For most guests, the wedding cocktail hour is the best, most delicious part of the entire celebration. After all, those 60-plus minutes following the ceremony are a chance for guests to mix and mingle while sipping cocktails and sampling a wide variety of foods.
The cocktail hour also sets the tone for the rest of the evening and warms guests up for the reception. Plus, the atmosphere is usually more relaxed and laid-back, which means couples have an opportunity to get creative with the cocktail-hour menu and choose dishes that really let their personalities come through.
One of our favorite hors d’oeuvre ideas is to serve small, bite-size versions of your favorite foods, like sliders, corn dogs, or even pizza. It’s also the perfect time to be adventurous and serve less-familiar dishes—think: appetizer-size portions of foods you love that might be a bit too bold a choice for the main course. You’ll also want to impress your guests with surprising, unexpected food presentations. For example, instead of serving mac ’n cheese in ramekins, you could deep-fry a bite-size portion and serve it on a lollipop stick.
So, if you’re planning your cocktail-hour menu and need some inspiration, we've got you covered. Here are 17 of our favorite, most creative hors d’oeuvres and finger foods we’ve seen to give you some serious wedding appetizer ideas and inspiration.