Avoid serving anything too sticky or smelly during your warm-weather wedding.
Serpentine Wedding Reception Table
Credit: Gia Canali

Hosting a summer wedding? You're probably planning to fill the menu with fresh flavors, seasonal produce, and refreshing beverages. Although summertime entrées can be versatile, there are a handful of dishes that wedding caterers urge couples to think twice about. Here, one professional opens up about the seven foods and drinks to skip serving at your summertime wedding.

Smelly Foods

Heat and humidity exaggerate unpleasant odors (which explains why garbage cans smell unbearable on high-temperature days). According to Mavis Linnemann-Clark, founder of The Delish Dish in Covington, Kentucky, couples should avoid serving anything with a strong fragrance at their wedding receptions. Some top offenders? Deviled eggs, seafood, and stinky cheeses. You certainly don't want the nose-crinkling smell to turn guests away from their dinner plates or your buffet spread.

Melty Foods

Similarly, Linnemann-Clark says that heat causes certain foods, like soft cheese, butter, and buttercream-frosted wedding cakes, to melt fast. If you can't avoid serving these items at your reception, make sure your caterer has the proper equipment to keep them cool, the pro says. "If your reception is happening outside, you may want to keep anything that could melt inside so it's not affected by the weather," she adds.

Mayo-Based Salads

Mayo-based foods-like tuna salad, potato salad, egg salad, or coleslaw-turn sour quickly in the summer months. Serve dishes with oil-based dressings, or opt for a fresh, crunchy green salad, instead.

Warm Soups

Nothing beats a comforting bowl of hot soup during the winter. But if you're dining al fresco during the summer, soup can induce sweating and discomfort. Choose a menu with colder salads and lighter starters instead.


Looking to serve a refreshing beverage? Plan to offer more than just soda, which can turn syrupy and sticky in the sunshine. What's more, the sugar in soft drinks will attract pesky bugs to your reception site and won't help to hydrate your guests in the sun. Infused waters (and a few delicious signature drinks) are the way to go.

Chocolate or Soft Desserts

"If the event is outside, we avoid mousses, cheesecakes, and chocolate-covered strawberries so they don't melt in the sunshine," says Linnemann-Clark. She suggests serving sweet treats like cake shooters, cookies, or brownies, all of which hold up well in the heat.

Ice Cream

Ice cream and popsicles are delicious and refreshing, but they melt quickly during the summertime. Instead of setting up a full ice cream sundae bar, serve pre-scooped cones or popsicles wrapped with napkins to avoid any messes. Your caterer can leave them in the freezer and pass the treats out to guests right before they'll be consumed.


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