Ask our team whether they think canapés are essential at a wedding and the answer will be the same every time… yes! I have written before about how important it is to ensure you are feeding your guests properly throughout your wedding day, with the golden rule being to never leave it more than one and a half hours without offering some form of fare.

Why Serve Canapés at Your Wedding?

As well as being little mouthfuls of deliciousness, wedding canapés also have many other benefits. They might be small but they play a significant role during all wedding receptions. They prepare your guests for the main wedding meal and are served in a way that allows people to mix and mingle. Often this is the point in proceedings where you head off for photographs, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get to eat what you choose!

A wedding is the coming together of two people and two families. It is therefore important to remember that many of your guests may not know each other… cue the canapés! They’re a talking point and a conversation starter. Everyone loves food and talking about it. So, make your wedding canapés interesting and they will provide a simple ice breaker.

Egg and Asparagus Canapés

Also, your guests may underestimate the time between leaving for the ceremony and dinner. This is usually at least two hours, and sometimes anything up to five. Wedding reception canapés help fill this hunger gap and ensure that your guests don’t go hungry.

Choosing Wedding Canapé Options

So… now you’re sold on a fabulous canapé reception. But how do you choose between the many options? Here are a few rules to help you decide on your canapé menu…

What Sort of Wedding are You Having?

Think about the style of your wedding day. You could go with the season (see these posts for summer, autumn and winter canapé ideas), or you could base your choice on the country or county. Have fun, have a theme, or take a minimalist approach.

How Many Canapés Should You Serve?

If you’re marrying earlier than 2pm, ensure a large amount of canapés per person as its likely your guests won’t have had lunch. Serve five canapés per hour, per person; people should be eating one canapé every 12 minutes. For example, a one and a half hour reception for 80 guests = an eight choice menu, so that guests get at least seven canapés per person.

Play it Safe

What is important is not to take undue risks and to think about your guests; you want everyone to have something to enjoy. Although you should provide a good mix of vegetarian, fish and meat canapé options, regardless of the dietary inclinations of your guests (variety is key), avoid food that not every will like. For example, how many of your guests will enjoy black pudding? Will lots of them be adventurous with raw fish? These are all questions to ask yourself before you commit. Always include a few things that your guests will easily recognise and be very comfortable with.

Scallop Canapés on Chinese Spoon

Easy to Eat

We always recommend that you use no more than one utensil to serve, because they can be annoying if over used. For example, one skewer, fork, spoon or shot. Each wedding canapé should be a simple, easy to eat, elegant and delicious bite.

Sweet Canapés

Finally, only choose sweet canapés for longer receptions and use them as a sign to show guests that the reception is over or moving on to another stage.

Guest post by Julie Gray of Bovingdons

Images from Lloyd Dobbie