Outdoor Weddings and Your Food

Catered buffet

Now that we’re coming into the summer months, more and more weddings will be happening outside. Outdoor weddings have a special flair all their own—beautiful scenery, nice breezes, and gorgeous sunshine all make for a beautiful celebration. And of course, these wonderful weddings have their own unique food choices, too.

Tired of the same old “steak, chicken, or fish” catering options and want to find something that will satisfy your guests cravings and make your day one for the memory books? Here are some ideas to make your outdoor wedding a hit not just in your guests hearts, but for their taste buds, too!

Keep It Classic for the Main Course

Barbecue grill

The more relaxed, laid-back vibe of an outdoor wedding just screams classic foods. Summer staples like pulled pork sandwiches and grilled chicken are great options for barbecue catering that are sure to be crowd-pleasers. Sides like macaroni and cheese, cornbread, and fresh salads are popular dishes for outdoor affairs that go well with grilled meats while catering to a lot of tastes. The versatility of the classic grilled style for your meal will help add a simple, fun, and delicious aspect to your day! You really can’t go wrong with summer cookout food at your outdoor wedding.

Serve Drinks with a Fruity Flair

Beer and cider are go-to options for any outdoor affair, but consider adding in mixes of fruity drinks to add some pizzazz and summer flavor! A fun idea is to create a signature drink with some kind of fruity element—a light, breezy cocktail with strawberries perhaps—so your guests can enjoy a lighter drink option in addition to beer and wine.

Even if you’re forgoing alcohol at your reception, you can still bring some fruity fun. Providing a variety of fruit juices in addition to your soda options will add a refreshing element to your drink table. Or even opt for a lemonade or iced tea “bar”! You could provide each guest with a cup (wedding favor, anyone?) and then have a few options for the main base of the drink—lemonade, plain iced tea, lemon iced tea, etc—along with items to mix into their cups like raspberries, strawberries, mint leaves, lemons, or limes. Each guest can create their own perfect summer drink and can even try different combinations throughout the evening! It’s a super fun, super affordable way to add some extra flair while making sure your drink choices give guests some relief from the heat.

Get Creative with Dessert Options


Probably the most fun part of any wedding food (for an outdoor wedding or otherwise!) is the dessert! Now, having a cake, or any similar item like cupcakes, is always a classic, delicious option, but consider adding an extra-special outdoor-friendly dessert to make your day even more memorable! A super cute, fun choice that is trending right now is to create either a s’mores bar or individual s’mores favors for your guests. This is especially awesome if you know your reception venue has a bonfire and you’ll have a space where guests can actually get their marshmallow toastin’ on! (Sidenote: if you don’t want to go with plain chocolate, you can always slip in other candy choices like a peanut butter cup!)

If your wedding is a little earlier in the day, like an outdoor brunch wedding, an awesome not-too-sweet dessert choice could be doughnuts! You can get them in a wide variety of flavors and colors, and who doesn’t love a good doughnut?

Buffet donuts

Or, for a particularly sweet and satisfying cap off to your outdoor wedding, you could hire an ice cream truck to arrive near the end of your reception! Surprise your guests with a unique dessert experience—and an ice cream cone or popsicle after a summer evening of dancing for hours is sure to hit the spot!

Keep the Elements in Mind

Before you cement any food ideas for your wedding, make sure to consider that your outdoor wedding is—well—outdoors. Be prepared for all sorts of weather to come into play here, but most especially at this time of year? Heat! Your drinks won’t be nearly as delicious if you forget to buy enough ice for a scorching summer day, and your cake won’t look nearly as gorgeous if the frosting’s melting off the sides of it. If at all possible, keep temperature-sensitive items out of direct sunlight, or ask that the folks coordinating wait until they absolutely have to before setting up items that might melt or overheat in warmer temperatures.

Otherwise, just get out there and have a blast at your beautiful, breezy, outdoor celebration! Do you have any ideas for delicious outdoor wedding food options? Share them below!

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