50 Good Things to Eat and Drink at Your Wedding
Mini Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese becomes an elegant passed appetizer when served in dainty ramekins. Our version features sharp white cheddar and Gruyere.
Scrumptious tartlets from a bakery in custom-stamped bags make for tasty treats that are easy as pie to assemble in advance. Miniature pecan pies, which will stay fresh longer than most desserts, can be picked up at the store or delivered to you a day before the wedding.
Ice Cream Cups
These tiny ice cream cups are ideal for a no-mess refreshing dessert -- or a snack during cocktails. The cups are made on a pizzelle iron, which is available at cookware stores and looks like a flat, decorative waffle iron.
Elegant Eggs with Caviar Butter
Combine the luxury of caviar with the simplicity of a soft-boiled egg in a delightful dish for a wedding brunch or shower. We used salmon caviar and orange roe, which are pretty, flavorful, and relatively inexpensive. Acknowledge Cupid with toast cut into hearts and arrows.
The name of this classic drink makes it quite fitting for a wedding. A mix of apple brandy, Benedictine (an herb-and-spice-based spirit originally made by monks), and lemon juice, it's shaken over ice and served in martini glasses. Garnish with fruit leather cut into a crescent shape; serve with printed cocktail napkins or coasters.
Dragees have a long history at weddings, and a paper compote in the center of each table lets your guests be a part of the tradition. Construct the compote from a single piece of paper folded accordion-style, and fill with sugar-coated almonds.
Red Potatoes with Sour Cream and Caviar
Choose the smallest, most blemish-free red-skinned potatoes, allowing two to three per person. You can either boil or bake the potatoes -- either will work for this dish.
A Couple of Cocktails
A cocktail hour is even more celebratory with signature drinks dedicated to the bride and groom. Serve the Golden Groom and Blushing Bride in highball and martini glasses; stamped napkins let guests know the names.
Spring-Vegetable Pot Pies
With a puff-pastry blossom resting atop a flaky crust, a miniature pot pie makes a delightful and delicious first course at a wedding. This favorite home-style dish is filled with a medley of vegetables, including asparagus, carrots, and pearl onions, and baked in a ramekin. Wonderful for a country-themed reception, it would be appropriate to serve at a shower, too.
Thin breadsticks are enriched with a lively flavor and hue when they're infused with extracts of beet, carrot, parsley, or tomato.
Cinnamon-Orange Molasses Cookies
The dough for these cookies is firm, making it ideal to cut out in shapes.
At the cocktail hour, serve crunchy vegetables complete with their own dip: buttermilk-peppercorn, roasted pepper and eggplant, or toasted curry. Their bowls -- hollowed-out slices of baguettes in pumpernickel, plain, or everything -- are meant to be eaten, too.
Sweet Marzipan Acorns
Sweet marzipan acorns capture the beauty of fall. The marzipan is tinted pale green with food coloring to mimic the appearance of nuts just picked from the tree; a thin coating of bittersweet chocolate, decorated with sprinkles, crowns each one and balances the marzipan's concentrated sweetness. Place the acorns on pressed leaves for a lovely autumn display, and serve them on a dessert buffet or on platters at guests' tables.
These fruit-flavored, flower-shaped candies are a traditional French treat called pates de fruits. A sort of jelly candy, they make a tasty addition to any shower. The candies come from confectioners in small squares, or can be special-ordered in large sheets. Cut shapes using a cookie cutter; then roll in a bowl of confectioners' sugar.
End your celebration with a few oohs (as in diminutive doughnuts) and aahs (as in the delighted response they're sure to evoke) by passing out these traditional breakfast treats as a dessert with coffee service, either skewered on coffee spoons or set in dainty piles. Any way you serve them, guests are sure to circle back for more.
Roasted Mushrooms with Robiola and Truffle Oil
Roasted wild mushrooms lie on a bed of Robiola, a mild and soft Italian cheese. Ribbons of flat-leaf parsley and a drop of white truffle oil perfume the whole.
As a prelude to the wedding cake, give each guest a miniature version molded from sorbet, a palate cleanser. For a sweet decoration, the bride's and groom's initials are piped in chocolate along the edge of each plate, and the sorbet cake is garnished with raspberries.
Warm up an autumn cocktail hour with a comforting, colorful shot of savory vegetable soup in eye-catching colors. Guests can sip the harvest flavors of beet, butternut squash, and spinach-pea puree served in diminutive, finger-friendly sake or espresso cups -- no spoon required. With their free hand, they can either raise a glass of Champagne, or reach for seconds.
