middle of the table. Toppings can include chopped nuts, whipped cream, sweets (such as M&Ms and gummy bears), cherries and different sauces.
Plenty of pies
A trend from our American friends, pies are fast becoming a more popular alternative to wedding cake as a dessert. Serve a classic such as apple, cherry or blueberry pie after the main with cream and custard, or mix it up with pie pops (like cake pops, but with pies!) or a pie buffet. You can even include mince pies for a Christmas wedding!
Hot chocolate stand
For a cozy winter wedding, why not offer a hot chocolate stand? Simply set up a drinks station with a hot chocolate urn, and various toppings such as whipped cream, flavoured syrups, sauces and sweets such as Flakes and candy canes. If it’s a child-free wedding, you could even offer a few alcoholic tipples to mix in.
Gin is definitely still having a moment, so capitalise on the popularity of G&Ts with a DIY gin and tonic bar! Simply buy a few different bottles of gin (including some fun flavours if you like) and some flavoured mixers, and set out bowls of garnishes such as lemon and orange, cucumber, pink grapefruit and rosemary sprigs. Just be sure to check with your wedding venue first in case they charge for corkage.
Another trend from US weddings, the signature cocktail is a great way to offer your guests a free drink without blowing the budget on an open bar. Simply choose a favourite cocktail or two (what about choosing his and hers options?), and make these signature drinks on the house, or offer them as an alternative to prosecco or champagne welcome drinks.
Take advantage of cooler weather by offering delicious hot drink options. These can include mulled wine or cider, hot toddies, hot chocolate cocktails (think peppermint liqueur or Baileys) and winter punch. Serve up in copper mugs for a truly Instagrammable tipple.
When it comes to classic evening food, you can’t go wrong with pizza – especially if it’s the delicious stone baked kind! Give guests a choice of different toppings, or offer a DIY pizza option, and serve them up in personalised pizza boxes or buffet-style (aka by the slice) for a filling evening option.
No longer just a cheap fast food option on a night out, the kebab is getting a gourmet makeover for weddings. Made with the finest quality meats, homemade sauces and fresh, seasonal salads and garnishes, these delicious snacks are ideal for keeping your wedding guests going in the evening.
The latest twist on the evening cheesecake is a pork pie wedding cake! Serve this up with crackers, chutneys and fresh fruits for a fun British twist on an evening buffet. Don’t forget to include options for the vegetarians, too.
Fish and chips
Whether it’s served up in cones or out of a vintage-style van, fish and chips is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. It’s perfect on its own, but consider pairing with delicious extras such as battered sausages, pies, mushy pies and pickled eggs and gherkins for a wedding food idea that can’t go wrong.
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About the author
Written by: John Maddaford
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