If you’re planning your wedding, chances are that you’ve already started thinking about the food for it. After all, who doesn’t want to enjoy delicious food on their special day?
The best way to make sure everyone has a great time at your wedding is to have a well-planned menu and an excellent caterer.
But what is included in a wedding catering package? A good question to ask yourself when choosing a caterer is: what exactly do they offer?
Also – mostly importantly – what do YOU want? Are you keen on a traditional wedding breakfast-style sit down meal? Or would you prefer a more casual buffet-style event where your guests can mingle and help themselves?
Do they provide everything from appetisers to desserts? Are there any extra charges? What if you need more than one dish per course?
You may also be wondering how much these services cost? These questions can help you choose the right caterer for you.
But before you ask all these questions, it’s good to have an idea of what you want to serve your guests. Here are 20 catering food ideas for weddings to copy or use to create your own ideal catering plan.
Get Your Hors-d’oeuvres Right
They say first impressions matter and your hors-d’oeuvres aka appetisers are the way to win your guests over.
Start with some tasty snacks like mini quiches, cheese balls, potato chips, olives, nuts, popcorn, etc. These small bites will keep your guests happy while they wait for the main event.
If you’re running on a tight budget, this can be as simple as a few small plates with cheese or crackers. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, try serving mini pizzas or hot dogs.
Would you like some advice on feeding large numbers cheaply? Then check out How Would You Cater For 100 Guests On A Budget
Set Up A DIY Appetiser Station
Instead of spending money on expensive appetizers, why not set up a DIY station where guests can assemble their own snacks?
Ask for your caterer to set a buffet like the breakfast one in hotels with all types of snacks people can choose from to add to their plate.
Are you worried about not serving enough food? See our advice on How Many Appetisers Do I Need For 150 Guests
Make A DIY Salad Bar
This is another great idea, and if you and some of your guests are into healthy eating, you definitely need to get a salad bar at your party.
Guests can put together their own salads using fresh ingredients and add their own sauces on top.
This makes them feel more involved in the party and gives them something fun to do. Plus, it saves more calories for those drinks!
Talking of drinks, take a look at our Easy Cocktail Recipes
Bring Your Sweets!
After a big meal, dessert is always a nice touch. If you’re looking for a dessert option, consider serving a chocolate fountain or a cake with strawberries.
Or maybe even both? Another idea would be to get a variety of desserts like cookies, cupcakes, cakes, tarts, and more.
It’s up to you, but whatever you decide to serve should be sweet and yummy.
Do you have an engagement party to plan? See our guide to Catering Food Ideas for Engagement Parties
Make A DIY Dessert Table
Another great option is to serve a DIY dessert table. Instead of asking for your caterer to serve fancy slices of cheesecake and chocolate souffle, do something simpler.
Ask for them to prepare cupcakes or cookies or even cheesecakes and put them on a buffet for your guests to choose what and how much they want to eat.
If you’re planning to set things up yourself, you’ll need plenty of attractive, practical Serving Platters. For all the latest designs at a range of affordable prices, click here.
That way, you will save money from adding all those fancy details and toppings to each plate and also save up on extra staff and/or preparation time.
We’re pretty sure your guests won’t mind eating from a large batch of brownies and grabbing an extra chocolate chip cookie.
This is one of our top tips for catering food ideas for weddings.
Do some of your guests have issues with gluten? Why not try one of our Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes?
Fruit is always a crowd-pleaser, so make sure you include plenty of fruit options at your party. Whether it’s cut fruit or berries, you’ll find that most people love them.
And don’t forget about alcohol either. Fruit juice cocktails or sangria is a classic choice. That counts as food, right?
Looking for a something tropical to wow? See our Mango Dessert Recipes.
Ice Cream Bar
We are all trying to be healthy in our daily lives but here we are talking about a party – probably the most important one in your life too. So it’s more than okay for you to have a ‘cheat’ day and skip the fruit and salad bars. Especially when it comes to bringing ice cream to the table!
Ice cream bars are a great alternative to traditional ice cream sundaes.
They allow guests to customise their choices. You could also ask your caterer to create a special flavour just for the occasion.
Do you follow a lactose-free diet? Then see our Dairy-Free Desserts for some ideas.
Create A DIY Pizza Station
Pizza is a classic choice for weddings, so why not make it easier for guests to enjoy? Set up a DIY pizza station where guests can build their pizza.
Homemade Pizza has never been easier to make than with the easy-to-use Pizza Ovens now on the market. Click here for more information and prices.
