It’s a tale as old as time. The two things people take away from a wedding is the music and of course, the food. Not the painstaking details that go into picking the perfect invitation, color coordinating bridesmaid dresses to flowers or the ultimate wardrobe choice the bride has to make. People remember what you fed them.
Food has become just as important as the wedding itself, a now paramount item on the checklist. But some guests expect more than just cocktail hour and dinner. Unique food stations, bars, food trucks and stands have been popping up pre- and post-reception as an extra way to make sure your guests’ bellies are nice and full.
Many brides and grooms favor the popular Viennese hour to satisfy their sweet tooth, while others opt for a dessert bar. But few and far between have ever done a cupcake bar. John “JJ” and Karin Hlywiak of JJ’s Rockin’ Cupcakes in Massapequa lay claim to the first cupcake bar, where guests pick and choose their very own cupcake creation and watch it get made before their eyes.
“Depending on the style of the bride and groom, we come with a table, linens and tiers and make it unique to them, but we always use mini cupcakes because those work best,” said Karin Hlywiak, wedding planner and owner of Cinderella4aDay. “The couple picks 4-5 flavors for the base of the cupcake and 5-6 frosting flavors. We also have a toppings bar with maraschino cherries, crushed peanuts, Oreo crumbles, sprinkles, etc.”
Hlywiak’s cupcake bar also offers a push-pop option, in which cake and ice cream is stuffed inside a push-pop for guests to take home, a unique twist on an ice-cream bar and perfect for a summer wedding. The cupcake bar ranges from $10-$14 per person.
It’s a known fact that guests love the cocktail hour more than the sit down dinner. Brides and grooms have gotten creative with what foods are offered around the room and venues have taken notice. Some of the most popular specialty stations are the bacon bar, featuring different kinds of bacon with dipping sauces and toppings; the mashed potato bar with cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream to pile onto each creamy, potatoey spoonful and the adorable slider station to satisfy that juicy burger craving. Although many venues can accommodate a specialty station, it may come at an extra charge, so check with your banquet manager first.
Bring a taste of Italy to your wedding with a unique yet rustic pizza bar. Offer your guests an array of already made pizzas where they can grab a slice and hit the road, or set up a make your own mini pizza with fresh toppings like meats, vegetables and cheeses. Have a pizza oven behind the bar so they can watch their creation bake as they wait.
Everyone is pushing healthy, fresh ingredients, and now, fruits and veggies are getting their 15 minutes of fame at weddings. Farmer’s markets are super fresh and local during the spring and summer season, making them accessible for your March or July wedding. Set up a fruit stand with barrels and buckets of fresh fruit for guests to munch on at midnight. If the artisanal couple is really into farm stands, they may hand out fresh jams, jellies or even honey as a favor.
Ah, the food truck. People love food on wheels and what better time to get food from a truck than at a wedding. More popular after the night is over, food trucks have camped outside venues and offer everything from hot pretzels, churros and burgers, to hot chocolate, ice cream and Belgian waffles. Some trucks even come stocked with classic favorites like Taco Bell, White Castle and McDonalds. Spring and summer are probably the best times to have a food truck at your wedding as guests will be lining up outside. Chances are, they won’t mind waiting if the weather is nice to grab another bite for their ride home.