They’re the trendiest of trends in wedding food, the tastiest DIY project around, the most appetizing way to please your guests…what am I talking about? Wedding food bars! Delicious ideas have probably taken over your Pinterest feed, and it’s no wonder! They’re creative, adored by guests, and an easy way to personalize your reception meal. I’m sure you’ve seen lots of s’mores, popcorn, and candy bars out there. As yummy as those may be, they’re just the tip of the iceberg. You can DIY a food station with just about any of your favorite things. To prove it, here are 65 wedding food bar ideas you’ve probably never considered—but should. *This post contains affiliate links through Etsy. While we can receive commission through these links, opinions are entirely our own*
Okay, not exactly “food,” but these drink stations will definitely be a highlight of your reception. 1. Coffee: Provide them with sweeteners, cream, mocha powder, cinnamon…yum! Plus, the more caffeine you get into their system, the longer they’ll stay and party.
2. Champagne Infusion: Champagne is great by itself, but mix in fresh fruit or even popsicles and you can say “cheers” to one incredible cocktail.
3. Bloody Mary: Celery, beef jerky, pickles, horseradish, olives, jalapenos, hot sauce, buffalo wings, sliders, cilantro, bacon, peppers…can I keep going?
4. Beer Flight: Breweries have taken over the Twin Cities—what about your hometown? Check with local craft brewers to see if they cater weddings. Or buy kegs from a few of your favorites and serve flights to your guests.
5. Martini: Liquor, vermouth, olives, lemon twists. Served straight up or on the rocks. “Shaken, not stirred.”
6. Margarita: Let them choose their flavor, salt or no salt, and garnish. Add tequila shot supplies for a real good time.
7. Lemonade: So sweet! Ideal for an outdoor, summer big day. The kids will love it too!
8. Mimosa: Serving brunch? Champagne with OJ is a must-have. Or set this up in the morning for hair and makeup refreshments.
9. Hot Chocolate: Warm up your friends and family with white, milk, and dark chocolate varieties. Garnish with peppermint sticks and marshmallows. Oh-so cozy…
Appetizers & Finger Food
A nibble here and a nibble there…these apps will get them super excited
10. Salad: This doesn’t have to be boring! Fill dishes with incredible toppings like a variety of cheeses, seeds, veggies, fruits, dressings, proteins, and bacon—a really, really big bowl of bacon.
11. Mashed Potato: Serve the mashed spuds in martini glasses to class things up a bit. Then supply diners with toppings like bacon (yes, a very large bowl), peas, cheese, scallions, gravy, dressing, or whatever you love on this classic side.
12. Baked Potato: Same toppings, different potatoes.
13. Poutine: French fries topped with cheese curds and drowning in gravy? Count me in.
14. Spud: Offer every type of potato with all of the fixings mentioned above.
15. Chili: Homemade chili (red and white, perhaps?) with sour cream, cheese, hot peppers, scallions, lettuce, tortilla chips, and cornbread.
16. Bruschetta: I love this Italian station. Toast up a ton of crostini, and provide plenty of toppings. Since there are so many options, I found a list of recipes to try >>
17. Fondue: Oil, cheese, chocolate…three hot, wonderful things. Dip some meat, carbs, and fruit in them and you’ve got a successful wedding food bar.
18. Biscuit: Are you a southern belle? Do you dream of being one? Then build a biscuit bar! Serve with honeys and jams.
19. Cheese & Cracker: Easy and delicious.
20. Charcuterie: Lots of meat. Cheese optional. I recommend both—but, I love cheese.
21. Olive Oil: Fresh baked bread and a variety of delicious olive oils for dipping. Serve these at a station or on each table for easy access.
22. Fruit: Lots of fruit, obviously. Then provide dips, cool whip, or yogurt for a sweet pairing.
23. Oyster: Expensive, but delectable. Some love the taste of raw oysters, and some need lemon, Siracha, horseradish, or Mignonette sauce to make it work.
24. Soup: Cook up a variety of soups and toppings. You could even try soup shooters!
25. Pickle: Cool idea, right? And super easy. Just find a ton of different, delicious pickles and DIY some labels.
26. Trail Mix: Just purchase all of the fixings you like and let your guests mix! This can be an event app or your favor, depending on the dish you use.
27. Wings: I thought it would be cool to supply diners with plain wings, then bowls of unique sauces they can mix and match. Be prepared! This bar will be messy.
28. Popcorn: Popular for a reason! Seasonings, sweet mix-ins, and lots of butter. Serve at the reception or let your guests take some home in a simple paper bag.
29. Chips & Salsa: Sort them from mild to spicy and watch everyone dig in.
30. Nacho: All the veggies. All the meat. All the cheese. All the greatness.
31. Taco: All the veggies. All the meat. All the ch—you get it. Save some cash and make them walking tacos! Small bags of Doritos, ground hamburger with taco seasoning, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and sour cream.
