16 Fun Wedding Food Ideas From Real Weddings

Add a little whimsy to your menu

Couple holding a cocktail with cotton candy on top

Jenna Joseph Photography

As much as food trends continue to impress more and more each year, wedding food can still have a negative connotation. Guests with low expectations may envision dry chicken cutlets and under-salted steamed veggies on their plate. Let's face it, wedding food can get a bad rap.

Luckily, it doesn't have to be that way. If you want to blow your guests away with your menu, perhaps the first step is to bend the rules and have a bit of fun! There's no etiquette book that says you have to serve certain foods in keeping with age-old wedding traditions, so don't be afraid to spice it up a bit.

Instead, consider the kind of food you enjoy in any setting—what do you really want to eat on the best day of your life? Skip the huge, fondant-covered cake and replace it with cupcakes in your favorite flavors if you prefer. Or, if you want to avoid frosting altogether, opt for pies instead. Talk to your caterer about ways to make traditional dishes more fun, or opt for self-service food bars to get the party started. Bite-sized food is always fun and is definitely not reserved for just children, so even at an adults-only reception, one-bite passed hors d'oeuvres will be a huge hit. It's all about getting creative and finding something both you and your guests will love—the possibilities are endless.

From your cocktail hour to the cake-cutting, any menu item that adds whimsy and fun to an already exciting day should be embraced. Read on for some of our favorite fun food ideas, inspired by real weddings.

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Pretzel and Beer Bar

Beer, Cheese, and Pretzel Wedding Reception Food Station

Virgil Bunao

Anything that combines booze and good food will be a crowd-pleaser, but this option will likely surprise your guests as well. Pair an array of beers with assorted pretzel varieties for a food bar experience so fun that it might have your guests forgetting about the actual dinner.

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Mini cupcakes on a wedding display

 Cat Mayer Studio

As wedding traditions become increasingly flexible, bending to personal taste and style, we see more and more couples choosing to swap out the multi-tiered wedding cake for a playful assortment of cupcakes and smaller desserts. This might still garner some critical commentary, but as long as you and your soon-to-be spouse are happy with your choices, that's all that matters.

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Cake Pops

Cake pops on a dessert table

 Emilia Jane Photography

Cake pops are sure to be a hit among kids and adults alike. Made up of crumbled cake, frosting, and typically, covered in candy melts, cake pops are delicious. Plus, they blend beautifully with any dessert table color scheme you've got going on.

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Flower Cookies

Rebecca Yale Photography

If you're opting to forgo cake or cupcakes altogether, gorgeous cookies may be your go-to option. Cookies don't always have to look plain—they can be decorated with stunning florals or fruits, along with custom watercolors and designs. Plus, with cookies on the dessert table, your guests have a simpler option for after-dinner sweets before hitting the dance floor.

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Mini Grilled Cheese

Mini tomato soup with grilled cheese

Summer Street Photography 

In a way, all mini food could be considered super fun, but something as nostalgic and comforting as a gooey grilled cheese is undeniably enjoyable. Pair them with mini cups of tomato soup for even more bite-sized fun.

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Shelves filled with donuts at wedding

 The Grovers Photography

Don't assume doughnuts are out of the question just because your wedding isn't at brunch time. In fact, the impact of doughnuts on your dessert table will be even greater if your guests show up expecting traditional dinner, cake, and dancing. Plus, they don't require a fork or plate. Just pair them with cute, customized napkins, and you're good to go.

07 of 16

Doughnut Holes

Lemon Cheesecake Doughnut holes

How Sweet It Is

While regular-sized doughnuts may be the perfect treat to deck out a display, mini versions should be considered as well. Doughnut holes may be considered unconventional for a wedding, or any other special occasion, but they're super fun and require little commitment. Plus, you can opt for a variety of flavors to offer something sweet for every person on your guest list to enjoy.

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Milk and Cookies

Milk and cookies set up for a wedding

Cavin Elizabeth Photography

The most successful "fun" foods are ones that pair whimsy with nostalgia—and no set up does this better than a milk and cookies bar. Serve grown-up cookie flavors like almond crunch or lavender shortbread with a range of milk options, from two percent to chocolate and soy.

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Wagon cart with popcorn for a wedding

Mint Photography

Whether it's between hors d'oeuvres and the first course, or between the entrée and the cake cutting, there will always be a few guests on the hunt for a snack. A great way to keep everyone fed all night is to have snacks on hand. Assorted popcorn (think: the classic Chicago trio of cheese, caramel, and butter) is the perfect solution.

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Homemade Pie

Various sizes of pies on display

Whitney Neal Studios

Perhaps the best part of serving pie at your wedding is how personal it can be. There's a hominess to pies that almost requires you to include a nod to a secret family recipe. It's a great option for further personalizing your reception and making special people in your life feel included.

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Mini Tacos and Margaritas

Mini tacos and margaritas on a serving tray

Birds of a Feather Photography

There are few things that scream party like tacos and margaritas, so why not bring the fiesta to your reception? Guests will love the creativity of passed mini tacos paired with tiny margaritas. Plus, there's so much room to play with taco flavors, even offering a meatless option.

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Chocolate-Covered Bacon

Skewers with bacon covered in chocolate

Nikki Closser Photography

Of all things you could serve on a skewer, this might just win the award for most delicious—and the most surprising for your guests. If you're a bacon-obsessed couple, you might as well go all in. Sweet, smoky, and salty—all the best flavors all in one.

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Mini Ice Cream Cones

Mini ice cream cones served at a wedding

 Erin McGinn

Who says ice cream cones are just for the kids? While this is a great option for the little ones at your reception, adults will love it just as much. Add a bit of nostalgia with mini ice cream cones in a variety of flavors for some summer fun.

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Cotton Candy

Pink cotton candy in martini glasses

Eva Lin Douglass

Raise sugar levels with your favorite childhood candy. Cotton candy gets a grown-up boost when you use it as a garnish for cocktails or let it float atop your champagne coupe. And if you want to update the self-serve candy station trend for customized party favors, set up the candy on a bar cart. Include your favorite old-time candy and cute decorations for a super-personal, memorable feature at your reception.

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Macaroni and Cheese Lollipops

Mac and cheese lollipops in a serving tray

 Michelle Lindsay

Chances are, the majority of your guests love macaroni and cheese, but why not take the homestyle dish to a new, unique level? These macaroni and cheese lollipops are fried to golden perfection for easy eating while on the move at a reception.

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Mini Churros

Mini churros with ice cream on a tray

 The Bold Americana

Take a unique spin on dessert and ditch all of the traditional options. We love the decadent look of mini churros paired with vanilla ice cream and dulce de leche for a fun dessert. Or, play with the flavors and utilize this concept as a savory snack. It's all up to you.

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