Finger foods for a wedding is a great way to feed a large number of guests. It allows you to cater for more people and it enables your guests to mingle more freely, eating and chatting when they wish.
When serving finger foods for your wedding you want to find ways to save time without sacrificing the quality.
You can find many recipes such as frittatas and pizzas that can be made in one large pan and then cut into bite sized portions.
There are also many ways that readymade items can be used as toppings or fillings.
For example a good bottle of pesto can be spread on crostini and topped with a scallop, and then garnished with a fresh sprig of herb; these delightful morsels can be assembled in minutes.
There are also a variety of desserts can be used as finger food, and occasionally an entire party can be focused on them.
When planning the wedding food menu, consider the time that is available to you and your helpers.
If you have limited time don't plan to serve many time-consuming items, such as wraps and rolls.
Instead look for finger food recipes such as whole frittatas and savory quiches which can then be cut into smaller portions.
Select dishes that can be made in advance and frozen. Serve platters of lightly cooked vegetables with dips (most vegetables can be cut up in advance and be kept in the fridge the night before).
Have a variety of hot and cold dishes.
If you are serving the finger food before a meal, make sure that these are not to filling serve just a few tasty items.
If you are serving the food for an evening party or cocktail party these can be more filling because they will be the main meal.
Serve about six or more dishes; some could be high protein based, vegetables or carbohydrates.
For dessert serve fresh fruit, chocolates, small biscuits, and small cakes.
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You can have a theme for the wedding food such as Italian, French or Mexican or you can have a variety of foods from different countries.
The most important thing to remember is that the food should be easy to handle. Serve finger foods that can be eaten with one hand and in a couple of bites.
Do provide places for your guests to place their drinks in case they need to use their other hand for food.
You should use attractive platters, plates, baskets and bowls for displaying food. The food should be presented in such a way that it looks colorful and appealing on the buffet table.
Fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, chilies or lemon wedges can be used to garnish foods that are not naturally bright.
Have someone pass around some dishes on smaller plates so that not everyone is crowding around the buffet table.
Refill the platters as soon as they are half empty by bring out the replacement food on smaller plates.
Have someone regularly remove empty bottles, plates and full ashtrays.
The key to a successful wedding finger food reception is in the planning. Once you have made a final decision on your menu, make lists.
Make a shopping list of all the ingredients that you require for each dish, and a timeline of all the tasks assigned to a particular helper and days.
It is also wise to make a list of equipment and serving dishes and utensils that will be needed on the day. Try to get all this in place far ahead of time.
If you are having dishes that can be frozen make these at least one to two weeks in advance.
If you can, set up the buffet table and bar the evening before.
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Pre-dinner nibbles serve about 4-5 pieces of food per person
Cocktail party lasting about two to three hours allow 4 -5 pieces of food per hour for each guest.
Where finger food is replacing a full sit down meal allow 13 - 15 pieces of food per person for the length of the whole party.
Have a variety of food and keep it simple and concentrate on only a few fabulous dishes than having a large number of average dishes.
If you are having about 10 - 20 guests prepare about six different dishes, for more than 20 guests prepare about eight dishes.
For a whole evening occasion start with light canapes, then move onto more substantial food (this would be when you would serve the hot food) and then finish with sweet nibbles.
When sending out your wedding invitations it is always a sensible idea to give your guests a rough idea of what to expect, food - wise.
So if you are planning on having a two hour cocktail party, it's a good idea to put a start and assumed finish times on the invitation; this way people will be expecting nibbles and not a full meal.
If it is an evening reception, let them know that you will be providing food equivalent to an evening meal. You might also like to read our article on catering your own wedding.