A wedding should be at least a day’s long celebration, and if it is you’re going to need to supply your guests two meals…
One sit down three-course meal of course, but in the evening, a buffet platter is an excellent idea. Guests can get up out of their seats, to choose bits and pieces from the buffet, socializing with each other as they do so.
You can often include several familiar options in your wedding buffet, but it’s good to turn things up a gear by featuring some beautiful, stand-out options also.
In this article, I’ll be discussing our shortlist of top wedding buffet tasty food ideas for your big day, that you can suggest to your caterer, and simply let them handle the rest.
And without further ado, let’s get started. (The following ideas aren’t listed in any particular order.)
1. Classic Buffet Appetizers
Very often, more traditional options can go down very well. They are crowd pleasers that everyone enjoys.
You can include everything from mini quiches, vol-au-vents, shrimp cocktail, cranberry brie bites, stuffed mushrooms, chips and dip, tapas, pigs in blankets, mozzarella sticks, cherry tomatoes, crudités and dip, bruschetta, potato salads, cheese and cold meats.
The best wedding buffet appetizer ideas are ones that guests can handle without their hands getting sticky.
2. Tasty Vegan Buffet Food
You don’t always know if any of your guests are vegetarian or vegan. This is why it’s good to have a table there dedicated to tasty vegan food that can not only satisfy vegans and vegetarians, but appeal to all of your guests equally.
You could serve vegetable samosas, salads, courgette fritters, vegan mushroom pate on bruschetta or crackers, sweet potato canapés, spiced baked cauliflower bites, fresh fruit, pasta, vegan hummus and pita bread, vegan cookies, or vegan cupcakes. To name just a few ideas.
3. Travel-Themed Buffet Station
With a travel-themed buffet station at your wedding, your guests can enjoy street food from all over the world. You can feature little flags at each platter to describe where each of the foods originally come from.
You may wish to include Spanish tapas, Mediterranean options, Mexican bocas, Thai lettuce wraps, meat and/or vegetable skewers in dipping sauces, Hawaiian coconut shrimp, Chinese dim sum, the list goes on.
4. Barbecue Favorites
Who doesn’t love barbecue food, am I right? Grilled and smoked food always goes down well, whether it’s in the form of meat, vegetables, or combinations of the two.
Here are some simple ideas of barbecued food you can have in your wedding buffet: sweet cornbread, chicken skewers, Mediterranean vegetable skewers, garlic mushroom skewers, margarita popsicles, grilled shrimp skewers, pulled pork buns, grilled corn on cob, s’mores, grilled fruit skewers, grilled bananas, brown sugar grilled pineapple, and so on.
5. Grazing Table
The best thing about buffet tables is that the guests have the opportunity to pick and choose what you put on their plates, which is where a grazing table really comes into its own.
You can include things like grapes, candied grapes, salads, vegetable crudités and dip, potato salads, pasta salads, cold meats, smoked salmon, Scotch eggs, breaded savory bites, pretty pastry items, mini pizzas, wontons, cheese and crackers, black and green olives, cherry tomatoes, potato skins, empanadas, chicken tenders, quesadillas, Parmesan crusted baby potatoes, sandwiches, quiches, breadsticks, pickled vegetables, the list goes on.
6. Pizza Platter
Pizzas are popular across the board, so why not have your wedding buffet guests create their very own pizzas. They could choose their preferred base, deep pan or crisp, their own base, tomato or pesto, and of course their own toppings.
There’s almost no end to what pizza toppings you can include for your guests. Different cheeses, different meats, such as beef, chicken, ham, anchovies, and pepperoni, different vegetables, such as tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, olives, onion, red onion, or even, controversially, pineapple.
7. Sweet/Savory Hand Pie Station
Hand pies are excellent for finger buffets because guests can just pick up whichever ones they want, without worry of getting their hands sticky.
What’s more, they can be made with savory fillings, or sweet fillings. Savory hand pies may include Cornish pies, mini chicken pot pies, pies with ground beef, or vegetarian options such as mushroom, cheese and onion or butternut squash and goat cheese.
For sweet hand pies you could consider apple pie, blueberry, cherry, peach, salted caramel apple, strawberry, and so on.
