Stations brimming with savory treats, desserts, or tipples can be a fun addition to your celebration.
Photography: Bryan Gardner1 of 8
It’s no coincidence that bites and beverages taste better when they roll up, seemingly out of nowhere, at your wedding. These snack bar ideas come complete with rental resources, and the recipes and décor to make it simple to satiate your crew's big-day cravings.
Signature Slush Station
Frozen cocktails are a cool way to kick off your after-party—and making them self-serve ups the fun factor even more. You can rent a machine from Margarita Man NYC (margaritamannyc.com), which comes with margarita mix—more than 20 flavor options to choose from—and then add your own spirits. Custom removable signage helps it fit into your color palette or theme. Set out glasses, garnishes, and drink stirrers—like this citrus jalapeño salt ($7, Rokz.com) and green flamingos ($18 for 6, TheRocShop.Etsy.com)—for revelers.
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We’d never knock an amazing display of cheese and crudités, but we can’t think of a better way to kick-start cocktail hour (or refuel the dance party) than with a retro-inspired popcorn cart, plus taste bud-tickling topping recipes.
Photography: Johnny Miller3 of 8
Ice Cream Float Stand
There’s nothing like an icy treat on a hot summer day. For your warm-weather fête, serve soda floats from a good, old-fashioned ice cream stand. Deck out a standard bar cart by taping colorful scalloped paper to the front ($5 per sheet). Give the childhood treat a gourmet twist by pairing raspberry sorbet with lemon soda, and lemon sorbet with orange soda.
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Keep the fun going at your celebration by setting up an area for guests to serve themselves a treat that riffs on an endorphin-boosting throwback: the Happy Meal. Ours comes with a slider, fries, and soda. As for the prize? It’s not a toy but an invite to the night’s after-party, which is stamped on the bag.
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When the reception starts, it’s time to loosen up! Give guests the cue to party down with a bar of self-serve drinks that double as snacks: Our boozy snow cones are classic refreshments that are all grown up. Adults can help themselves at a station stocked with cups, crushed ice, and mojito, peach daiquiri, cosmo, and margarita cocktail syrups. Use glasses to catch drips and straws to slurp up every last drop.
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Photography: Dana Gallagher6 of 8
The fanciful quality of this buffet will instill childlike anticipation in every guest. Offer a mix of sweet and savory options (pretzels, funnel cakes, and cotton candy come to mind), playfully displayed on stands and sticks and in cups and bags, as they would be at an old-time carnival.
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Chill out with a retro cooler stocked with stylish sippers that can move from cocktail hour to reception in a hot second. This old-school metal cooler ($140) is rather—how shall we put it?—cool. Sure, it displays bevvies on ice (and will be handy for future backyard shindigs), but best of all, it’s a quick way to get drinks in guests’ hands after the ceremony. Then, have your caterer roll it over to your party location. Illustrator Jen Mussari made this “Stay Cool!” sign (from $75), but you can take any design, monogram, or photo you like and upload it at a FedEx Office, where they’ll print it onto a superthin magnet ($24/sq ft).
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Universal truth No. 10,578: Summertime and hot dogs just belong together. Rent this too-cute carrier and ask your caterers to prepare and serve the savory snacks, either as mini dogs during the cocktail hour or full-size ones while everyone is boogying on the dance floor. The best part about this crowd-pleaser is that it’s totally mobile and can work in almost any venue.