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50 Fun Menu Innovations for Your Reception

A great party calls for fabulous food and drink. Impress your guests with unique interactive stations, creative small plates, and signature cocktails. You’ll be inspired by these 50 fun and innovative menu ideas.

By: Mary Wozniak

Enter Slideshow
  • Distinctive Presentation

    Distinctive Presentation

    Trending: stylish mini appetizer and drink pairings, like these mini Patron margaritas with taco bites.

    Photo Credit: Feast and Imbibe

  • Distinctive Presentation

    Distinctive Presentation

    Another fun mini-pairing: hot dogs and beer.

  • Distinctive Presentation

    Distinctive Presentation

    This clever fork display features one-bite cheese pairings like camembert and jalapeño, manchego and fig, and blue cheese with cranberry and walnut.

    Photo Credit: Ten22 Studio / Style/Design: Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio and Real California Milk

  • Distinctive Presentation

    Distinctive Presentation

    A gorgeous cheese wheel wedding cake is embellished with fresh flowers and succulents. Calligraphy tags label each cheese selection.

    Photo Credit: Ten22 Studio / Style/Design: Kim Stoegbauer of The TomKat Studio and Real California Milk

  • Distinctive Presentation

    Distinctive Presentation

    Who doesn’t love melty grilled cheese? Try this mini comfort food accompanied by tomato soup shooters.

  • Distinctive Presentation

    Distinctive Presentation

    Novel green tomato gazpacho shooters are topped with toasted almonds and micro cilantro.

    Photo Credit: Feast and Imbibe

  • Distinctive Presentation

    Distinctive Presentation

    Ahi tuna tartare gets an elegant presentation in a crisp cone, with sriracha, mango, and lime-avocado cream.

    Photo Credit: Elizabeth Goel of Bite Catering

  • Distinctive Presentation

    Distinctive Presentation

    Spaghetti and meatballs go upscale for a clever and tasty one-bite appetizer.

  • Distinctive Presentation

    Distinctive Presentation

    Everything is better on a stick! Freshly-grilled chicken yakitori, lamb, and falafel skewers are served with a variety of dipping sauces. 

    Photo Credit: Savoury City

  • Distinctive Presentation

    Distinctive Presentation

    A unique multi-tiered wedding tart is artfully adorned with seasonal fresh fruit and flowers.

  • Creative Displays

    Creative Displays

    A delightful and functional display idea from Simple Bites: present your outdoor buffet in an old canoe, accented with pretty wildflowers.

  • Creative Displays

    Creative Displays

    Offer healthy avocado halves with an assortment of tasty toppings, like shrimp ceviche, fresh salsa, and flavored salts.

  • Creative Displays

    Creative Displays

    Impress your guests with an innovative interactive experience: an olive oil tasting station.

    Photo Credit: Elizabeth Goel of Bite Catering

  • Creative Displays

    Creative Displays

    A winter wedding calls for a hot chocolate bar, made special with a selection of peppermint and chocolate toppings and extras like caramel drizzle and sea salt.

    Photo Credit: Pen & Paper Flowers

  • Creative Displays

    Creative Displays

    A salad course served in this striking display is lovely for an summer outdoor meal.

    Photo Credit: Adeline Leigh

  • Creative Displays

    Creative Displays

    Calling all French fry lovers! Handmade signage provides a rustic display.

  • Creative Displays

    Creative Displays

    There’s something for everyone when you offer a variety of fresh-baked pies. Decorate individual pie slice boxes with ribbon or rustic twine for a pretty and practical serving idea.

  • Hometown Favorites

    Hometown Favorites

    Show some hometown pride with well-loved treats. Guests of these Philadelphia natives experienced authentic Philly cheesesteaks.

  • Hometown Favorites

    Hometown Favorites

    An outdoor New England celebration features a traditional Martha’s Vineyard clambake by The Kitchen Porch.

    Photo Credit: Adachi Photography

  • Hometown Favorites

    Hometown Favorites

    Top off your seaside dinner with these amazing decorated cookies from Sweet Ambs.

    Photo Credit: Amber Spiegel of Sweet Ambs

  • Hometown Favorites

    Hometown Favorites

    This Tuscan-inspired wedding featured a lavish pizza buffet. 

  • Hometown Favorites

    Hometown Favorites

    Recall your Italian grandma’s Sunday dinner with this pasta and meatball snack.

