Wedding Reception Ideas

When the ceremony ends, the party begins. Give your matrimonial menus a twist with these food-focused reception ideas.

  • <p>Wedding Reception Decor</p>
    Blair Rumley

    Wedding Reception Ideas

    When the ceremony ends, the party begins. Give your matrimonial menus a twist with these food-focused reception ideas. "Open bar" doesn't just apply to beer and wine anymore.
  • Shrimp and Grits
    Blair Rumley, Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Amy Burke

    Shrimp and Grits Bar

    Give your guests the option of dining with Southern style. Offer a shrimp and grits bar with additives like chives, cheese, green onions, spinach, and Andouille sausage for an extra kick.
  • Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
    Blair Rumley, Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Bar

    Try a grownup grilled cheese bar for a winter wedding. Give guests the options of goat cheese or cheddar cheese paired various veggies. Add a side of warm tomato bisque for added comfort.
  • Buttermilk Biscuits
    Blair Rumley, Jennifer Davick; Buffy Hargett

    Buttermilk Biscuit Bar

    For winter or summer weddings alike, nothing is better than a biscuit bar. Take our five-ingredient buttermilk biscuit recipe and dress it up with an array of jams, preserves, honey, and butter.
  • Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese
    Blair Rumley, Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Martin

    Macaroni and Cheese Bar

    As the essence of comfort cuisine, macaroni and cheese bars are a growing trend on matrimonial menus. Start with your standard mac and cheese, while giving guests the choice of vegetables—mushrooms, avocado, tomatoes, basil, red peppers, etc.—or meat—steak, bacon, or crab—to get creative with this classic.
  • Herbed Mashed Potatoes
    Blair Rumley, Photo: Michael Paul

    Mashed Potato Bar

    This ubiquitous side dish is easily updated with options of fresh herbs, garlic, cheese, bacon, and chives. Serve in a cup or martini glass for an elegant affair or a mason jar for a downhome feel.
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes
    Blair Rumley, Photo: Christopher Baker

    Sweet Potato Bar

    Try a sweeter side item that rivals your dazzling desserts. A sweet potato bar with the options of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon is sure to have guests swooning before they even see the cake.
  • Instant Watermelon Pops
    Blair Rumley, Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lindsey Ellis Beatty

    Popsicle Hour

    For a dry wedding, try a popsicle hour rather than a cocktail hour. These Instant Watermelon Pops are fuss-free, affordable, and refreshing for a sweltering summer soiree.
  • Layered Mocha
    Blair Rumley, Iain Bagwell

    Coffee Bar

    If you are planning to dance the night away, provide guests with a gourmet coffee bar so they stay caffeinated and the party lives on.
  • <p>Southern Living Wedding Cover</p>
    Blair Rumley

    Southern Living Wedding Planner and Keepsake

    See the Southern Living Wedding Planner and Keepsake for even more wedding planning tips and ideas.

     

    Click here to order the Southern Living Wedding Planner and Keepsake

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