Menu Ideas for Winter Wedding Receptions

Consider these seasonal bites to curb hunger at any wintertime celebration.

By Maggy Lehmicke

Menu Ideas for Winter Wedding
Photo by Brooke Lark

The First Look ✨

  • If you’re building your winter wedding menu, start with what’s in season and supplement with some of your favorite comfort foods.
  • Soup shooters, mac n’ cheese, and a hot cocoa bar are all great places to start!
  • Don’t forget drinks and dessert, including classic winter cocktails such as the hot toddy, and decadent sweets such as molten chocolate cake.

With winter in full gear and the holidays on the horizon, there’s no better way to spread the love than to start planning your wedding reception...and what’s a better place to start than with food?

Depending on what’s in season in your region, warm soups, roasted root vegetables, and an assortment of comfort foods are all popular selections for winter wedding menus. If you’re still deciding between menu ideas for your winter wedding reception, below are a few popular and inventive choices that are sure to be hit with your guests.

Menu Ideas for Winter Wedding Receptions Photo Credit // Bailey Q Photo

Soup Shooters

One of the most popular (and fun) options for a winter wedding reception is to provide soups in small, shooter-style glasses. Pumpkin, French onion, and tomato soup are a few possibilities, as well as the classic, Italian wedding soup. Consider a selection of soups as part of an appetizer bar or pick one, such as tomato, and serve it up with some tasty grilled cheese bites.

Mac n’ Cheese

No matter the time of year, nothing screams comfort food like mac n’ cheese. Whether you go for quick bites as an app or opt for the food bar route with tasty toppings, such as bacon and chives, it’s sure to be a hit with your guests. Though mac n’ cheese is generally more on the casual side, you can always serve small portions of gourmet, baked mac n’ cheese bites in martini glasses to give the dish a more upscale feel.

Hot Cocoa Bar

Like a s’mores bar in the summer, there’s nothing quite like a hot chocolate bar in the winter. Not only is this an inexpensive dessert option, but it’s also very kid-friendly if there are going to be some younger guests at your reception. Toppings such as marshmallows, caramels, and peppermint stir sticks are all crowd favorites. If you’re wanting a boozy option to compliment a cocktail hour, consider something unconventional such as stout hot chocolate with beer-infused whipped cream!

Roasted Winter Vegetables

Though they might not be the most exciting part of the meal, a selection of roasted root vegetables and seasonal offerings, such as brussels sprouts and asparagus, is a great addition to any winter wedding menu. Vegetarians and vegans of the group. Consider small plates or even kabob-style skewers for a fun twist on this healthy winter wedding menu option.

Wood-Fired Pizza

As a year-round favorite finger food, having wood-fired pizza at your reception is a sure way to please your wedding guests. To bring out the best of the winter, opt for pies with seasonal toppings, such as sausage and brussels sprouts, or sweet potato and kale. If you’d prefer something more traditional, go ahead and serve up classic pizzas such as Margherita and prosciutto at a DIY bar (or as a creative substitute for dinner rolls).

Molten Chocolate Cake

Though we love chocolate in its many forms (and will likely consume plenty of it over the winter months), there’s nothing quite as decadent and celebratory as molten chocolate cake. If you’re not the type to be ruled by convention, consider providing small, single-serve lava cakes for guests instead of a traditional wedding cake. You can even cater the cake dishes to fit your wedding venue and theme, whether it be dainty, glass jars, or something more eclectic, such as vintage teacups.

Seasonal Bruschetta

Bruschetta and crostini are great as an appetizer that can be passed around, yet can also hold their own as a stand-alone bar item. Consider something savory such as roasted pepper and bacon paired with a sweeter option, such as cranberry, goat cheese, and winter squash. Ricotta and honey also make a great combo for “dessert-style” toasts.

Signature Winter Drinks

Though you can’t go wrong with a hot toddy or some spiked eggnog, there are so many ways to get creative with winter cocktails. Hot buttered rum, Irish coffee, and mulled wine are all some classic options. If you’re looking to branch out, consider a winter bourbon smash for the whiskey drinkers in the room. For those craving, something a little more light and fruity, cranberry mimosas and mistletoe margaritas may do the trick.

Baked Brie

Instead of a charcuterie board (or maybe as part of your charcuterie board, if that’s more your vibe), it’s hard to go wrong with baked brie cheese. Blackberry compote, dried cranberries, and honey with rosemary and pecans all make great toppings for a winter-inspired brie cheese recipe. Consider serving along with appetizers or having an appointed snack station for a more laid-back gathering.

Homemade Toffee or Truffles

Menu Ideas for Winter Wedding Receptions Photo Credit // Danto Photography

If you’ve got someone with a bit of baking talent in your circle, then consider something sweet and homemade for the dessert menu, such as toffee, truffles, or peppermint bark. If you’re passing on the traditional cake, then a selection of sweets might be your best bet when choosing a fun, yet tasteful wedding dessert. If you’re not a big baker, you can even go with something fun and more low-key, such as a caramel apple bar.

No matter your palate or what you think the guests on your list will like, there are plenty of creative wintertime dishes to make your reception menu memorable. In addition to the suggestions above, make sure to choose bites that you’re excited about, and enjoy tasting the possibilities along the way!

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