Not every couple wants to have a formal sit-down wedding reception. In fact, some prefer a cocktail-style reception that lets them mingle with guests throughout the event. If this sounds like the right option for you, work with your catering company to create a menu that's perfectly suited for this type of reception. Lots of finger foods and small bites can make your cocktail reception a hit while also leaving everyone with the feeling that they've had a full, satisfying meal. Here are a few options to consider when planning this type of menu.
Mini Gourmet Pizzas
Pizza can typically be eaten by hand, eliminating the need for cutlery. You might not think that pizza is the right type of food to serve at a wedding reception, but with a few gourmet twists, it definitely can be. Consider spinach and sun-dried tomato or steak and mushroom pizzas to tempt your guests. Work with your catering company to create the perfect presentation for this menu offering. A whimsical option for a more casual wedding is to package each pizza in a miniature delivery-style pizza box. You can have the boxes custom-printed with your names and the wedding date for a perfect finishing touch.
Individual Cheese Plates
For the feel of a wine tasting at your wedding reception, go with individual cheese plates. Have your caterer create plates that pair with the signature cocktails that you'll be serving at the reception, and include charcuterie and fresh fruits to make each plate complete. Ask your catering company if it can source plates with stemware holders so guests can enjoy their food and drink while still leaving one hand free.
Mini Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp cocktail is a classic appetizer, and it also makes a perfectly portable addition to your wedding menu. This dish can be served in martini glasses, shot glasses, or small bowls, and they can be easily carried and snacked on throughout the reception. You can also use this same idea to serve individual portions of fish and chips with a light layer of tartar or cocktail sauce for a more casual wedding event. If you have vegan or vegetarian guests coming to your wedding, offer an alternative to this recipe by having your caterer create a spicy mushroom cocktail.
Of course, you won't want to skip dessert, so talk to your caterer about single-serve desserts your guests can enjoy toward the end of the reception. You can still have a traditional cake-cutting ceremony, but serving individual desserts means your guests won't have to wait until the caterers have cut and served the wedding cake. Some delicious dessert options might include cupcake versions of the wedding cake, mini cheesecakes, tiny tarts, or miniature milk and cookie flights.
Talk to your wedding caterer about how many guests you expect so you can determine how many different menu offerings you should have available. With the right choices and a beautiful presentation, your cocktail reception can be filled with delectable tiny bites.