20 Wedding Appetizer Ideas Any Guest Will Love
Food is an important factor in every event, especially weddings. As guests are expected to spend hours celebrating this occasion, it's only natural to serve quality and delicious food that will blow their minds away.
As a wedding appetizer is typically the first bite your guests will take, you will want to make a good impression.
Luckily, there are hundreds of great wedding appetizers, from the simplest to more complex ones. Not to mention that you can also serve appetizers from different cuisines around the world and give your wedding guests a more international taste.
In this article, we bring you 20 wedding appetizer ideas that will put your entire wedding menu on another level!
- Serve different types of appetizers at your wedding, divided into cold and hot appetizers.
- Ensure your guests have adequate drinks for appetizers like nachos or sushi.
- Provide vegan or vegetarian appetizer options for guests who don't eat meat.
What Are Wedding Appetizers?
Wedding appetizers, also known as hors d'oeuvre, are food that is first served to guests at weddings.
Of course, these finger foods can be served at other events, not just weddings, so you can see them at graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, and corporate events.
That said, they are typically served before the main meal, while hors d'oeuvre are served much earlier, but many people are now using these two terms as synonyms.
Depending on the type of wedding and its schedule, appetizers can be served during the day or evening, but they will always come first before any other food is served to guests.
Think of wedding appetizers as tasty bites during the wedding cocktail hour or at the wedding reception. Appetizers aim to fuel you with a bit of energy to be able to enjoy the event and get ready for upcoming meal courses.
P.S. Make sure you don't serve too much food too early, as you want to leave your guests hungry for more!
Best Wedding Appetizer Ideas for Cocktail Hour
If you're struggling with deciding between so many wedding appetizer ideas, we have researched most of them to find the ones that are worth your time. Knowing how important it is that your wedding goes well, there is no need to risk with wedding appetizers.
Think about the ingredients you'd like to serve on your wedding menu before the main dish. A good idea is to serve a few vegan and vegetarian options for your guests who don't eat meat or prefer a low-calorie bite before the other courses start coming.
There are so many options on our list for you to choose from! Trust us; anything you decide to serve from the ideas below will leave your guests impressed!
1. Cream Cheese Sandwiches With Anchovy
Who doesn't love cream cheese? Now, serving just cream cheese sandwiches at your wedding might be too plain, so consider adding anchovies and green pepper with just a hint of lemon juice and salt.
Keep in mind that this appetizer will be salty because of anchovies, so serve it when you're certain that your guests are close to water and wine to quench their thirst.
2. Red Pepper Salad
Salads are perfect for appetizers because they will not boost your guests' energy just when you need them. For a new take on stuffed peppers, serve cherry tomatoes with goat cheese and basil leaves on the bottom part of a red pepper. Spice it with pepper, salt, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar.
Be careful not to add too many cherry tomatoes, as the red pepper must stay visible for the effect! This vibrant color combination will stand out from any other appetizer you decide to serve at your wedding.
3. Cherry Tomato Bruschettas
Italian food is considered one of the best in the world for a good reason! Bruschetta is basically a grilled bread, typically rubbed with garlic, olive oil, and salt, and the great thing about it is that you can top it with anything that comes to mind.
For weddings, we recommend adding cherry tomatoes or regular tomatoes chopped really nicely with basil or parsley leaves.
If you prefer, you can add goat cheese or cream cheese to this combination as well for a richer flavor! For meat lovers, consider adding a bit of grilled bacon and a bit of mozzarella or parmesan cheese.
4. Grilled Chicken Salad
If you want to offer your wedding guests a salad with more protein sources, stop looking! Grilled chicken salad can be served with onion, green salad, tomato, and grilled vegetables such as zucchini or eggplant.
Consider adding a sour cream sauce next to it for those guests who love to dip their chicken into tasty dips. Serve tiny pieces of chicken to avoid getting your guests stuffed with only a first-course meal.
This way, you are leaving the sauce as optional, which can almost count as two appetizers!