We bet your caterer can present you with lots of ideas or have some ‘specials’ on a little board for people to follow.
On the hunt for the Best Pizza Places in Sydney? Let us guide you.
Build A DIY Taco Bar
Everyone loves tacos. They are simply so versatile because of all the different toppings you can put on them.
They are great for parties and we a winner amongst our catering food ideas for weddings.
In addition to that, they can be served warm or cold, which makes them a great mass dining option.
Searching for a top Mexican Restaurant in Melbourne? We know some excellent ones.
Waffles are delicious and easy to make, plus they look really cute on a table.
Your guests can help themselves to waffles or pancakes and then dip them in syrup or butter. It’s a very simple catering idea that everyone can enjoy.
Are you planning a brekkie for a large group? Let us help you with our Breakfast Catering Food Ideas.
Build A DIY Burger Station
Burger stations are a popular choice for wedding receptions because they offer a lot of flexibility. You can serve burgers with fries or without, add cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Plus, you can also use this catering food idea to feed hungry kids who might otherwise go hungry if there isn’t anything else available.
A fun way to cater for a big group is with a Spit Roast. See our post for info.
Build A DIY Pasta Station
Pasta is one of our favourite foods. It is filling, nutritious, and with so many shapes, sizes and sauces available, it is endlessly versatile.
If you decide to opt for a pasta station, make sure you let your guests know that they should feel free to mix and match whatever kinds of pasta and sauce they like best.
There are some excellent Italian Restaurants in Brisbane. Here are some of our favourites.
A bucket of oysters is an excellent choice for entertaining. Guests can eat oysters while mingling with each other.
This could be used for any type of seafood you would like to serve, so do not limit yourselves to just one type.
Speaking of seafood, shrimp (prawns) cocktails are always s big hit, so why not surprise your guests with some? It might sound a bit old-fashioned to you, but trust us when we say it will most certainly work. So pop them on your food catering ideas for weddings.
Have you ever held a paella party? See our tips on Paella Catering.
If you have a donut paradise in your area, then you should go straight to them and ask them to cater your wedding party!
Donuts are an easy dessert that many people can’t resist – and there are so many ways you can serve them.
You can have a variety of big and small donuts, or have them made on the spot and served warm with some hot chocolate or honey and sprinkles on top.
And if you want to go all the way, ask for a chocolate fountain where people can dip their donuts and taste a bit of heaven.
And whilst we are on the subject of chocolate, here are our top Chocolate Dessert Recipes.
If you have Italian roots or are just a big fan of pizza, you can become more creative and get some mini wood-fire ovens installed in the venue – hopefully, we’re talking about an open-air one so that you can still breathe some fresh air.
Letting your guest create their own pizzas is one of our favourite catering food ideas for weddings.
Do you prefer thin and crispy, or deep pan pizza? You can find both on our guide to Pizza Joints in Melbourne.
Similar to the Italian nod, if you can’t go a week without having a Chinese meal, then you should bring that to your wedding party.
Ask for the caterer to set up a Dim Sum table, that includes different Chinese small plates that you can either set on the guests’ tables or leave on a buffet. Offer them the freedom to choose whatever they want.
See our rundown of the Best Chinese Restaurants in Sydney for some dim sum ideas.
Feta, olives, hummus, octopus, pittas, gyros, souvlaki from Greece, mini pizzas, tortellini and arancini from Italy, and tapas from Spain.
Part of the appeal of tapas is their colour and variety. And the same is true of tapas plates. For a great range of beautiful bowls and dishes, click here.
Plenty of options that will leave no one disappointed, but will certainly make this a big, celebratory feast to remember!
Want to make your own Greek feast? Check out our Easy Greek Desserts.
Get some stunning sushi centerpieces for your wedding party and look for a caterer or even hire a chef to create sushi in front of your guests.
What is great with this is that your guests can choose what to add to their sushi roll order and how they want it – maki roll, California roll, hosomaki, etc.
Finally, we could not but mention the 3-course meal option for those of you who want to have a more traditional wedding party before hitting the dance floor.
Having a 3-course meal is perfect, especially if you have older people invited, like your grandparents, and you want to offer them a dining experience and make them feel like they’re being taken care of.
If you want to go completely the other way, then read our piece on Finger Food Catering
Weddings can be expensive, so it’s important to save money where you can.
Most of these catering ideas will save you a lot of money, but it’s up to you to decide what you will do. It’s your wedding, after all!
For more tips and suggestions, see our post on Wedding Catering: Everything You Need To Know