It’s the biggest day of your life and you want to ensure it’s special—both for you and your guests. And considering that food is one of the most important parts of a wedding, the dishes you serve on your wedding day will play a big part in helping them remember the day. Don’t fall prey to the same ol’ stuff—if you want to take your wedding fare up a notch, here are some fun ideas.

1. DIY stations
An interactive DIY food station or bar at weddings will impress your guests with its innovation, versatility and trendiness. Besides, it makes for a great conversation starter, where invitees can break the ice by suggesting combinations and variations.

You can go for one of several bar options—a juice bar with mix-ins and glasses; a snow cone station with crushed ice and peach mojito, cosmo, daiquiri and margarita cocktail syrups; or even a cocktail bar, where guests can play mixologists.

Delicious food options include a mashed potato bar, a waffles counter, or assorted popcorns. Or you can go the whole hog with a build-your-own pizza station, with an array of meat, veggies and even fruit toppings. Want to make it more interactive? Have guests name their pizza and write it down on a small note for other guests to try out. Pairing two foods that complement each other well is another good idea—so create a bread and olive oil station, or a wine and cheese one.

If you want to break away from traditional doughy desserts or the usual cupcakes and donuts, a cotton candy machine is a great idea. Have your guests make their own and pose for photos with them.


2. Food Trucks
Food trucks make a great option for catered wedding food—they are fun, cost-effective and perfect for an outdoor wedding reception. Because they’re mobile, food trucks can come directly to your location. Guests can choose to order at the truck, or have waiters bring them menus with pick-ups at the trucks.

3. Kid-Friendly Treats
Children usually feel most left out at weddings and can create quite a ruckus—so you’d be happier having them out of your hair while you’re trying to make sure everything is perfect on your big day. To make kids feel extra special (and keep them occupied), opt for fail-proof favorites—peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a big ball of cake filled with candy just for the kids’ table, mini Oreo cookies dipped in colored white chocolate for macaroon-like treats or, the best of all, a 10ft-long banana split or chocolate fondue fountain that the kids can share.

4. Mini Bites
Sometimes, mini versions of your favorite meals make a big statement and give your guests a chance to taste all the food on offer. Everyone loves breakfast, so why not incorporate in your wedding menu by serving bacon cups filled with scrambled eggs? Or, turn around a classic by serving a single meatball topped with spaghetti and a bit of sauce that can be eaten in one bite. Pair these tiny, bite-sized food portions with drinks for added effect. For example, a smoky barbecue mini slider would go wonderfully with a bourbon shot, while a beer shot is great with fish and chips served in a cone, and  mini tacos go well with tequila shooters.


5. Get Personal
Every couple wants to showcase a little bit of themselves at their wedding, and what better way to do this than through food? Instead of spending money on a cake that most guests won’t even eat, try a potluck where your closest family and friends bake their signature sweets for you. This will create a sentimental and delicious display of every food you’ve loved and eaten in the family. In addition, some people may have dietary restrictions (low-fat, gluten-free, vegan, etc), so this gives them a chance to cater to all these needs.

If you plan on showing a few videos or if many people are expected to raise toasts at your wedding, arm your guests with popcorn. Serve them hot and buttery in customized bags.

6. Late-Night Food Stations
Often, friends and family are so busy during the wedding that they don’t get enough time to eat—or all the food is over by the time they reach the buffet. As a special treat for them, why not host a late-night food station for all those who stay back? This could have hot pizzas, honey-drizzled buttermilk waffles with crispy fried chicken and maple syrup, coffee and donut pairings for added energy, or tacos for those who prefer snacking light.

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An alumnus of Asian College of Journalism, and Cardiff University, Wales, Yoshita Sengupta has more than five years of experience in writing for various news outlets. As Founder and Director of Underscore, a content solutions agency, she writes for multiple digital and print news outlets and consults brands. When not working for Underscore, she works with social entrepreneurs and homeless communities, which includes running a library for street children.