Chef's Blog

Wedding Reception Snacks That Won’t Eat Up Your Honeymoon Funds

Published February 14th, 2019 by Chef's Catering

If an intimate getaway for the two of you feels like a better use of your wedding fund than a sit-down dinner for 100, we’ve got you covered. Increasingly, couples are foregoing plated, sit-down wedding reception meals and opting for flavor-filled cocktail parties.

It’s the perfect way to enjoy great gourmet wedding food on a budget. Other benefits include:

  • A stand-up cocktail hour encourages your guests to really mingle with the whole crowd and not just one table. This lends a fun, contemporary vibe that keeps the energy in the room flowing.
  • You’ll save money on décor and rentals since you won’t need as many tables, chairs, centerpieces, and linens.

Consider these three popular and budget-friendly cocktail reception ideas.

Passed one-bite seafood appetizers

Who doesn’t love to see a server headed their way with a tray of scrumptious seafood appetizers? They pair beautifully with still and sparkling wines, beer, and mixed drinks. Using the one-bite, one-hand format gives guests a mess-free nibble that lets them hold a drink in the other hand. Tasty ideas include:

  • Broiled oysters with spinach and brown butter hollandaise
  • Crab toast
  • Smoked trout blinis with crème fraîche and dill
  • Shrimp and rosemary crostini
  • Stuffed pepperoncini with smoked salmon
  • Pan-fried salt cod chips
  • Coconut-crumbed prawns with lime aioli
  • Smoked salmon with cream cheese, capers, and red onion

Mini pasta bar

Pasta is the perfect choice for a cocktail reception. It’s cost-effective, filling, universally loved, and delicious. A mini pasta bar features slightly smaller portion sizes, which is great for a more informal reception.

Guests can enjoy chicken or shrimp and an assortment of vegetables (mushrooms, broccoli, onions, and tomatoes). Pair the pasta dish with a side of bread sticks, garlic bread, and salad for a more complete presentation.

Antipasto bar

Here’s another perennial party favorite that pairs beautifully with wine, champagne, beer, and liquor. When discussing your antipasto bar selections with your wedding caterer, remember to appeal to all the senses. You want it to be as visually pleasing as it is tasty. Think about the aromas, textures, and colors of each item you include.

A lovely blend might include:

  • Roasted vegetables with cheese: Pair roasted zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and onions with tangy cheeses. Consider feta, goat Camembert, Gruyère, teleme, or aged Manchego.
  • Grilled eggplant and beets with marinated fresh mozzarella.
  • Roasted red, orange, and yellow bell peppers with garlic hummus and pita bread.
  • Artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, and garlic-stuffed green olives marinated in Italian dressing served with slices of Havarti cheese.

Remember: It’s 100 percent possible to have the wedding of your dreams and the honeymoon of your dreams. It's about finding a catering option that fits your style, your budget, and your wedding. 

Chef's Catering is made up of a talented and creative team of professionals. We are dedicated to providing superior quality foods, flawless presentations, and service beyond comparison. We design our menus to meet the preferences and specifications for your special day. You can expect fresh, quality foods prepared in ways that please both eye and palate.


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