The best wedding reception foods delight both the bridal couple and their guests. Guests care about what they are eating at a wedding reception. The bridal couple must decide how their wedding reception food fits their theme, activities and atmosphere.
If the food is to be the focal point of the reception, a formal sit-down dinner may be the best option. However, if dancing and socializing are the focus, consider lighter fare served station-style.
Stations. The word “buffet” often conjures images of a miles-long table brimming with unimaginative dishes offering little flavor or flair. The concept of stations has elevated the passé buffet to an elegant and enjoyable dinner presentation. Ideal for presenting several food options, stations are designed to please the palettes (and dietary restrictions) of the bridal couple and their diverse guests.
With stations, there are no long buffet lines. Several stations are set up, each featuring a food theme such as gourmet salad bar, bite-size sides or a baked potato bar. Guests can make their way, sampling a choice or two from one station before getting up to visit the next. It’s a great way for guests to mingle and often requires fewer hired wait staff.
Ethnic cuisine. Some of the best wedding reception foods include traditional ethnic cuisine that honors the heritage of the bride, groom or both. Classic Italian dishes such as lasagna and fettuccini Alfredo usually are crowd pleasers. Traditional Mexican, Indian and Japanese dishes also top the favorites of ethnic foods served at wedding receptions.
Skewers. Wedding receptions often feature a choice between beef, pork, chicken and a vegetarian entrée. Some may also include a fish choice.
Skewers can be meat or vegetables and spiced to complement various menu themes. Skewers also can be served at stations or as part of a sit-down dinner.
Cupcakes. The tiny dessert cakes have been popular for wedding receptions for several years. Cupcakes are versatile. They can be any flavor and decorated to match any theme. Cupcake varieties include cream-filled, fruit-filled, topped with buttercream frosting or decorated using colorful fondant and marzipan. Cupcakes often replace the traditional wedding cake and can be displayed in layered tiers and even garnished with live flowers.
Sweets table. The sweets table or cookie table provides one-bite desserts for your wedding reception guests. A sweets table is not a replacement for the traditional wedding cake — it’s offered in addition to the cake. Modern sweets tables often feature one-bite treats such as petit fours, chocolate-covered strawberries, edible spoons of crème brûlée and fruit tartlets.
The wedding experts at The Knot remind bridal couples, “Be specific with your caterer or baker about what you want. … Don’t worry about pleasing every single guest — no matter what you serve, you’ll score points for originality.”