Planning a wedding menu wouldn’t be complete with deciding what to serve for your late-night wedding snacks. We’re talking about the foods that are rolled out long after the ceremony, past the cake cutting, and right when guests need something to nosh on to satiate their appetite after dancing, drinking, and being merry. It’s the last sweet (or savory) send-off to end your wedding on a high note.
Even if you’ve already enjoyed a multi-course meal for your wedding day dinner, when the celebration is in full effect, you and your guests will start to get a craving for something indulgent. Things to factor in when choosing your late-night menu is whether you want to go sweet, savory, salty, or seasonal. Everything should be easy to grab and feel like a treat. It’s the perfect way to end such a magical day and keep everyone dancing and enjoying themselves well into the wee hours.
The wedding cake is the dessert that everyone looks forward to the most, but having an extra indulgence is always a welcome surprise after the cake has been cleared away. Channel your inner child, think about the kind of sweet snacks you loved when you were young, and get ready for everyone to feel as giddy as you when they’re rolled out.
A classic combination if ever there was one, milk and cookies satisfy all sweet tooths. Mix up the cookie selection with chocolate chip, Oreos, snickerdoodles, and other childhood favorites. Serve with mini bottles or cartons of milk and crazy straws to wash them down. Cookies are a crowd pleaser and will likely be gone in minutes as everyone grabs a handful.
Donut walls and donut cakes have become somewhat of a trend at weddings over the past several years, and with good reason—they’re delicious. You can never go wrong with a traditional glazed donut, but now there are artisan bakers who offer unique flavors and donut designs to make your late-night wedding snacks extra special. Work with your favorite donut maker to come up with unique donut flavor combinations.
Rolling out an ice cream station as the reception is in full swing is possibly the only thing that will cause people to take a break from dancing. Whether you hire someone to dish out scoops of favorite ice cream flavors, arrange ice cream sandwiches on trays, or set up a DIY sundae bar, everyone has room for ice cream and is lining up for this delectable treat.
Icy alternatives to ice cream are popsicles or shaved ice. The frozen treats will keep everyone cool, a bonus if your wedding is held in the summer months. To maintain the low-key appeal of this fruity snack, roll out coolers with different popsicle flavors for everyone to grab as they please. Or, if you want to get serious about your late-night wedding snack offering, hire a shaved ice truck to whip up individual portions in customized flavors on demand.
For every person who craves something sweet, there’s one who prefers the savory side of things. Keep the offerings simple and small, where people can easily hold them in their hands and utensils aren’t necessary. Mini is the magic word.
The regular cheeseburger variety is always a fan favorite, but the great thing about a slider is that you can mix it up based on a range of preferences. Offer a pulled pork version, a vegetarian option, and a table of condiments and toppings so that everyone can dress up theirs exactly the way they want it.
There’s something satisfying about an ooey, gooey grilled cheese. Pair mini versions of the sandwich with tomato soup shots. It’s a party twist on a lunchtime favorite. All guests have to do is grab and go as they keep on dancing.
Pizza may be the number one late-night craving of most. Having slices of pizza or mini portions available is a dream come true for guests. Offer the standard favorites: pepperoni, supreme, and a veggie selection to keep everyone satisfied. And don’t be surprised if people stick a slice or two into a napkin to take with them for later.
Chicken tenders are every child’s favorite, but for many adults, it’s a guilty pleasure that they can’t resist. It’s the perfect savory snack, especially when you offer a variety of dipping options, too. Ranch, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, sweet and sour, there’s really no limit to what goes well with a chicken tender. That’s one of the things that we like the most about this snack.
Some weddings roll out a candy station for guests to fill up mini goodie bags with sugary treats, but there should be room for salty, too, don’t you think?
Make it fun and bring in an old-fashioned popcorn machine for guests to get fresh bags of popcorn and even take some with them when they leave. Or, offer up different varieties, such as cheddar, chocolate, and caramel, in addition to the traditional buttery option.
Two words, one universal craving: french fries. The smell of them alone will put a smile on everyone’s face. Serve them up in mini paper cones that are easy to dispose of. Lay out a range of sauces (much like with the chicken tenders) and see how fast this late-night snack favorite gets devoured.
Mini soft pretzels with nacho cheese for dipping is one of the best late-night wedding snacks. It’s one of those foods that are crave-worthy but is rarely served in places other than ballparks and movie theaters. A clever idea: a nacho cheese fountain surrounded by mini pretzel bites on skewers for guests to dip and enjoy.
The art of creating a beautiful cheese and charcuterie platter is impressive. It’s not your average cheese and crackers board, but rather a spread of several cheese varieties, cured meats, fruits, nuts, jams, and anything else that is edible and can be arranged to fit. It’s a less greasy, grab-and-go snack.
Depending on the season and location of where you’re getting married, you can play up the types of snacks you offer. Maybe it’s a favorite, local food, or a snack that tastes better because of the month you’re in. Whatever the case may be, think of what will sound extra delicious on the day of your wedding.
Warmer months are known for picnics, grilling, and outdoor events such as county fairs. Here are a few crave-able snacks that this time of year conjures up.
Mini corn dogs or pigs in a blanket are comfort foods that fit right into the spring and summer months. They’re a nostalgic fair food and are easy to eat without any plates necessary. Just drizzle on some ketchup or mustard, and you’re ready to go.
Speaking of fair food, the smell of funnel cakes is enough to make anyone think of their summer vacations. It’s a fun treat that many only enjoy once a year, which makes it all the more surprising and welcome when offered at your reception.
As long as there are plenty of napkins available, chicken wings are always a hit and a staple during summer BBQs and picnics. As a late-night wedding snack, you can offer a variety of flavors and spice levels. Just make sure to label them accordingly so that people can decide if they can take the heat!
Pumpkin spice and comfort foods are synonymous with the fall and winter months. Play up the seasonal fare with a few different cold weather snack offerings.
For outdoor weddings, set up a s’mores station where guests can roast marshmallows and indulge in this nostalgic offering while cozying up by the fire.
Those who love pumpkin spice will enjoy it in any form. Pumpkin tarts, pumpkin cake pops, and mini pumpkin pies are all snackable options that really speak to the season of fall.
Whether you call it a walking taco or Frito chili pie, these handheld snacks are made right in individual Frito bags. The salty chips are topped with a scoop of chili, a handful of cheese, and all the toppings each person wants.
Everyone focuses first on the wedding day meal, but it’s the late-night wedding snacks where you can fully indulge in a few guilty pleasures. The truth is that any combination of these late-night wedding snacks will please your guests and make the celebration feel even more festive and fun.
After the ceremony and well into the reception when all the posed pictures have been taken, champagne glasses have been raised, and the first dance has occurred, you’ll be happy that you planned ahead with a few of these late-night bites. The only problem is narrowing down the choices to simply a few. No matter which direction you go—sweet, savory, salty, or seasonal—it’s a tasty finish to a beautiful day!