8. Crêpe Station
Like hand pies, crêpes can also be either sweet or savory. Savory options may include fillings such as spinach and cheese, smoked salmon and cream cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and so on.
Sweet crêpes tend to be more popular, however. You can have toppings such as Nutella or chocolate spreads, Biscoff spread, slices of banana, strawberries, lemon curd, sugar, apple, hot fudge, peanut butter, jelly, caramel sauce, etc.
9. Salad Bar
A salad bar is also a great option for a wedding buffet, especially if you’ve got a lot of junk food stations set up, and you want to address the balance with some nice, healthy options.
The really great thing about salads is how bright and colorful they can be, which can really help to make a buffet table look more attractive, which really adds to the ambience of the event.
Brightly colored salad options may include healthy greens such as salad leaves and lettuce, shredded carrot or carrot crudités, beets, tomato salad, cabbage, cucumber, bell peppers, coleslaw, and so on.
And it doesn’t have to be vegetables only, you can also include potato salad, or pasta salads as well. And you can throw in certain fruits, such as diced apples, raisins, sultanas, and pomegranate seeds, and also nuts and seeds, such as chopped walnuts, pine nuts or poppy seeds.
The key thing to remember when planning to have a salad bar at your wedding buffet is to ensure that the vegetables you use are in season, for freshness.
10. Ice Cream Bar
What could be a better way to share your joy and celebration than with a million different varieties of ice cream, sorbets, and frozen yogurt for your guests to help themselves to!
But for full effect you should offer more than just the standard flavors of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. You could consider lemon, blackcurrant ripple, toffee, mint choc chip, macchiato, banana, and more.
And don’t forget to include toppings, too. You’re gonna want to include chopped nuts, edible candies, cookie crumbs, chocolate sauce, hot fudge sauce, and strawberry syrup at the very least
11. Popcorn Table
Popcorn is another popular crowd pleaser, and you’d be sure to waste very little if you include it in your wedding buffet. It’s excellent finger food, and if you can hire a good popcorn making machine for the occasion, your guests can enjoy watching the corn pop, and it makes for an excellent, memorable talking point.
There’s a range of different toppings you can feature as well, such as butter, salt, caramel, toffee, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, chili powder, cinnamon, nutritional yeast, lemon zest, honey, coconut oil, nutmeg, and so on.
12. Donut Station
Here’s another great idea – have your wedding guests create their choice of donut. You can have donuts filled with crème, chocolate, jelly, custard, caramel, Biscoff spread, and more.
And then there are different glazes to consider, chocolates ones, fruit ones, ones speckled with rainbow edible confetti, and more. Or you could simply top them with fresh fruit and syrup.
You could even have carrot cake donuts, or key lime ones, or red velvet ones!
13. Waffle Table
Making your own waffles can also be a big hit with a crowd. Crunchy on the outside and softly textured on the inside, they have a mild sweetness that doesn’t fail to appeal.
And again, there are some great toppings guests could use to take their waffles to the next level. We’re talking maple syrup, honey, vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, rashes of bacon, caramel sauce, whipped cream, caramelized bananas, peaches, strawberries, fried chicken, Nutella, eggs, chocolate spread, cinnamon sugar, peanut butter, lemon curd, yogurt, the list goes on.
14. Sushi Table
If you wish to add something unique to your wedding buffet, how about a table laden with different sushi bites.
You could have California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, shrimp tempura rolls, dragon rolls, spicy tuna rolls. Your ingredients and dips may include such delights as soy sauce, wasabi, avocado, spicy mayo, cucumber, salmon, tuna, shrimp, crab, pickled ginger
15. Chocolate Fountain
Last, but certainly not least, you can have a large, 3-tier chocolate fountain. It not only looks amazing, but also tastes amazing too.
Guests can form skewers laden with fresh fruit, such as strawberries, or banana slices, or other treats such as marshmallows, and hold them under the chocolate fountain to coat their chosen treats in melted chocolate.
I hope you’ve enjoyed browsing through our shortlist of top wedding buffet ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve already got your mouth watering. You’re sure to have a great buffet spread, whichever of these ideas you decide to take up for your special day. Bon appétit!