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Wedding Reception Food Ideas

My fiance and I are planning a February wedding. The theme is going to be "rustic". I'm considering doing only my reception with only a choice of three green salads, five different hearty soups, such as beef stew, and rustic breads.


We are also planning a hot cocoa bar, three choices of different alcoholic beverages like spiked apple cider, cake, and a cookie bar.

I've been getting mixed feedback. Some people think soup only is a fun idea, others think it looks cheap. What do you think?

By Sheila from Greenville, MI


Wedding Reception Food Ideas

I think this is a great idea, as long as you inform your guests that it will be a casual event.

By leekelly

Wedding Reception Food Ideas

Your reception is going to run through dinner time and your guests are going to be hungry, so if you want them to stay feed them. Here are some cheap snack foods (Sam's club) nacho's and cheese, pin wheel burrito wraps with cream cheese, brats and Italian sausages cut into bite sizes pieces, shredded chicken sandwiches, and pasta goes a long way. If you have an Aldi's try shopping there first (08/18/2010)


By leekelly

Wedding Reception Food Ideas

I think it's a great idea. So many weddings today serve the same things, have the same themes, etc. Your wedding will stand out from the rest of the crowd. If you want to serve a rustic snack, I would suggest popcorn. (08/19/2010)

By Patty Lynn

Wedding Reception Food Ideas

I had a Tuscan salad made at my son's graduation. It usually is a hit at most parties and doing. Here's what you need to make it.

  • cut up boneless chicken breasts, 3
  • bacon cut up in strips
  • 1 large red onion, minced
  • salad greens, 1 package or 1 head of lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce, 1 package
  • carrots
  • green peppers
  • tomatoes- cherry or diced
  • seasoned croutons
  • eggs, 2 (optional)

Prepare all items starting with cutting up the chicken into 1 inch chunks. After meat has cooked in 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, set aside. Cook bacon till fully cooked. Remove excess fat and bacon from pan and crumble in small pieces. Cut all remaining ingredients and combine together into large tossed salad bowl, will serve 4 people. Toss and serve with Ranch dressing or red wine vinaigrette.


A great colorful rustic style salad and economical to make!

Cut up all ingredients to size of your party. Add 1 red, yellow, or green pepper (can use 2 of 3), 2 chicken breasts, 1 carrot, 1 package cherry tomatoes per each additional 4 servings.
Wish you the best for your wedding!

By Libra1961

Wedding Reception Food Ideas

I think this is a nice idea. If you are serving hearty soups like beef stew, salads, and desserts, it is a very nice meal. If I were a guest, I would think it was delightful! (08/24/2010)

By louel53

Wedding Reception Food Ideas

I'm with those like redhatterb and lowell53 who said this menu sounds great and it's your party, so serve what works for you. My daughter served pulled pork, hummus, and various chips. My oldest son had a small wedding, so we all paid for our lunch at a local Mexican eatery. My youngest son, whose wedding was a week short of being exactly a year after my daughter's (copycat, lol!) served Subway party-sliced sandwiches and asked family and friends to bring sides. All three parties were just right for each child's individual situation. (08/24/2010)


By JustPlainJo

Wedding Reception Food Ideas

I have catered a number of weddings, and I agree, entirely, with what some people have posted. This is your wedding, your day, and you should do what feels right for you. The soup and salad idea sound like real winner to me.

You haven't stated where the reception will be held. What type of surroundings? If you want to make the rustic idea a theme, just decorate a little with rustic things, including things out of nature, and it will all come together beautifully. (One wedding I catered had a French theme to it and was held in July. We went with a "picnic" theme, with fancy tea sandwich fixings, salads, cheeses, and fruit, relish plates, and two very special hot dishes that were the favorites of the bride and groom, respectfully. There were 125 guests and it was held in a local lodge and we decorated in a rustic French theme. The bread was served in a red and white gingham picnic basket and served as a centerpiece for the groom's table. It was inexpensive and everyone loved it.


As for the 5 soups, for me that's a bit too many. I'd go with 3 different soups/stews, and load up on the rustic breads. I would also include coffee along with the cocoa, and perhaps something cold to drink, as well. I have a recipe for wedding punch that I served at a wedding I catered about 10 years ago and I still get requests for the recipe.

Keep in mind that these days not everyone is a meat eater, and some don't eat red meat. I am posting a soup recipe that you may like. It goes together quickly, cooks in less than an hour, and you may increase the ingredients in the recipe to fit your needs.

Chickpea, Tomato, and Spelt Soup

  • 1 cup spelt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
    (see notes below)
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

    (see notes below)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed saffron (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (homemade or canned)
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Place spelt in a medium bowl and cover with cold water, soak for 1 hour, then drain.

  2. In a 5 quart Dutch over or a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions start to turn translucent, stirring often. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover pot with a lid, and cook for about 50 minutes, until all of the flavors have blended.

  3. Discard bay leaves and sprinkle each serving with chopped parsley, as desired.

Notes: I usually use about 3 carrots and 2 - 3 stalks of celery. If carrots and celery are too big you can cut them in half and slice them. I prefer the taste of barley to spelt, but that's a personal choice. As for the saffron, I always use it because the saffron gives such a burst of flavor that most people can't quite put their finger on until you tell them. If you are going straight vegetarian, use the vegetable broth. My husband is a meat lover, but this has become his favorite soup. If I'm in a hurry I sometimes use Hunt's diced tomatoes instead of crushed.

If you decide to serve a cold punch, here's my recipe for a wedding punch:

Almond Punch

For the base:

  • 5 lbs. sugar
  • juice of 12 lemons
  • 2 oz. pure almond extract
  • 2 oz. pure vanilla
  • 2 cups of water

For the punch:
2 big bottles of Sprite (2 liters each)

Heat water until warm. Dissolve sugar in the water. Add the remaining ingredients for the base.
(At this point the base may be frozen in 1 cup containers.) When needed use 1 cup of base at a time per 2 bottles of Sprite.

If you're using a punch bowl you can do this right in the bowl. Or, since your wedding is rustic, you may choose to mix this up in a large container and then serve in a nice pitcher or something to your liking.

Blessed wedding. (11/11/2010)

By Gypsy Swan

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