Wedding Finger Food Reception Ideas

+ Tips and Ideas On How To Work Out How Much Food You Need

Wedding finger food reception idea.

Finger foods for a wedding is a great way to feed a large number of guests. It allows you to cater for more people and it enables your guests to mingle more freely, eating and chatting when they wish.

When serving finger foods for your wedding you want to find ways to save time without sacrificing the quality.

You can find many recipes such as frittatas and pizzas that can be made in one large pan and then cut into bite sized portions.

There are also many ways that readymade items can be used as toppings or fillings.

For example a good bottle of pesto can be spread on crostini and topped with a scallop, and then garnished with a fresh sprig of herb; these delightful morsels can be assembled in minutes.

There are also a variety of desserts can be used as finger food, and occasionally an entire party can be focused on them.



Planning A Buffet

When planning the wedding food menu, consider the time that is available to you and your helpers.

If you have limited time don't plan to serve many time-consuming items, such as wraps and rolls.

Instead look for finger food recipes such as whole frittatas and savory quiches which can then be cut into smaller portions.

Select dishes that can be made in advance and frozen. Serve platters of lightly cooked vegetables with dips (most vegetables can be cut up in advance and be kept in the fridge the night before).

Have a variety of hot and cold dishes.

If you are serving the finger food before a meal, make sure that these are not to filling serve just a few tasty items.

If you are serving the food for an evening party or cocktail party these can be more filling because they will be the main meal.

Serve about six or more dishes; some could be high protein based, vegetables or carbohydrates.

For dessert serve fresh fruit, chocolates, small biscuits, and small cakes.

Theme For The Buffet

You can have a theme for the wedding food such as Italian, French or Mexican or you can have a variety of foods from different countries.

The most important thing to remember is that the food should be easy to handle. Serve finger foods that can be eaten with one hand and in a couple of bites.

Do provide places for your guests to place their drinks in case they need to use their other hand for food.


Finger Buffet Food Reception Ideas

  • You should use attractive platters, plates, baskets and bowls for displaying food. The food should be presented in such a way that it looks colorful and appealing on the buffet table.

  • Fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, chilies or lemon wedges can be used to garnish foods that are not naturally bright.

  • Have someone pass around some dishes on smaller plates so that not everyone is crowding around the buffet table.

  • Refill the platters as soon as they are half empty by bring out the replacement food on smaller plates.

  • Have someone regularly remove empty bottles, plates and full ashtrays.


Be Well Organized

The key to a successful wedding finger food reception is in the planning. Once you have made a final decision on your menu, make lists.

Make a shopping list of all the ingredients that you require for each dish, and a timeline of all the tasks assigned to a particular helper and days.

It is also wise to make a list of equipment and serving dishes and utensils that will be needed on the day. Try to get all this in place far ahead of time.

If you are having dishes that can be frozen make these at least one to two weeks in advance.

If you can, set up the buffet table and bar the evening before.


Your Wedding Finger Food Reception Checklist

  • Date and time of wedding reception.

  • Number of guests.

  • Plan your menu.

  • Check recipes that can be made in advance and freeze.

  • Reception venue.

  • Hire tables and chairs if necessary.

  • Number of serving dishes, glasses, plates, cutlery and dishes, napkins.

  • Make your shopping list for food and drinks (don't forget the tea and coffee).

  • Ice.

  • Prepare the food.

  • Chill wine and soft drinks.

  • Flowers.

  • Decorate reception venue.


How Much To Prepare A Rough Idea For Quantities:

  • Pre-dinner nibbles serve about 4-5 pieces of food per person.

  • Cocktail party lasting about two to three hours allow 4 -5 pieces of food per hour for each guest.

  • Where finger food is replacing a full sit down meal allow 13 - 15 pieces of food per person for the length of the whole party.

Have a variety of food and keep it simple and concentrate on only a few fabulous dishes than having a large number of average dishes.

If you are having about 10 - 20 guests prepare about six different dishes, for more than 20 guests prepare about eight dishes.

For a whole evening occasion start with light canapes, then move onto more substantial food (this would be when you would serve the hot food) and then finish with sweet nibbles.

When sending out your wedding invitations it is always a sensible idea to give your guests a rough idea of what to expect, food - wise.

So if you are planning on having a two hour cocktail party, it's a good idea to put a start and assumed finish times on the invitation; this way people will be expecting nibbles and not a full meal.

If it is an evening reception, let them know that you will be providing food equivalent to an evening meal. You might also like to read our article on catering your own wedding.

Heart and vine border image.

Wedding Etiquette Tip

Wedding etiquette image place holder.

Keep The Kids Happy

Create a fun kids table with age-appropriate activates, such as crayons, coloring in books, word searches if you have the space you could also set up a table two with board games.

Heart and vine border image.

Wedding Tips and Ideas

You can read more tips and ideas by clicking here.

Image of mobile phone.

Wedding Photo Tip

Some of the best photos may not come from your photographer they may come from the happy snaps from your wedding guests and their mobile devices.

You could set up an area (and make you guests aware of this) that these candid shots can be downloaded before your guests leave the wedding reception.

Man speaking.

Tip For Selecting A Wedding Emcee

Make sure that the person you ask to be your emcee has charm, whit, speaks clearly and can act responsibly. You don’t want someone who will insult or embarrass you or your guest.

You Might Also Enjoy These Pages

Image of a menu on table.

Wedding Reception Menu Ideas

Image of food in serving dishes.

Wedding Food Ideas On A Budget

Rustic table decorations.

Wedding Reception Table Decoration Ideas

Heart and vine border image.

Wedding Photo Idea

There are many wonderful ways to capture your day, use our wedding photography shot list as a guide to help you create a list of lasting memories to include in your wedding album.

Outdoor wedding reception at night.
Placeholder image

Hello and Welcome

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to stay a while.

The aim of this is to provide you with useful information that you can use as you plan your wedding.

As we are continuously updating this site please come back and visit often.

All the best with your wedding plans.

From all of us at:


You can also find your way back to us by using our shorter address:

Eco-Friendly Party Favors from
Save 15% On Your Wedding Invitations from BasicInvite