Here's What to Feed the Bridal Party (and Yourself!) As You Prep For Your Wedding Day

Being hangry is not an option when you’re walking down the aisle

Updated 06/18/17
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Photo by Chris J. Evans

We know there is an unbelievable amount to consider on your wedding day. There’s a lot of excitement and even more to do. Our most important piece of advice? Don’t forget to eat.

Wobbling down the aisle because you’re lightheaded—or worse, stamping down it because you’re hangry—will not feel good. We rounded up some of our favorite hors d’oeuvres and appetizers to serve as inspiration for your day-of, getting ready with your girls menu. We get that some crews will want to keep things light, while others will want to indulge (we’ve got it all covered).

Whether you’re getting a caterer, cooking something up, or ordering in, you’ll be glad for the fuel, so you (and your bridal party) can be energized and happy the whole day through.

And P.S: don’t forget to hydrate, too. You have a long, spirited night ahead.

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Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

Courtesy of by Chloe.

Everyone loves avocado toast. Sure, it’s a little “basic” but maybe we’re a little basic, too. This one from by Chloe. is particularly creamy (and pretty). Your healthy friends will appreciate the good avocado fat and the rest will appreciate the carbs. It’s the best of both worlds for everyone in your world.

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Asparagus Tartine

Asparagus Tartine

J. Kenji López; Courtesy of Serious Eats

If you’re down for some kind of toast situation but want something more unique, try this asparagus tartine. It’s bright, refreshing, crunchy, and creamy, thanks to quickly blanched and shocked asparagus and smooth ricotta cheese.

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Fresh Ricotta on Its Own

Fresh Ricotta

Michael Tulipan; Courtesy of Miss Ada

If your party isn’t into the tartine, then just give them the ricotta on its own for dipping with whatever they please. It’s a delicious, protein-packed snack—and looks glorious on a plate when drizzled with some olive oil like this one. (And you can provide some good, crusty bread for those who do want the carbs.)

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Crudite

Crudite

Daniel Krieger; Courtesy of the Nomad

No, crudite definitely doesn’t have to be boring—just look at this one from the NoMad. It’s gorgeous, colorful, and served with a delectable, creamy dressing. The great thing about veggies is that they are crumb-free. Plus, if you have multiple dips (just wait until later), they can be multi-purpose.

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Babaganoush

Babaganoush

Michael Tulipan; Courtesy of Miss Ada

Speaking of dips, any pre-game is better with baba on hand. Use it for your veggies or toasted pita triangles. It’s a great way to get some good energy without filling you up too much. Ditto for hummus of all varieties. Maybe skip the garlic one, for obvious reasons.

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Legit Salads

Made Nice Salads

Ariel Kanter

If your crew is of the salad-eating variety, get them a salad that actually tastes good and is balanced with proteins and veggies and whole grains—like these ones from Made Nice, the casual but refined restaurant by chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara of Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad. There is a wide variety of super hearty salads on the menu, like the Khao Salad with hanger steak a la plancha, roasted broccoli, crispy rice, Parmesan, lemon, chili, and crispy shallots. And if you’re getting married in NYC, did we mention they deliver?

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Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Salad

Getty Images

Oh man, do we love the watermelon salad from Fornino. The cold chunks of watermelon are just sweet enough (and hydrating!) while the ricotta salata adds a salty punch. A few slices of almonds? Don’t mind if we do. This will be a hit—and far more popular than those tired Edible Arrangements.

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Fried Chickpeas

Fried Chickpeas

Bigstock

These tasty little chickpeas are packed with protein and easy to pop in your mouth even after your lipstick has been applied. We love the ones from La Vara, but you can find them packaged from a bunch of different brands. To keep your hands clean, you can go for the “regular” flavor, but if you want to live on the edge, spiced ones are really addictive.

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Green Smoothie

by Chloe. Green Smoothie

Courtesy of by Chloe.

Of all the wedding planners we spoke to on this topic, the most highly suggested item was a green smoothie. Top NYC planner Melissa McNeeley suggests one made with avocado, cashews, coconut, water, and frozen mangoes. But if you want to pick one up, try the one from by Chloe.—it’s is as delicious as it is convenient.

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Green Smoothie Bowl

by Chloe. Smoothie Bowl

Courtesy of by Chloe.

And of course, nothing is better than your favorite food served in a bowl. We love that smoothie bowls are satisfying, crunchy, tasty—and contained. Plus, a bowl feels more like a meal and can be topped with all sorts of goodies, like almond butter, granola, fruit, and the like.

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Crunchy Cauliflower with Ghee

Crunchy Cauliflower with Ghee

Ariel Kanter

Perfect for your dairy-sensitive guests and vegetarians, this cauliflower dish from Babacool contains activated charcoal, ghee (aka clarified butter), and antioxidant-rich goji berries. It may sound too (healthy and) good to be true, but it is seriously delicious with plenty of smoke and a lot of crunch.

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Chick-Fil-A

Chick-Fil-A Wedding Late-Night Snack

Ashley Seawell

Yep, we said it. Haley Harper Kelly from A Charleston Bride says that many of her clients indulge in some serious fried chicken and biscuits on the day of. Needless to say, we’re moving to the South.

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Mini Meatballs

Mini Meatballs

Emily and Matt Clifton; Courtesy of Serious Eats

So, you want some protein but you aren’t entirely ready to chow down on fried chicken? Try these hoisin-glazed mini meatballs. They’re sweet, tangy, and easy to pop right in your mouth with a toothpick—your makeup artist will thank you.

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Sliders

Slider Burgers

Asia Coladner

You should never underestimate the energizing powers of good red meat. Sliders, like these from Analogue, are the perfect bite-sized snack. These might get in the way of a good lipstick but baby burgers are always a hit, especially when eaten in silk bathrobes during your blow-out.

