Wedding Hors d’oeuvre Your Guests Will Rave About!

So you’ve picked your date and booked your wedding venue and now it’s time to plan a menu your guests will rave about.

Whether you are planning a formal seated dinner, wedding buffet or cocktail buffet (food stations) you will want to plan a wedding hors d’oeuvre menu offering elegant, decorative and colorful finger foods during the cocktail hour.


The cocktail hour part of your wedding reception will happen immediately following the ceremony or when your guests arrive from the church at your wedding venue.

You and your bridal party will be taking pictures and freshening up at this time but as a gracious hostess you don’t want your guest to go hungry. So while they are enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine offer them some elegant bite size works of art to satisfy and stimulate their appetite.

If you have never planned a wedding cocktail menu before, don’t worry. Just follow these simple guidelines.

First, just what is the difference between an appetizer, canape and hors d’oeuvre? Wikipedia defines the three terms as follows.

Appetizer (usually plural) A small, light, and usually savory first course in a meal

A canapé is a small, prepared and usually decorative food, held in the fingers and often eaten in one bite.

Hors d’œuvre ( literally “apart from the main work”), also known as appetizers, are food items served before the main courses of a meal.

Here are the recommended guidelines to follow when choosing your wedding passed and displayed hors d’eouvre.

  1. Choose bite size finger foods that are colorful, fresh and elegant. Save the fried mozzarella sticks for the Superbowl party.
  2. Avoid sauces that are messy and could drip on clothing.
  3. Have some hors d’oeuvre butlered on trays so you have food coming to your guests while they are socializing.
  4. Have some displayed items such as cheese and fruit displays or dips so guests can help themselves at their leisure. You could include a food station such as a raw bar or satay station but don’t order so much food for the cocktail reception that guests ruin their appetite for what’s coming next…an  elegant seated dinner. Remember, the cocktail hour should include bite size and elegant, coloful and decorative foods that satisfy and stimulate your guests appetite.
  5. Take into account dietary needs such as allergies or vegetarians. Choose a mixture of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items and for example, don’t select all seafood.
  6. Don’t over think your selections. They should be representative of your tastes and budget.

So, if you follow these guidelines you should be able to select a nice variety of passed and displayed hors d’oeuve for your wedding cocktail reception that will appeal to all of your guests.

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