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How to Serve Late-Night Snacks at Your Wedding

When should you offer them, and what should they be?

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Kate Osborne Photography

Your friends and family will spend hours dancing, drinking, and socializing at your wedding reception. But partying into the wee hours of the morning means that everyone will be tapped for energy. Soon enough, your fun-loving guests will start to crash and your dance floor crowd will slowly thin out. Keep everyone satisfied—and prevent them from leaving your reception early for a fast food run—by serving a late-night snack. Whether you opt for something sweet or savory, follow these simple guidelines when planning your midnight treats.

 

Wedding Snack Bar Ideas for Serving Food and Drinks to Your Guests

 

Think about the timing.

If you're trying to decide if late-night snacks are right for your party, consider your timeline. There's no need to serve snacks if your reception ends earlier than 11 p.m., since guests will still be satisfied from dinner and dessert. But if you're planning a celebration that lasts into the early morning, guests will appreciate some edible pick-me-ups. After all, you don't want anyone to leave with a growling stomach. Plan on bringing out the late-night snacks about an hour or two before the reception ends.

 

Don't interrupt the dancing.

Some brides and grooms may worry that late-night snacks will interrupt the party. As a solution, set up food in a way that allows dancing and drinking to continue without hassle. Oftentimes this means arranging a buffet-style food table near the dance floor, so guests can grab and go as they please. Couples may also opt to hire servers who wander into the crowd and offer snacks to everyone.

 

Serve two or three bite-sized snacks.

Since trying to scarf down BBQ chicken wings on the side of the dance floor would be an awkward and messy endeavor, stick with serving bite-sized snacks that can be eaten quickly and easily. Offer a selection of two or three different items to ensure everyone finds something they enjoy.

 

Choose something sweet or savory.

Working with their caterer, a bride and groom can decide whether to offer sweet treats, savory snacks, or a mix of both. Some crowd-pleasing sweet options include donuts, cookies, funnel cakes, s'mores, root beer floats, and mini ice cream cones. If you'd rather have savory snacks, consider serving sliders, cups of French fries, mini grilled cheeses, soft pretzels, tiny tacos, corn dogs, bags of popcorn, or cups of mac n' cheese. Guests will crave comfort food late at night, so a midnight snack bar isn't the place to serve anything too fancy.

 

Think outside the box.

Feel free to get creative with late-night reception snacks. Renting a food truck is an increasingly popular option, especially for outdoor wedding receptions. Other couples choose to set up a "make your own" food bar, allowing guests to create sliders, ice cream sundaes, sub sandwiches, and other treats exactly to their liking.

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About the Author

Nicole Harris

Nicole fell in love with the bridal industry after a summer internship with Martha Stewart Weddings. Although she's still a couple of years away from tying the knot, she can't help planning her own Big Day. She's crazy about creative DIY décor, classic lace gowns, colorful invitations, and huge (preferably endless) dessert spreads. Until it's time to pick her first dance song, though,...

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