WEDDING AFTERNOON/EVENING FOOD IDEAS
There was a time when evening food consisted of sandwiches and finger such as the usual cocktail sausages and the cups of tea and coffee. Yet there are no rules as to what you should serve and hey we have moved on from the triangle sandwiches and cocktail sausages, have we not? Guests nowadays expect to have some food during the evening after the lavish meal is long been over. The wedding day is quite a long day and despite feeding your guests a lavish three course meal it’s nice to be offered some decent nibbles to soak up the champagne and wine – guests need something later on to soak it up and keep them partying into the wee small hours! I guess it all depends by what time you plan to have the main meal finished by as to what you serve in the evening. Also, if the meal is scheduled for later in the afternoon closer to the evening time then serve some snacks while guests wait around for the main wedding meal such as a spread of antipasti, bruschetta, cheese platters, cold meats, dips, breads, crackers, salads. Lay out the ingredients for your wedding guests to create their own bruschetta and crostinis.
The visual is key to making a great impression at the wedding reception so style your food stall well with some thought put into it. Try rustic chalk boards in various sizes and thickness to inform your guests what you have laid on for them to eat, for example a list of pizza flavours on a chalk board, a list of ingredients to make your own crostinis. This definitely makes your wedding stand apart from all other weddings when it comes to the food and catering aspect of a wedding.
Sweet buffets and dessert tables have really taken off in weddings over the past few years and it’s not hard to see why. Wedding food stations are the big trend, from food buffets and food bars and stalls. Choose anything you want from simple snack food or ‘mini classics’ such as mini fish and chips cones, mini beef burgers, mini hot dogs, mini pizzas, pizza slices are all really popular choices. So handy for guests no messing around with plates cutlery and all can be eaten with one hand whilst holding a pint or your wine in the other. It avoids your guests from escaping down to the local chipper for soakage food. Plus you have just given your guests second wind and they are ready to party on down to the wee small hours. And if you want to push the boat out because your budget allows it and you really want your guests to remember your wedding day for the best food! Try live cooking no not you! – this is growing in popularity and involves the chef cooking in front of the guests and guests coming up to grab the food, like a market stall. It adds another dimension to the evening reception because you give them entertainment including food! Creates a buzz!
Sweet stalls are replacing traditional desserts and now have become a pretty focal point at the reception. A sweet stall should have nice serving vessels, crockery and signage which helps to make a great first impression in the reception area. Choose childhood favourites like coke bottles, black jacks, fruit salad jazzies etc and artisan treats like marshmallow, fudge, mini meringues and a variety of cakes from cupcakes to doughnuts for your guests to choose from. Don’t forget to include something suitable for the kids and some cute kiddie bags for the treats. There are plenty of suppliers out there who make cupcakes and doughnuts in various flavours and supply to large groups such as wedding parties. If your wedding is during the Summer months how about an icecream stall? A sure hit with all guests both young and old. Who does not like icecream. Go for delicious scooped or soft serve cones and give your guests the option to finish their icecream cone with their own choice of toppings from a selection of toppings in retro glass jars.
Creating your own food stations is definitely becoming a hot trend at Irish weddings. Some things to consider if you are having a food stall at your wedding reception. Ensure there is enough space at the venue. If you are having more than one foodstation ensure they are spread out from one another so as to avoid guests getting into ques. Food stations can be an expensive option you will need to factor in set up costs and staffing. If you really want a food station without a huge cost go for the mini classics food stall where the food is served in cones or pizza stall or the bruschetta and crostini station like we discussed above or the sweet and deserts food station. And don’t forget styling your food stall is key to really making that impression with your guests.
Things to consider for creating your own Wedding Food Stations:
- Make sure there is a suitable space in your venue.
- Food stations are similar to buffet however food stations are usually themed and chefs cook it there and then or are ready-made for guests to choose from.
- If you are having various stations insure they are spread out nice and evenly throughout your space so guests won’t have to wait in line for long.
- This can be quite an expensive option for cocktail hour if you decide to choose a few options as you will need to take into consideration the set-up costs and staff for the stations as well as they actual catering cost . For a more budget friendly option choose just one station for your guests or a station where guests can help themselves like the popcorn or dessert bar.
- Styling is the key to nailing a food station perfectly. Nice vessels, crockery and signage is essential. You may also need to create some height for the best visual impact. Make sure to discuss your vision with your caterer or stylist to ensure you get the look you desire.