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Arancini

Fried Rice Balls

Sara Massarotto

To continue this indulgent theme, why not have a few arancini, as well? Fried rice balls—these are from Spaghetti Incident—are poppable and super satisfying. Gobble up a few during your pedicure and you’ll be good to go.

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Quiche

Quiche

Daniel Gritzer; Courtesy of Serious Eats

The great thing about a quiche is that it’s delicious when cold, room temperature, or hot, which is ideal for when wedding prep time can take hours. It can also be customized to the tastes of your bridal party. Vegetarians? Keep it to cheese and veggies. Carnivores? Go heavy on the bacon. Vegans? Meh, maybe try something else.

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Frittata

Frittata

Emily and Matthew Clifton; Courtesy of Serious Eats

If you can manage to get a fresh frittata for your crew, it can be a lifesaving snack. It’s got the protein, isn’t very messy, and won’t be too bloating, since that is often a concern. Like the quiche, frittatas are easily customizable. While it doesn’t have that lovely, buttery crust, it will still satisfy your need for something warm and comforting.

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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Vicky Wasik; Courtesy of Serious Eats

While shrimp cocktail is perfectly good on its own, this version takes it up a notch with a sweet and tangy sauce of ketchup, tomato puree, plenty of citrusy lime juice, and fresh herbs. As a tip, if you’re paranoid about your hands smelling shrimpy, just rub them with some lemon. Problem solved.

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Quinoa Taco Salad

Quinoa Taco Salad

Courtesy of by Chloe.

For a little more Mexican influence, go for a taco salad. It’ll give you the best of both worlds: some salad if you want something light and tortilla strips to soothe those salty, crunchy cravings. Agave-lime vinaigrette doesn’t hurt, either.

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Baked Brie en Croute

Baked Brie en Croute

Emily and Matt Clifston; Courtesy of Serious Eats

There is nothing prettier than this baked brie en croute from Serious Eats, though, we’re not quite sure if it’s more enjoyable to look at than to eat. A few cracker scoops of this warm and creamy brie paired with a tart fig jam and your team will be ready to dance down the aisle.

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Fig and Goat Cheese Salad

Fig and Goat Cheese Salad

J. Kenji López; Courtesy of Serious Eats

Speaking of figs, this is a great and balanced plate to serve to your bridal party. Crunchy marcona almonds, salty goat cheese, and sweet figs are a great combination. A bit of hot honey rounds out the salad with some warmth. This one will taste just as good cold as it will room temperature, so leave it out for the ladies to pick at throughout the afternoon.

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Meats and Cheese

Meats and Cheese

Marili Forastieri; Courtesy of Altesi Downtown Cured Meats & Cheeses

Okay, so we covered a fair amount of cheese but let’s not forget about cheese’s best friend: meat. Keep the party energized and not super bloaty with plenty of prosciutto and sopressata. If you want to throw in some toast triangles or hearty crackers, you most definitely should.

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Doughnuts

We covered you pretty well with savory foods, but what about your guests who want something sweet? Or something breakfasty? Well, there’s truly no better option than a few great doughnuts. While we’ll never turn our noses up at a good old glazed Dunkin’, try finding some that are as fresh as you—like those from 7th Avenue Doughnut Shop in Brooklyn.

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Spiced Nuts

Spiced Nuts

Daniel Gritzer; Courtesy of Serious Eats

Okay, now it’s snack time. If your team has had their fill of breakfast and lunch options, you want to make sure you have a lot of little snacks for munching until it’s go-time. Forego boring trail mix for a bowl of spiced nuts. Here are three versions, each more addictive than the last.

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Spiced Popcorn

Spiced Popcorn

Brent Cline

Same goes for popcorn. Skip the air-popped stuff and get something with some extra flavor. Try this version from Distilled, which is topped with a special “magic dust.” With a little research, we found out it’s a combination of nutritional yeast, sugar, garlic powder, sea salt, cumin, and gochuaru (which is sort of like a smoky Korean paprika).

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Cheesy Puffs

Fuller Foods Cheese Puffs

Courtesy of Fuller Foods

Sometimes, you just want some comfort food and Cheetos are definitely high on our list. But these are some cheesy puffs you can feel a little better about. Made by Fuller Foods, they’re free of bad additives and are made with Bob’s Red Mill corn and 100% real cheese. No preservatives, either. Fair warning: they’ll still stain your fingers, so be prepared with some emergency wet wipes.

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Granola

Granola

Tyler Darden

Granola is a great snack while you’re gearing up for the party. But instead of guzzling granola that’s full of sugar and preservatives, go for a small-batch, thoughtfully made brand like Hudson Henry Baking Co. Better yet, pair it with some creamy Greek yogurt and some fruit. Parfaits make a pretty and satisfying snack for the team.

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All the Snacks, Ever

Snacks for Your Bridal Party

@mouthfoods via Instagram

If you want to provide your bridal party with all the snacks they could ever want, you should really just order a big package from Mouth. Mouth has long been a favorite for beautifully packaged, well-sourced food items, from wagyu beef jerky to sweet corn chips produced from a third-generation farmer. If you know your crew is going to be munchy, order a snack box and present everything on a pretty tray for everyone to enjoy.

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Ginger Chews

Reed's Ginger Chews

Courtesy of Amazon

No matter what you decide to feed your bridal party and yourself, you better bet that there’s going to be some nerve-induced indigestion (or fried chicken-induced). For that, we eat Reed’s Ginger Chews, our secret to digestive success. They’re packed with spicy ginger to reduce inflammation and soothe your tummy. We buy them by the pound, and you should, too.

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