5. Goat Cheese Salad
A good piece of goat cheese can really make a difference to salads. Its rich flavor and texture give salads a more complex look and taste, so they are perfect for weddings.
Add avocados, red onion, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and a few drops of lime juice for a perfect combination!
If you don't like any of the ingredients mentioned above, the good news about salads is that they're completely customizable. Add grilled vegetables or chicken cubes to provide variety for your guests.
6. Fried Mushroom Bites
If you're tired of seeing stuffed mushrooms at weddings but still love that heavenly taste of mushrooms, these fried bites will leave you speechless!
These fried mushroom bites can be served with your favorite dipping sauces, such as tomato sauce or Dijon mustard. Needless to say, they look so cute when served on a plate, and their aroma will spread quickly across the table.
As a perfect solution to one bite appetizer, you will get so many compliments for these mushroom bites!
7. Egg Rolls With Spinach And Cheese
Everybody knows that a good wedding menu must consist of a combination of hot and cold appetizers. Cold appetizers are typically much easier to decide on, so here's an idea that's a crowd favorite!
Egg rolls with spinach and cheese are both delicious and healthy. These roll-ups are a great appetizer for your vegetarian guests as well, but trust us: nobody will say no to this treat!
Just make sure that the rolls are not too big so that guests gobble on them carelessly throughout the wedding cocktail hour!
8. Cheese Plate
If there is one thing you cannot have too much on your wedding menu, that's cheese! A nice-looking cheese plate is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser at any wedding!
Mix different cheeses, such as Brie, blue cheese, cheddar, flavored cheese, and feta, to provide varieties and make your plate look stunning.
Add almonds, grapes, dried apricots, or marmalade to your cheese plate for a real gourmet experience.
Think about serving sesame sticks or salty crackers for a perfect refreshing snack!
9. Fruit Salad
Fruit salads are delicious and a real energy booster! You can combine a variety of fruits, from figs to cranberries and watermelon. Fruit flavors typically go really well with each other, so adding a salad to this is just a logical next step.
You can even add a cranberry sauce to your fruit salad for a twist that nobody expects from a fruit salad.
Season it with a bit of balsamic vinegar and decorate it with baby bell peppers and finely chopped green onion.
When serving fruit salad, keep in mind that as much as it looks low on calories, most fruits have a higher amount of sugar, so your guests could easily feel full if you serve bigger portions of your chosen fruit salad.
10. Tuna Bites
Another great protein source, tuna, is an absolute must at a wedding reception!
Slice tuna steak into smaller bites and season it with enough salt. Add any type of lettuce you want, and consider adding fresh fruit like mango or cranberry sauce as dressing on the plate.
11. Sundried Tomato Snack
If there's something that's better than cheese, it's sundried tomatoes on cream cheese bread!
The flavor of these ingredients is absolutely amazing, and all of your guests will praise it for sure. Serve the sandwiches with olive oil and a jar with more sundried tomatoes aside.
Giving people the option to prepare their own sandwich with the ingredients on a wooden chopping board is always a great idea as well!
12. Nachos With Guacamole Sauce
If you're a fan of Mexican food, and you want to share one dish with the rest of the world, that would probably be nachos with its yummy guacamole sauce, right?
Not only is this appetizer going to be super popular at your summer wedding, but it's also quite simple to prepare and doesn't require many ingredients!
Add slices of lime aside for decoration, and consider having beers nearby, as they go perfectly with nachos!
A complete must on an appetizer menu should be hummus! Its taste will not interfere with any other meals you decide to serve later, but yet - it's so flavorful!
Make sure it's served with pie bread for a full, divine experience!
If you want to go beyond just serving basic hummus, decorate it with olive oil, red pepper powder, and parsley leaves like it's suggested by Lebanese cuisine, which created this amazing dish in the first place.
14. Burrata Salad With Fresh Basil Pesto
This simple but refreshing treat is an absolute must at weddings!
