25 Delicious Ways to Serve Carnival Food at Your Wedding
It's hard not to get excited when a carnival rolls into town. Fairgrounds are seasoned with a little bit of mystery, a little bit of magic, and a whole lot of joy. From the sweet smells to the festive music, their ambiances are especially uplifting—they bring people and families together with fun and comforting food. Weddings can actually learn a lot from festivals and fairs. Don't all brides and grooms want an enjoyable, cheerful affair? One way to bring about nostalgia and delight is by serving carnival food at your cocktail hour, reception, or after-party.
If your favorite memories consist of Ferris wheels and fried dough, these menu options might be right up your alley, and each of these delicious eats will have your mouth watering. If you can't commit to a sugary, oily main course, you can certainly swing indulgent apps or late-night snacks. They may not be healthy, but they sure are tasty, and everyone loves a guilty pleasure now and then. Browse through for inspiration for wedding food and drinks.
Mini Cotton Candy
Serve this carnival classic on sticks for easy munching and stickiness-free hands. The mini size will prevent sugar crashes while still inducing plenty of smiles. Kids will love the saccharine treats, while parents won't be too against the portions. Plus, the bites are incredibly photogenic, and basically made for a cool Instagram post. It'll take a lot of willpower to pass on these tiny, colorful snacks.
Delicious popcorn drizzled in caramel is hard to mess up. Serve the stuff in bags, bowls, or in popcorn scoopers, like at this wedding.
This treat is a circus staple. Enjoy elephants, tigers, hippos, and giraffes in familiar cookie form.
This wedding served deliciously-seasoned fries in paper cones for a surprisingly-pretty appetizer.
Pizza slices are filling grab-and-go snacks. Play with toppings to make them unique.
Anything on a stick is instantly convenient, which is exactly why carnival fare is often served that way. For food that's actually healthy, try kababs with grilled veggies, or common street foods like chili-sprinkled mango slices.
This engagement session took place at a county fair, so naturally, the couple noshed on turkey legs. We recommend the hearty grub for your rehearsal dinner.
Elephant ears, pizza fritte, funnel cake, fried dough—while you may debate this treat's title, you can't deny that it's delicious. Many vendors top the snack with powdered sugar, but if you're serving the Italian version, offer marinara sauce.
Make a wedding "cake" with cotton candy by stacking puffs of the stuff on a stand.
Warm, doughy pretzels are incredibly yummy, and taste great with a range of saucy dips.
This couple gave guests bags of truffle popcorn to snack on. Serve your own as attendees wait for the ceremony to begin—just make sure they stop crunching when the processional starts.
Full-sized lobster rolls are popular at seaside festivals, but they're pretty filling and relatively expensive. Cut on costs and save room for dinner with little versions of the meal at your cocktail hour.
Hot wings and BBQ wings are another favorite, and if you don't want them fried, you can have them baked. Going boneless makes less of a mess, which guests, vendors, and your venue will appreciate. This wedding served tasty wings in cups with celery and carrots.
These chocolate mustache-shaped candies were a lighthearted wedding dessert. Those big, face-sized swirly lollipops are another silly option.
Good old-fashioned franks are uniquely satisfying. If you're conscious of your health, go for organic or nitrate-free. How you stuff your buns will depend on where you're from—offer different versions to showcase you and your partner's roots.
This bride was caught daringly sipping on a food coloring-filled snow cone. The syrupy treats are a sweet way to cool down come summertime.
Candy, caramel, and chocolate apples are perfectly autumnal. Let guests take them home or set them up at your dessert table.
Mini cones are pretty to serve but cups are more mess-free. For dairy sensitivities or allergies, it doesn't hurt to offer sorbet, Italian ice, or popsicles.
This couple made the creative choice to serve In-N-Out as their reception's main course. If you're going in a more formal direction for dinner, consider burgers to soothe late-night cravings.
Pre-packaged chips may do the job, but why not make the snacks on the spot? Guests will be impressed by your special recipe.
Corn dogs are the quintessential fair food, but that doesn't mean that they aren't wedding-worthy. As this wedding discovered, presentation is everything.
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