Food Bars As Alternative Wedding Dining Ideas

Today we’re looking at having food bars as an alternative to the traditional three course wedding breakfast. I don’t know about you but I have watched rather a lot of reality TV wedding shows. You know: Don’t Tell The Bride; Four Weddings; My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding etc. I go through phases of watching them. Sometimes I think ‘Really? You don’t like what he’s arranged? Why go on reality TV in the first place?!’. Sometimes I watch these guilty pleasures and call it research for my business 😉 It’s interesting to see the difference between the UK and the US versions.

I have never understood how so much food can be consumed at the US cocktail hour and then they have a full 3 course wedding breakfast afterwards! Makes me feel bloated just thinking about it! However, there are some US trends that I think are worth looking at and perhaps adapting.

Buffet vx Food Bars

What’s the difference between a buffet and food bars? A buffet is laid out all on one table and guests line up and work their way down the table. As we saw in an earlier post, a buffet can be great for keeping costs down without compromising on quality. Food bars are individual food ‘stations’ serving different styles of food. For example you could have a pasta bar serving two or three different pasta dishes. Then you could have a fish bar with smoked salmon, prawns, etc. Other choices could include: sushi; dim sum; charcuterie; cheese; artisan breads with olive oils and balsamic vinegars; salad; etc.

Food Bars Charcuterie


Food Bars Dim Sum

Dim Sum

Food Bars Fish


Food Bars Sushi



The advantage of having food bars instead of a set menu is that you can have a wide variety of food. Unless you have got the pickiest eater on the planet attending your wedding, having a choice of food is bound to please everyone. You’re paying a lot of money for your guests to enjoy your wedding day. You want them to go home raving about everything being fabulous rather than stopping off at MackieD’s on the way home because they didn’t enjoy the food!


Can’t agree on what you want? You’re total foodies and want to share that with your guests? Having various different food bars will give them a flavour of everything that you like as a couple. Perhaps one of you has a sweet tooth and the other one prefers savoury. In addition to the savoury examples above you could really go to town on your desert choices!  Cookies; brownies; ice cream; old fashioned puds such as jam roly poly, spotted dick, fruit crumble; cheesecakes; scones, cream & jam; doughnuts; cupcakes. For the health conscious you could have a fruit bar.

Food Bars Brownies


Food Bars Cheesecake


Food Bars Cream Tea

Scones, Cream & Jam

Food Bars Fruit



Not strictly speaking food bars, however you can go to town on drinks too. How about a hot chocolate bar? Specialist coffees and teas; cocktails; mocktails for those driving; different ciders; whiskey bar; etc.

What do you think of food bars as an alternative to the traditional wedding breakfast? Leave me a comment below!