  • Hometown Favorites

    Hometown Favorites

    Honor your cultural heritage with a special dish like this bibimbap, a signature Korean rice bowl.

  • Hometown Favorites

    Hometown Favorites

    All you need is love and churros.

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    A towering display of colorful French macarons — over 200 in 10 tiers! — is a trendy wedding cake alternative. Dana's Bakery offers fun flavors like cookie dough and fruity cereal.

    Photo Credit: Dana's Bakery

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    Pretty in pink cotton candy martinis are a fun signature cocktail.

    Photo Credit: Clark + Walker Studio

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    Favorite sweet s’mores get a tasty upgrade with homemade graham crackers and artisanal marshmallows.

    Photo Credit: Spencer Jones at Glass House Assignment via Indigo Jones Eats/Etsy

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    Imagine your charming shabby-chic dessert display with these edible sugar doilies.

    Photo Credit: Sweet Marve Lace/Etsy

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    Try something new: a mobile gelato bar, bringing amazing flavors like Tiramisu, Strawberry Fresca, and Salted Caramel. Yum!

    Photo Credit: Popup Gelato

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    Get in on the craft beer craze with beer tasting flights.

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    Set up a stylish Italian soda bar with a variety of fruity flavors. Don’t forget the whipped cream!

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    Display your creativity with signature drinks and DIY this customizable and printable cocktail menu.

    Photo Credit: The Doodle Coop/Etsy

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    Go for ultra-trendy with a siphon soup station.

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    Give cake pops a glittery makeover for a glamorous addition to a dessert table.

  • Unique and Trendy Elements

    Unique and Trendy Elements

    Stylish chalkboard décor inspires the dessert table with chalkboard wedding cookies.

    Photo Credit: Lila Loa/Etsy

  • Favorite Snacks

    Favorite Snacks

    No one will miss the cake when you serve up funnel cakes and sweet toppings.

    Photo Credit: Vinson Photography

  • Favorite Snacks

    Favorite Snacks

    Salty soft pretzels with honey mustard and beer cheese adorn a delightful display by Layered Vintage.

    Photo Credit: Kaysen Photography via 24 Carrots

  • Favorite Snacks

    Favorite Snacks

    Watch your guests dig into this lavish nacho bar. Margarita, anyone?

    Photo Credit: Chef Tony McClanahan of First Fruits Catering

  • Favorite Snacks

    Favorite Snacks

    A macaroni and cheese station, complete with toppings, is comfort food at its best.

    Photo Credit: Erin Lee at The Collection via Fete Nashville

  • Favorite Snacks

    Favorite Snacks

    PB & J gets a style upgrade with glazed jalapeno bacon.

  • Favorite Snacks

    Favorite Snacks

    After a night of dancing and partying, a delish deli sandwich is a perfect late night snack.

  • Favorite Snacks

    Favorite Snacks

    What groom wouldn’t go wild for this “Man Cave” station, featuring cheese and pepperoni calzones and buffalo wings?

  • Favorite Snacks

    Favorite Snacks

    Treat all-night partiers to an amazing breakfast sandwich: egg, cheese, and New Jersey’s own Trenton pork roll.

  • Have Some Fun!

    Have Some Fun!

    The sweets table gets special treatment in this backyard wedding with a vintage carnival theme.

    Photo Credit: Randy + Ashley

  • Have Some Fun!

    Have Some Fun!

    Everybody’s favorite hot dogs can come right to you in a fun hot dog cart.

    Photo Credit: Adeline Leigh

  • Have Some Fun!

    Have Some Fun!

    DIY a rustic popcorn bar with downloadable chalkboard signage from Pen & Paper Flowers.

    Photo Credit: Pen & Paper Flowers

  • Have Some Fun!

    Have Some Fun!

    Childhood favorite rice krispie treats are transformed with a charming design by The Cookie Star.

  • Have Some Fun!

    Have Some Fun!

    Watermelon on a stick is a simple and refreshing idea for an outdoor summer celebration.

    Photo Credit: Kara's Party Ideas

  • Have Some Fun!

    Have Some Fun!

    Assemble mason jars and all the fixings for a fun interactive trail mix buffet.

    Photo Credit: Jordan Remke of Kojo Designs

  • Have Some Fun!

    Have Some Fun!

    Cool off with a rainbow of frosty snow cones.

    Photo Credit: Olivia Leigh Weddings

50 Fun Menu Innovations for Your Reception

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