These delicious summer wedding appetizers are perfect for fair weather weddings and celebrations – they’re light, refreshing and cool. They can be served as a pre-dinner cocktail hour or at any point in the evening.
One of the best ways to keep your guest occupied during that time of transition between ceremony and reception is with food. Allow guest to pass the time by mingling over cocktails and appetizers.
Now that you have chosen a location and selected a theme, it’s time to put together a menu full of delicious dishes that match your vision perfectly. Turns out, food is incredibly important to most people.
In fact, according to recent surveys conducted by the National Association of Wedding Professionals, guests ranked “food” as one of three main reasons they attended weddings—along with family and friends.
Wedding Catering Tips
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, make sure there will be ample seating space for everyone before making final decisions regarding catering services. Otherwise, you may find yourself running around frantically trying to locate extra chairs just hours before the festivities begin.
When selecting caterers, consider these guidelines:
1) Make sure they offer menus tailored specifically to your needs. They should understand what type of foods appeal to you personally, and include those ingredients on their list of offerings.
2) Ask questions and get references from other couples whose weddings you’ve been invited to attend. This gives you insight into any potential problems that might arise. It also helps you identify vendors who provide exceptional customer service.
3) Be aware of seasonal availability; this means that when your wedding falls within peak eating times, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, don’t expect great deals. Instead, choose a date far removed from both holidays.
4) When selecting a vendor, look beyond price alone. Ask about labor rates, delivery charges and set-up fees. These costs add up quickly, especially if you decide to serve multiple courses. Remember that you only pay once, but must factor in additional expenses every single time you host another meal.
5) Do not underestimate how much work goes into preparing a large feast. For example, many restaurants are unable to accommodate more than six to eight pieces per person. And even then, they typically ask clients to split orders between themselves. Therefore, you’ll need to plan accordingly. You can save money by ordering smaller portions, but remember that some items simply won’t fit onto plates small enough to feed two.
6) Keep in mind that certain types of cuisine take longer to prepare than others. A buffet requires little preparation time, whereas a sit down dinner requires lots of hands. Also, remember that cooking takes place over several days, so do your best to select recipes that can be prepared well ahead of time.
7) Finally, think about whether or not you want your own chef or would prefer using a professional kitchen staff. While hiring chefs is certainly costly, you’ll enjoy having control over all aspects of the event. Plus, chefs often come equipped with experience handling large parties. However, if you’d rather leave everything to someone else, be sure to check out local culinary schools. Many students earn college credit for working part-time jobs in high-end kitchens.
Best summer wedding appetizers
Once you’ve got that taken care of, you’ll want to start planning your menu. For more casual summer weddings, some opt to skip a formal sit down dinner and offer heavy appetizers instead. You could try one of these classic options:
- Watermelon & Cucumber Salad
- Avocado Gazpacho
- Grilled Shrimp Cocktail
- Crab Louis
- Chicken Wings
- Fried Pickles
- Hot Artichoke Dip
- Sausage Cheese Balls
- Lemon Pepper Popcorn
Or scroll down to browse some updated, more trendy summer wedding appetizer choices.
This Guacamole Bruschetta is made up of avocados, tomatoes, fresh herbs and a dash of lime juice. It’s a recipe that can be made ahead of time and created in bulk!
Cucumber Salad Bite
Love how refreshing these Cucumber Salad bites look. Make it fun by offering different dipping sauces or keep it simple and just offer one.
Spinach, Pear, Pecan, and Cranberry Pinwheels
These pinwheels are fruity, crunch and completely poppable, the makings of a great appetizer.
If you’re looking for a more substantial appetizer I recommend this Crab Martini. It can be served cool and is great to hold your guest over if your photos run long between the ceremony and reception.
Caprese Salad Kabobs Recipe
LOVE Caprese salad, especially when it’s on a stick.
This recipe is built only 4 main ingredients and looks delicious. Cut it up into small wedges for an appetizer or serve it with larger wedges and a salad.
Another substantial, fun recipe is this Italian Stuffed Sandwich stuffed with two meats!
I can only say yum. Ask for paper-thin slices of meat at the deli counter. This recipe can be made even easier with paper thin slices of meat and pre-sliced mango.
These zucchini rolls are filled with spicy goat cheese, fresh lime juice, zest, and mint. They’re little poppable bites full of favors.
These Shrimp Crostini bites require only three simple steps.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our other post with more awesome wedding appetizer recipe ideas.