It used to be that attending a wedding meant that you would be dining off bland soup, mass-produced bread rolls, and a choice of dried out chicken or beef. Now, wedding food has become a multi-million-dollar industry that continues to get more creative every year.
From interesting canapes to visually arresting cakes, to caterers who bring in 1,200lb offset BBQs—wedding food is big business and it’s changing the face of the wedding industry.
When your guests attend your wedding, they will want to be wowed by the food! This doesn’t mean you have to throw a 5-course, extravagant meal, it just means you have to get a little creative when you think about your food offerings.
JJ’s House designer Jessica has noticed that modern weddings often lean towards appetizers and finger foods instead of full, sit down meals. While not necessarily cheaper (we’ll get to that momentarily), it offers a greater variety of choices and permits chefs to batch make more specialized appetizers.
Here are some of the most popular finger foods that Jessica has seen:
Milk and Cookies
This adorable and incredibly simple appetizer uses shot glasses and mini, homemade chocolate chip cookies as a take on the classic milk and cookies.
The shots glasses are filled with milk and the cookies are balanced on the rim of the cup and they are distributed as cute little desserts. You can offer a variety of cookies, so long as they’re sized down to match the shot glass.
To cut costs on servers passing trays, many weddings offers stationary “food bars”. One amazing idea is a crostini station that offers crackers, pickles, cheeses, slices of bread and jams and sauces to create your own crostini.
Mini grilled cheese with tomato soup
This cold-weather classic gets recreated as a tiny appetizer. By utilizing the ever-popular shot glass filled with a gulp of rich, warm, tomato soup and a bite-sized portion of gooey, melty grilled cheese balanced on top, you give your guests a filling little bite.
In either small paper bags or served up in a big bowl with a scoop, assorted popcorn is a great addition to any boho, barn wedding. Get sweet popcorn, cheesy popcorn, candied popcorn, or mix them all together to give guests’ taste buds a sweet and salty adventure.
Strawberry shortcake in a jar
You knew we weren’t getting through this without at least one Mason jar showing up! These tiny strawberry shortcakes in a jar have rich layers of shortcake, strawberry compote, and whipped cream in a visually decadent display. Hand them out with little spoons and watch guests dig in!
Keep in mind that offering food this way at your wedding won’t necessarily be cheaper than a traditional meal. A variety of appetizers can be just as—if not more—labor intensive to produce as a traditional, sit down meal. While you and your guests will enjoy the interesting amuse bouches, don’t be surprised if the price per head isn’t far off the cost of a full meal.