Basic sugar cookies become elegant favors when stacked to resemble miniature wedding cakes and topped with sugar flowers. Each sugar-cookie cake was spread with royal icing, then assembled once the frosting was set. Small dabs of icing also secure each layer, holding the tower intact while still allowing the cookies to be pulled apart easily. Package in clear plastic boxes, and tie on a hole-punched card-stock tag with ribbon.
As an alternative to plain Champagne, try this cocktail for rehearsal-dinner toasts. To make a Blushing Bride, pour 2 ounces of chilled passion-fruit nectar into a glass; gently pour in 3 ounces of cold Champagne, then 1/2 teaspoon grenadine. Do not shake or stir. The three will commingle as prettily as a flush spreading on the cheek of a shy bride-to-be.
Knead a Favor?
Take a cue from the Milanese, who serve panetonne, a sweet bread made with dried fruit and citrus zest, on special occasions. The loaf is traditionally made in a large panetonne mold, but we baked ours in attractive mini paper ones. Each treat is then wrapped in a cellophane bag tied with a letterpress tag by Austin Press. Bellissimo!
For a chic twist on bacon and eggs, serve crispy prosciutto cups filled with baked quail eggs, plus toasted rye cocktail bread, cut in half, on the side. These stylish appetizers work well at a post-wedding brunch or bridal luncheon.
Premade decorations dress up a wedding cake in an instant. Embellishments -- crafted from gum paste or marzipan and painted with food-safe paint -- can be ordered from Wendy Kromer Cake Confections in Sandusky, Ohio (Kromer's cakes often appear in Martha Stewart Weddings). Trimmings are made to order, then shipped. Have your baker make a plain cake (this one is a basic three-layer cake topped with fondant) to use as a canvas for an assortment of adornments, which can be attached with royal icing. Piped trim at the base of each tier provides decoration.
A New Beet
For a finger-friendly take on classic beet-and-goat-cheese salad, serve fried beet chips topped with a dollop of the tangy cheese and vinaigrette-laced micro greens. They make perfect hors d'oeuvres -- crispy instead of juicy beets means no one will be caught red-handed.
Ice cream molded into the shape of a strawberry makes a lovely accompaniment to slices of wedding cake or a sweet passed dessert on its own. We found these little gems at a specialty ice cream supplier; easy to order, they are shipped in dry ice. Here's a tip for the caterer: A sprinkling of finely crushed nuts or cake crumbs on each plate will prevent the strawberry from sliding.
Spicy Asian Brittle
For a milder version, eliminate the wasabi peas and red pepper.
Nuts in a Single Serving
At a cocktail hour, pass candy cups of sweet and savory roasted nuts for a delicious, no-fuss treat. Each paper bowl holds just the right snack-size amount. Our homemade mix is served with store-bought Marcona almonds.
For these savory napoleons, wonton wrappers are sprinkled with coarse salt, baked, then layered with herbed ricotta cheese. A basil sprig, black-olive slice, and wedge of shiny roasted red pepper form a topknot.
Make an impression on guests by adding eye-catching detail to basic cookies with ordinary rubber stamps, which come in a wide range of designs, or ceramic cookie stamps. Since rubber stamps can be custom ordered, create your own, like our monogram. To yield the best results, use the stamps on cookie dough containing no leaveners, such as shortbread.
These marshmallows are imported from Paris and, as you might suspect, they're not your typical campfire fare. They are long (about 14 inches), pastel-hued, and quite pretty, especially when fashioned into love knots, time-honored symbols of commitment. Tie marshmallows into basic knots (to keep them from getting stale, don't leave them exposed to the air for too long), and place in cellophane bags.
Trio of Savory Madeleines
Savory madeleines can be flavored with many varieties of herbs, seasonings, and cheeses. Some options are Gruyere cheese, fresh rosemary, and cayenne pepper.
A Cascade of Snowflakes
This cake is as magical as the season's first flurry. Snowflakes made from royal icing are miniature at the top of the cake and larger at the bottom, giving the impression of a gracefully drifting snowfall. The tiers are frosted smoothly with Swiss meringue to resemble tightly packed snow.
In this version of pan tomate, Serrano ham and sun-dried tomato butter create a Spanish-inspired union of savory flavors.
Frozen phyllo dough is available in most supermarkets. To keep it from drying out while you work, cover the dough you're not using with a damp kitchen towel.
These containers were made to look like humble brown-paper bags, but that's where the resemblance ends. Sweet and crunchy, they can hold fruit or candy and can be served as an individual dessert as part of a buffet, or offered as a take-home favor.
Deviled Quail Eggs with Caviar
A deviled quail egg dressed with caviar and dill sits atop a piece of pumpernickel.
A bottle of icy vodka makes a dramatic bar decoration when it's encased in a frozen layer of colorful flowers and fruit.