It’s a few hours into your reception; the guests had dinner at six, now it’s nine p.m., and everyone’s been tearing up the dance floor. It’s time to put out some refreshments to keep your guests energized and make sure the party doesn’t fizzle out. You could do bowls of popcorn and pretzels–serviceable, but dull. Here are a few ideas for a mid-reception pick-me-up your guests will love.
The trick for these late-night reception snacks is to keep the portions small and easily enjoyed by people standing up wearing formal wear. Sliders–miniature hamburgers or cheeseburgers–fit the bill perfectly, as do miniature hot dogs wrapped in dough. Put out some ketchup and mustard to dip them in, and guests can eat one for a pick-me-up, or more if they skimped on dinner. Bonus points for adding French fries in paper sleeves for portability.
Cookies and Milk
There’s something delightfully transgressive about eating kiddie food in formal wear. Most adults would never dream of having a plate of chocolate chip cookies and milk at 10 o’clock at night, which is exactly what makes this idea so genius. For additional hearkening-back-to-childhood, serve the milk in paper cartons like you used to have in your grade-school cafeteria.
Mac ‘n’ Cheese Bites
You’ll find substantial overlap between State Fair foods and late-night wedding reception snack ideas. It makes sense: both require portability and a certain stick-to-your-ribs quality while keeping the portion size low. Mac ‘n’ Cheese bites–dollops of dense macaroni-and-cheese breaded and deep-fried–have all the salt and grease to keep your guests dancing, but each bite is small enough that guests don’t have to gorge on them.
Speaking of State Fair ideas, if you’re from the Midwest you’re probably familiar with the glory that is the mini-donut. For those unfortunate few who haven’t had them, they’re tiny rings of dough, fried and tossed in a bag with cinnamon and sugar, then served almost too hot to eat. The machine that makes fresh mini-donuts can be rented for the event, and it’s great fun to watch: the dough drops into the fry oil, moves on a conveyor belt, gets flipped by tiny tongs, fries on the other side, then gets flipped into a hopper. It’s almost as fun to watch them being made as to eat them, so it will make a great addition to your reception as well.
Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Shooters
Grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup are a fantastic comfort food, but they’re not especially portable for late-night snacking. The trick is to miniaturize them–cut the sandwiches into finger-food-sized triangles, and stack them on top of a one-or-two-ounce glass full of tomato soup. Voila! A portable, adorably-miniature version of one of childhood’s staple foods.
A late-night snack not only energizes your wedding guests, bringing out the food breaks up the monotony of the party, which helps keep the energy up as well. Whatever you decide to serve for your late-night wedding reception snack, remember to keep portions small, keep it portable, and keep it fun. Oh, and don’t forget to provide some wet-naps for greasy (or chocolatey) fingers.