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Popular Food for Wedding Receptions


Weddings may vary widely in style, size, budget, and theme, but there are still several consistently popular foods for wedding receptions. When planning for perfect wedding receptions, consider some of the following popular catered items, depending on the time of day that you host your wedding reception:

Popular Food for Wedding Receptions

  • Morning Receptions – if you are hosting a morning celebration, you will want to serve brunch type foods, including bagels, salmon, cheeses, fruits, omelets, waffles, pancakes, and of course plenty of hot beverages, including tea and coffee. Many couples find that morning receptions can be budget-friendly, even if they pose a challenge to guests who must travel some distance for the wedding.
  • Afternoon Receptions – if your celebration is mid-day, you can do either elaborate hot dishes, as you might with a dinner reception, or you can simplify by serving pastas, salads, sandwiches, and fresh fruit and cheese trays. As with morning receptions, this menu can be more affordable than more traditional evening receptions.
  • Tea Reception – if you are not interested in serving a full-fledged meal at your wedding reception, you may want to consider a simple, yet elegant tea reception. This typically involves serving tea and coffee, wedding cake and cookies, and possibly small finger sandwiches. This tends to be the most economic of all the reception options.
  • Dinner Reception – A dinner reception is by far the most common, and most expensive of the options, but can also make for the most elegant reception. Your menu can be as intricate or as simple as you like. Most dinner wedding receptions offer a cocktail hour, even if alcoholic beverages are not served. Cocktail hours often feature vegetables, cheeses, and even hot hor d'oeuvres More elaborate cocktail hours can even include carving stations with turkey, ham, and roast beef. The dinner itself can be sit-down or buffet style, with sit-down menus being more formal and styled. These dinner menus often include a salad, fresh bread, a main course, such as prime rib, chicken, or salmon, each with a side dish, and then of course wedding cake, tea, and coffee.

These are just a few of the popular foods served at American wedding receptions. Of course what you and your future spouse choose will depend largely on your own ethnicity, tastes, and styles. Be sure to consult with your caterer about the best menu, as they are likely to have ample experience planning the perfect wedding receptions.

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