Simple finger foods and no-mess appetizers are a great addition to any bridal suite or men’s locker room. While the bridal party is getting dressed, fixing their hair and trading fun stories, provide a selection of easy hors d’oeuvres that don’t run the risk of ruining their dresses or tuxedos. The bridal party has a long day ahead of them, and getting ready is just the beginning.
If you’re going to setup a plate of appetizers in advance, opt for the cold plates first. If they sit there for awhile, they won’t cool down and taste bad. Layer a slice or ball of mozzarella with a bit of basil and a cherry tomato for a quick, miniature “salad.” Cubes of cheese and chunks of deli meats are filling and mess-free. Even bite-sized wrap sandwiches are a great idea, just go easy on the condiments--you don’t want greasy mayonnaise staining the groom’s tie. Fruit skewers can sit out for awhile without going bad, as well. Pita bread and hummus is a great option since it’s a tasty dip that’s thick enough to not spill.
Once the bridal party is somewhat settled and able to take a few minutes to eat, provide warm appetizers. Stay away from sauces and gravies. Miniature tartlets or quiche are a great option since they won’t fall apart and you can just pop one in your mouth. Warmed up brie can be served with thick, hearty crackers. Small stuffed mushrooms are also crowd-pleasers.
Don’t forget to include drinks for your bridal party to sip on. Water, of course, is necessary, especially when everyone is running around and getting thirsty. Champagne or wine should also be provided for the bridal party, and if a bartender is available early, the entire bridal party should be able to start ordering drinks--alcoholic or non-alcoholic--as soon as possible. If you plan on putting wine in the suites, make sure it’s white wine--red wine on a white dress is a terrible look for a bride. Double-check ages and identification to make sure you’re not serving anyone underage.
Make sure that the bridal suites have plenty of napkins and forks. Club soda should be close by in case someone spills or drips on their clothing and has to clean it quickly. Also, double-check for food allergies, especially if the dishes being served include nuts, which can be highly allergenic.
As a full-time writer in New York's Hudson Valley, Lindsay Pietroluongo's nightlife column and photos have appeared regularly in the "Poughkeepsie Journal" since 2007. Additional publications include "Chronogram," the "New Paltz Sojourn," "About Town" newspaper and "Outsider" magazine. Pietroluongo graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in English.