32 . Burrito: A bit trickier than the other Mexican options, but definitely doable. You just need an expert burrito roller on-hand.
Finally, the main course!
33. Sushi & Saki: This one requires a sushi chef, unless you know how to whip up a good roll.
34. Grilled Cheese: Slice up a variety of unique cheeses and have a frying station. Or hand out mini grilled cheeses with tomato soup shots.
35. Pizza: Create a build your own bar with sauces, veggies, meat, and more, then grill or bake. You could do classic crust or even flatbreads!
36. Burger: I suggest a designated griller who whips up patties in bulk. Guests can grab a patty cooked to their liking and dress it up with any fixings you provide.
37. Pasta: Put out a variety of noodles, pitchers of tasty sauces, veggies, meats, and shredded cheese. Let your guests combine their favorites and create a personalized pasta dinner.
38. Sandwich: Class it up with unique, fresh breads, meats, cheeses, and more.
39. Slider: Like a burger bar, but smaller. Give them more meat options, like meatballs or chicken!
40. Hot Dog: Like a burger bar, but no burgers. Chili, anyone?
The most important meal of the day on your most important day ever.
41. Cereal: Large glass jars filled with your favorite, sugary cereals and pitchers of milk. So adorable.
42. Waffle: Leslie Knope would be proud…serve up stacks of hot waffles with whipped cream, fruit, and syrup.
43. Pancake: Quicker than waffles, but just as delicious.
44. Crepe: Parlez-vous Français? Thin pancakes with lots of fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate, and more folded inside.
45. Oatmeal: Crockpots of gooey oatmeal and dishes of the best mix-ins like brown sugar, cinnamon, and fresh fruit.
46. Omelette: These classic breakfast stations exist at your favorite hotels and brunch spots, so why can’t you have one at your big day?
47. All of the above: There’s nothing better than a breakfast buffet, right?
Would one of these DIY desserts satisfy your sweet tooth?
48. Caramel Apple: Perfect for fall. Let them dip and decorate themselves! Candies, nuts, chocolate syrup, and lots of napkins should be provided.
49. Donut: “Glazed and delicious from the new Mr. & Mrs.” Pretty clever, huh? You can thank Pinterest for that one. Plate them pre-decorated or let them DIY. A donut tower serves as a great wedding cake, by the way.
50. Pie: Cherry, blueberry, apple, pecan, pumpkin…everyone loves pie! Serve this all-American dessert with a giant bowl of Cool Whip.
51. Cheesecake: Fruit, chocolate, peanut butter…there are so many sweet ways to dress up your cheesecake. Create bite size cheesecakes, or serve up slices.
52. S’more: Use Sterno lamps as mini fires and supply guests with the usual s’more materials. For set-up instructions, consult Pinterest.
53. Ice Cream: DIY sundaes, anyone? I know I’d scream for ice cream.
54. Milk & Cookie: Chocolate chip cookies are classic, but sugar means lots of fun decorating for your friends and family!
55. Candy: Fill a variety of clear vases, bowls, and jars with your favorite candies. Sweet-lovers can enjoy a handful at the reception or take a bag home as their favor.
56. Cake/Cupcake: People love options. Instead of making the impossible flavor decision, why not offer a few? Cupcakes make that easy, but you can do it with smaller cakes as well. My friend ordered hers from a local grocery store bakery and saved SO much money—but they still tasted incredible.
57. Chocolate Fountain: Pretty tasty and lookin’.
58. Fruit Pizza: A “healthy” alternative to your typical cookie station. All you need are soft sugar cookies, Cool Whip, and sliced fruit.
59. Churro: Cinnamon sugar, melted chocolate, hot caramel, and fruit sauces are just a few of the possible sides.
60. Milkshake: All you need is ice cream, candy, fruit, and a lot of blenders. Not to mention a few dozen cans of whipped cream. Plus, how cute will the photos be?
61. Root Beer Float: Root beer + ice cream = win.
62. Snow Cone: Talk about a summer classic! Help your guests cool off in a delectable way.
63. Oreo: Scatter them, stack them, build a tower of them…you won’t regret it.
For the DIY-Disabled:
Make your life a little easier by letting someone else do the work. I promise the food will still be delicious.
64. Fast Food: Save yourself some trouble and time—isn’t that what fast food is all about? One huge order of takeout from McDonalds, Taco Bell, or whatever joint you and your fiancé love will serve as the ideal late-night snack.
65. Food Truck: Lots of food trucks are catering weddings nowadays. Have them cater the whole big day or stop by for a mid-reception pick-me-up! Did I miss a DIY wedding food station? Share it in a comment below!