Catering can make or break your wedding. Really great food will have a lasting impression on your guests, both making your wedding night more fun and serving as a memory guests will be talking about for years to come. And wowing your guests' taste buds starts before they've even found their seats for dinner — it really begins with what you're serving at cocktail hour.
Whether you're opting for a wide variety of bite-sized dishes to share some of your favorite flavors, or are keeping to a culinary theme, a spread of great hors d'oeuvres is a tasty way to get the party going! We've asked caterers from across the country to share some of their favorite creative hors d'oeuvres that will have your mouth watering.
Pigs in a blanket need not apply!
Topped with a variety of pestos, caramelized onions, pickled mustard seeds, and charcuterie, these bites from Catering by Design in Denver pack a flavorful punch.
Your guests will love the punch of flavor from this sip of green garlic soup, topped with chive blossoms, by San Francisco's Left Coast Catering.
Smoked Pork Tacos
Tacos aren't going anywhere! These, by Taste Catering & Event Planning in San Francisco, combine Kalua pork, pickled green papaya slaw, and scallion aioli in a taro root taco — no one will notice they're gluten-free!
How playful are these vegetarian garden pots by Chicago's Feast and Imbibe? The base is lemon curd, topped with pea purée and pumpernickel "dirt," then topped with seasonal baby vegetables (and even powdered "snow" for a winter wedding!) and paired with a shooter of rosemary vodka lemonade.
Salmon and Tuna Naruto
Prepared with cucumber instead of rice and seaweed, this roll from Boston's Above and Beyond Catering combines tuna, scallop, and salmon with a garnish of scallion and black sesame seeds.
Chicken Tostada Cone
Who doesn't love tostadas? Funky's Catering Events in Cincinnati turned them into a bite-sized treat, topped with chipotle cream.
Fresh, salty, and creamy, these roulades from Taste Catering & Event Planning feature slices of prosciutto wrapped around goat cheese and enoki mushrooms.
Elk Pastrami Sliders
These sliders put a twist on classic deli fare, mixing elk pastrami with beet kraut and Catering by Design's secret sauce.
Rhubarb-Glazed Pork Belly Bites
To really punch up the rhubarb flavor, Left Coast Catering paired these pork belly bites with a rhubarb and vodka aperitif.
Beef & Broccoli Cups
Who doesn't like Chinese food? Whether during cocktail hour or on the dance floor, this 72-hour braised short rib, which Feast and Imbibe pairs with pan-roasted broccoli and sautéed oyster mushrooms and packed in a mini to-go box, is perfect for mingling while you eat.
Clam Chowder Shooters
If you've got New England roots, you'll love Above and Beyond Catering's clam chowder shooters, each topped with a crispy clam fritter.
An entire steakhouse meal in one bite? Catering by Design did just that with a morsel of filet mignon topped with horseradish whipped potatoes.
Ahi Push Pops
It looks like watermelon, but these pops from Feast and Imbibe feature layers of tuna tartar, puffed rice, and wasabi avocado cream.
Crusted Venison Loin
Game meat is all the rage, and your guests will be swooning over Taste Catering & Event Planning's nettle-crusted venison loin, on a nest of spiral potatoes with syrah gelée and pickled mustard seed.
Not only is it fun to say, Catering by Design's falafel waffle, with kalamata olive, roasted red pepper, and crumbled cheese, puts all the flavors of a falafel plate in a single bite.
Shrimp and Sliders
From garlic shrimp with a yellow gazpacho shooter to beef sliders with pastrami and gruyere to miniature braised beef bahn mis with pickled vegetables, Funky's Catering Events is bringing serious flavor.
Mustard-Crusted Chicken Roulade
Taste Catering & Event Planning serves this chicken roulade on a wild mushroom polenta cake, topped with a dollop of rosemary chard pesto and a crispy rye berry.