Good Finger Foods for Weddings

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A standard wedding might feature a cheese plate with a few passed hors d'oeuvres, followed by the traditional plated or buffet chicken or steak, but there's nothing standard about your wedding. Instead of serving a standard dinner during your wedding reception, host a cocktail reception that features a number of delectable finger foods paired with a signature cocktail or glass of wine.

In the Miniature

Start planning your wedding finger food menu by thinking about your favorite food, whether it's a cheeseburger, fish and chips or pizza. These aren't typical wedding foods, but with a little creativity and solid culinary technique, your guests will be fighting over the trays. For example, serve a miniature sirloin cheddar burger with bacon aioli on a homemade whole-grain bun or a toothpick-sized skewer of lamb meatballs and cheese-stuffed tortellini. Skip any foods that are fried or messy sauces -- they're better for football parties than wedding receptions. Other miniature finger food options include mini baked macaroni and cheese bites, small red potatoes stuffed with sour cream and chives, and tiny lobster rolls.

Mixing Formal and Casual

Wedding planner John Karangis tells Glamour magazine that your guests will likely want elegant food, but they don't necessarily want formal food. For example, he suggests serving a lobster corn dog topped with a dollop of tarragon mustard sauce. A faux pizza also fits the bill -- top a whole-grain crostini with a slice of fresh tomato, a cut of pork belly and a slice of buffalo mozzarella cheese. Make sure that your chosen finger foods are filling enough to take the place of dinner, and plan that each guest will eat at least 10 pieces of the foods you choose. Karangis also suggests topping a small cheddar waffle with a piece of chicken and balsamic-maple syrup.

For the Vegetarians

You might want to poll your guests for less-common dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free and vegan, but *ensure that at least a quarter of your appetizers are vegetarian-friendly, Karangis says. Choose a veggie-filled, bite-sized quiche or a fava bean falafel in a homemade pita. If you choose to display the finger foods on stationary dishes, place menu cards, noting the ingredients in each dish so guests can choose wisely. If you have butler-passed hors d'oeuvres, ensure that each waiter knows which foods fit dietary needs. Add a stationary cheese-and-fruit display for easy-to-access finger foods.

A Sweet Finish

Don't forget to leave your guests with something sweet, other than traditional wedding cake. Fill premade phyllo cups with lemon curd or chocolate mousse -- or a variety of both so guests can choose. Add a number of petit fours and chocolate-covered nuts for an easy bite of food. Finish it off with a creative bite-sized dessert, such as a miniature s'more, which is made by topping a broiled marshmallow with a square of graham cracker and dark chocolate.