Figuring Out Finger Foods: What to Serve and When

Etiquette, Food & Drink

Food — like drinks, music, and the cake — is one of the the most essential elements to a wedding reception. Whether you have a seated dinner or not, canapés, also known as hors d'oeuvres or even finger foods, are a fun way to feed hungry guests. Here, a few guidelines before passing around these petite bites.

What types of finger foods to serve at a wedding: Anything, really! Whether you want to serve bacon-stuffed figs, spicy chicken satays, a mini cup of ceviche, or good 'ol cheeseburger sliders, the menu is up to you and your caterer. Be warned, though: You should choose foods that are neat and easy to pick up and eat — no one likes to mess themselves up during a party. Whatever you do decide, they should be small enough to be devoured in one bite and clean enough to not stain your friends and family's wedding-ready attire.

When to serve finger foods: Canapés are more commonly served as appetizers during the cocktail hour, before guests take a seat at their assigned tables. They should be served by waiters or waitresses on trays so your friends and family can move around easily and keep the conversation going.

On a tight budget? Consider hosting a cocktail party-style reception so you can serve finger foods as the main course — but make sure keep the bites coming so guests don't start chasing down waiters for an extra slider or sushi roll. Consult your caterer to come up with endlessly delicious ideas!

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