You can decorate the plate how you want to, but the main idea stays the same: burrata served with basil pesto over it!
Add cherry tomatoes, oil, salt, and chopped onion for a perfect salad.
Obviously, you can serve burrata just with tomato, but we think that fresh basil pesto gives it that unexpected twist.
15. Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup
What type of appetizer menu list would this be without a soup? Pumpkin soups are great for fall and winter weddings, and if you're looking for an alternative for spring and summer, choose tomato soup!
You won't go wrong with either of these two. If you choose the pumpkin variation, decorate it with parmesan cheese and pumpkin seeds!
Sometimes, a creamy soup is all you need to prepare your stomach for a flavor-rich experience of several courses and also be able to show your moves on the dance floor!
16. Shrimp Soup
Another soup on our list! Shrimp salad is an absolute must if you want to serve seafood as well.
Decorate the creamy soup with one shrimp on top for a heavenly-looking plate!
Parsley, basil, or any other type of Provencal herbs will go well with this soup.
17. Mini Avocado Toasts
The great thing about avocado toast is that you can add to it whatever you like.
Cranberries? Smoked Salmon? Bell Peppers? Grilled cheese? Black olives? The list is endless, but the taste is delicious!
Serving avocado toast before the main course at a wedding is a safe bet, no doubt about that.
This could be a perfect snack for your vegan guests as well, as avocados are the unofficial favorite foods for every person who tries them!
18. Green Salad With Caesar Dressing
Caesar salad might usually be served with chicken, but it's your wedding, so you can make your own rules!
Serve fresh baby spinach with tomato, dress it with vinegar, and add small cups of Caesar dressing aside.
Trust us, this appetizer might look simple, but its flavor will make up for it in a second!
Okay, sushi may not be your first choice when considering your wedding menu, but you should seriously give it a shot!
Why? They are small bites, offer the perfect balance of calories and light food, work well for both winter and summer months, and can be prepared in large batches!
Serve your sushi with some teriyaki sauce for your guests to get a full take on Japanese cuisine!
20. Fried Chicken With Spicy Sauce
Another atypical idea for an appetizer at your wedding, but who doesn't love fried chicken?
This appetizer will leave room for other courses, but will give your guests enough energy to have fun at your wedding!
As much as it's not a typical appetizer, it's a refreshing treat at a wedding venue, and it's probably one of the favorite finger foods of most of your guests anyway!
You can serve as many appetizers as you want during your cocktail hour. We hope that this list has inspired you to even consider ideas that were not on our list.
For instance, you can serve sliced sweet potatoes with sour cream and chopped green onion, crab meat, stuffed mushrooms, or ground beef.
The options for wedding hors d'oeuvres are truly limitless! If you're a fan of Mac n Cheese, you can even serve them!
It's your wedding venue, and the serving platters must be adjusted to your preferences.
Whichever appetizer you choose on your wedding day, make sure that serving delicious food is your priority, and everyone will be happy!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Good Appetizers to Serve at a Wedding?
If you're not sure which appetizer would be delicious to serve at your wedding, start with the foods you enjoy eating and build a meal out of it. For instance, if you love avocado, consider serving avocado toast or nachos with guacamole sauce. If you love peppers, consider serving stuffed peppers or red pepper salad. Also, consider which food goes better with a sit-down dinner and which with a buffet.
What Are Wedding Appetizers Called?
Wedding appetizers are also known as wedding hors d'oeuvres. It's a meal course that is served first, before any other meal at a wedding. An appetizer can be almost anything, from a cocktail shrimp to tomato soup shooters. The only goal is to serve delicious food in small bites to your guests so they can have a delicious time at your wedding.
What Is the Simplest Type of Appetizer?
There are many simple ideas for an appetizer you can serve at your own wedding, from cherry tomato and mozzarella salad to bacon bites and fruit salads. There are many ideas for you to consider for your wedding, and the best advice someone can give you is to combine different types of appetizers for all your guests to have something they will love.