Unexpected Wedding Food Ideas Your Guests Will Love
You don't have to plan a nontraditional wedding to serve up unexpected, unique cuisine. After all, there's so much more to your big day's hors d'oeuvres than shrimp cocktail and pigs-in-a-blanket. In fact, there's a whole lot more to every aspect of your menu—from the appetizers, to the main course, to dessert—than you might have thought.
To inspire your own creative fare, we've rounded up our favorite next-level dishes from real weddings. Several, from mini lobster rolls to grilled cheese bites, and tiny churros, proved that small versions of the classics often have maximum impact. Others, like one bride's paper cones of fries and another's packets of popcorn, turned those classics into the ultimate snacks—which made them compact enough to tote around during the cocktail hour. On the sugary front, ready-to-roast s'mores, ice cream sandwiches, and waffle cakes showed up the classic wedding cake.
Ultimately, there's nothing wrong with sticking with tried-and-true favorites. They're signatures for a reason, and there are so many ways to make expected cuisine unexpected, including serving those staples in unique ways. Take a hint from one of the following brides and add lollipop sticks to watermelon wedges to instantly make the fruit feel (and look!) fancier. Before we send you off to explore the following wedding foods, here's one piece of advice: Serve the foods that you love as a couple—no matter how niche—to ensure that your menu, like the rest of your wedding day, pays homage to who you two are.
Who said waffles were a breakfast-only option? Go rogue and serve bite-sized varieties, with dollops of sour cream, corn, and cilantro, during cocktail hour.
Signature sips are not just reserved for cocktails. Treat yourself and your guests to bubble teas—they're perfect to cool off and indulge in for a warm-weather celebration.
Crispy Fennel and Leek Arancini
Calling all outdoor enthusiasts! This crispy fennel and leek arancini on a tree branch is quite literally the epitome of al fresco eating.
Baby Lobster Rolls
You don't have to get hitched in Maine to serve up this New England classic. Lobster rolls are an unexpected hors d'oeuvre all on their own, but these tiny versions kick it up a notch.
It's safe to say that serving appetizers on a stick makes for the best kid- and adult-friendly foods. And this shrimp tempura on a stick looks simply delicious
If you're searching for a unique main course copy this couple and set up a pizza station. Bonus points if you go for all the toppings.
Who said you can't have breakfast for dinner—or for any meal. Try out a custom omelet bar that your loved ones can top off with their favorite ingredients. It's unexpected and so delicious!
Spread of Fruit and Cheese
Create an awe-worthy display of food come dinnertime with fruits, cheeses, and a specialty cheese cake.
Serve lighter fare, like this vegetable and shrimp combination, in oversized spoons so that guests can easily sample a bit of everything.
This all-around favorite will please any palate come time for the cocktail hour. Plus, you can mix and match other bite-sized eats to go along with them, too.
Let your guests pick out their donut of choice in individual cubbyholes. Just make sure to dish out different sizes and flavors for endless variety, and a great photo-opp.
A s'more just doesn't taste as good if you haven't roasted it yourself. Set your guests up with everything they'll need so they can make their own at your venue's fire pit.
Perfect for a pre-ceremony snack, small popcorn bags will keep your attendees satisfied until it's time for more.
Add some cinnamon-sugar sweetness to your dessert spread by offering tiny churros.
French Fry Cones
Go carnival-style and present your guests with garlicky French fries in paper cones. It's so much more festive than serving them plated!
Give your guests a sweet surprise at the reception with a chocolate-inspired seating chart like these newlyweds, who placed the rich dessert next to each guest's name.
Take tradition to a whole new level with food inspired by your culture—like this colorful Hawaiian-inspired salad with poached pears.
Want to entertain your flower girl, ring bearer, and their gaggle of cousins? Hire a cotton candy confectioner to whip up fresh puffs throughout the cocktail hour. Your adult guests will surely enjoy the treat, too.
Layered with cream and sweet berries, this waffle stack is a wedding cake's more casual counterpart.
Elevate your relaxed summer celebration by serving watermelon wedges on lollipop sticks.
Mix-and-Match Ice Cream Sandwiches
An instant way to make ice cream sandwiches even more unique? Invite guests to create their own concoctions by serving different flavors of ice cream and cookies.
Add a bit of rustic charm to your sweets menu by letting guests enjoy crumbly blueberry cobbler. Make sure everyone tops theirs with mounds of vanilla ice cream.
What do you do if you want a wedding cake but prefer salty over sweet? Replace your confection with a cheesy cake alternative, complete with "tiers" of you and your betrothed's favorites.
These sugary fried bites would be an unexpected—but seriously welcome—addition to any dessert platter.
This icy treat throws it back to you and your guests' school kid days.
Do you know what's better than serving crostinis at your wedding? Setting up an entire crostini station, complete with all the fixings.
Buttery asparagus stalks, dipped and fried in breadcrumbs, will be the one-bite wonder of your cocktail hour.
Chicken and Fries
A quick way to make chicken fingers and French fries more grown up? Serve them in newspaper cones, with a pool of ketchup or honey mustard at the bottom.
Sausage and Apple Balls
Looking for a twist on those classic cocktail hour meatballs? Try fried sausage and apple purée balls, instead. Skip the toothpicks and present them on silver spoons.
Plenty of Options
When it comes time to serve desserts, why display just one? Perfect for the couple with a sweet tooth, a spread of tasty treats will leave you and your guests satisfied.
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