Not so long ago, you’d find just about the same food at every wedding you attended. Sit-down, plated dinners were the norm and anything else just wouldn’t fly. Every now and then, a bride may have considered offering just heavy hors devours and calling it a day, but even if the thought crossed her mind, it was likely shot down by her parents or friends.

But thankfully, times have changed.

Today, a Mrs.-to-be is more focused than ever on making sure that her wedding is a reflection of her and her spouse and not some silly expectation. And guess what? We love it!

Your wedding should be about what YOU want! So, choose wedding food that means something to you.

If you’re thinking outside the box in terms of food for your wedding, you’re in good company. Over the past 30 years, we’ve seen it all. However, there were some meal-schemes that stood out from the rest. These are just a few of our favorite food-related wedding ideas.

Heavy Hors Devours

Appetizers are perfect regardless the time your wedding occurs. An assortment of fruits, veggies, proteins, and sweets is ideal, especially since you’re not providing a full meal.

Dessert and/or Tea Time

Cocktail and dessert wedding receptions are growing increasingly common in many circles. Why? Not only are these weddings more affordable, but they don’t last quite as long as traditional wedding receptions.

If your wedding ceremony is earlier in the day, try tea-time instead of a cocktail hour. It’s a classy way to stay within your budget and provide an experience out of the ordinary.


If you’re going the non-traditional route or are planning an early ceremony, don’t leave your guests hanging around for hours on end waiting for a late reception to start. Instead, offer a breakfast or brunch.

Waffles, crepes, eggs, fruit, and the list goes on. Spice it up with some mimosas or fresh-squeezed juice. Brunch foods aren’t just tasty, they’re also much more affordable than a dinner.

Plus, who doesn’t love a good brunch?

Seated, Plated

Traditional and refined, plated meals are the go-to choice for many couples. Most often, guests are able to choose between different proteins, such as fish, beef, chicken, or the vegetarian option.

This is likely the most expensive food option, so it doesn’t fit every budget. However, if you want to have a plated meal, talk to your venue or caterer. They’re bound to offer different tiers of meals depending on your headcount and budget.


When you’re looking to give your guests a full meal, but want to keep costs lower, a buffet is definitely the way to go.

Again, buffet costs vary depending on your caterer, but there are usually more food  options and less staffing costs than a plated dinner.

Expert Tips

No matter which type of meal-option you choose for your wedding, it’s important to keep these final thoughts in mind:

  • If you’re not providing a full meal, it’s important to tell your guests so on the invitation. A simple “Dessert and cocktails will be served” is sufficient and gets the point across.
  • Don’t assume you know what type of plated meal your guests want. Instead, ask your guests to indicate their preferred selection on the reply card.
  • For large gaps between a ceremony and reception, give your guests a few suggested places to gather such as local wineries, a park, or local hotel lobby.

Don’t limit yourself to what you think you “should” do for wedding food. Instead, go with what makes you happy! Think outside the box when it comes to the food you serve at your wedding and you won’t be sorry.