August 12, 2022


5 Fun Wedding + Elopement Dinner Ideas for Your Big Day

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One of the most underrated, fun parts of planning an elopement or wedding: FOOD! Figuring out what you’re going to eat for your wedding or elopement dinner is a crucial part of curating your ideal celebration, and can have such a big impact on how you + your guests experience the day.

I’ve been to a looooot of weddings and I swear the guests are always the happiest when there’s an abundance of delicious foods to snack on throughout the day – not just at dinnertime – and when they can grab a yummy glass of whatever drink is being offered. Think about it: wedding days are long, and so many couples don’t give themselves time to eat until dinner rolls around, which is most often hours after they ate any breakfast! 

Plus, if you’re having a cocktail hour, it’s likely that dinner won’t be served until at least 1-2 hours after your ceremony. By then, your guests are probably getting a little tired and need a boost of energy, right?

That’s why I was SO excited to sit down and write this blog post centered around all things wedding + elopement food.

people eating dinner at wedding

Your options are endless!

Thanks to how much the wedding industry has evolved in recent years, you’re no longer limited to the typical, traditional wedding day stuff – like hiring the most affordable caterer you can find to serve your 300 guests without breaking the bank. Or asking your guests on their invitations whether they want chicken, beef, or fish. 

Nahhh – you have SO many options to choose from when it comes to what you eat + drink on your elopement day. Get ready for some fun ideas that are sure to make your stomach the happiest it’s ever been on your wedding day, just like you’ll be, marrying the love of your life! 😉

wedding guests at reception

5 Fun Wedding + Elopement Dinner Ideas

First, let’s start off with my favorite wedding + elopement dinner ideas. Some of these ideas will be best fit for couples who are eloping in private, or are only inviting a small number of guests. Others will work no matter if you have an elopement with 10 close BFF’s, or an intimate wedding with 50 loved ones!

1. Use a local caterer

We’ll begin with a fairly common way of serving food at your wedding: hiring a local caterer. This is probably one of the easier options, since all it requires of you is to find the right caterer, work with them to figure out your menu, and they take over from there!

Catering companies are especially good for weddings with a larger number of guests, as they typically have the staff on hand to be able to cook + serve your food in a timely manner on the big day. Plus, they have all the equipment they need and will likely just require a space at your venue where they can do the cookin’.

One of my favorite Wisconsin wedding caterers is Julie Kay’s Kitchen, a catering company based out of Hazelhurst, WI. They offer meals anywhere from “country casual to caviar elegance,” so they’re an awesome team to work with no matter what type of meal you’d like to serve! With 26 years of experience and one-of-a-kind culinary offerings to fit every couple’s needs, Julie Kay’s Kitchen is a top-notch local Wisconsin catering option.

I also love CT’s Deli, a deli located in Rhinelander, WI that offers wedding catering services. Whether you want to chomp down on some delicious beef burgers, snack on delish handout french fries, enjoy their classic deli salads, or have a hot sandwich platter, they’ve got options everyone will enjoy! Plus, they serve gluten-free & vegetarian options, and will always do their best to accommodate food allergies.

dinner tables set at reception

2. Rent a food truck (or multiple!)

One of my favorite wedding + elopement dinner options that’s become more popular recently is food trucks! They’re the perfect way to customize your meal to a certain category of food that you especially love, such as BBQ, pizza, sandwiches, dessert, even late-night snacks to serve your guests when they need some dancing fuel. You could rent one food truck just for dinner, or rent multiple for the evening to offer a variety of options. Even if you hire a caterer for your regular “dinner,” renting a food truck to bring late-night snacks like corndogs, fries, and burgers is SO much fun for both you + your guests.

Two of my favorite local Wisconsin food trucks that offer food for weddings are Jessica’s Cucina and The RBA Food Truck! Jessica’s offers a variety of plated and buffet services for all meals of the day, and The RBA serves up mouthwatering tacos, zucchini fries, and more.

cake at reception

3. Hire a private chef

If you’re having a very intimate or fully private elopement, and would like to go a slightly more bougie route, you can 100% hire a private chef to come to you + cook a delicious meal for you. I mean, how lovely would it be to come back to your Airbnb after exchanging your vows, change into comfier clothes, and relax in your Airbnb’s hot tub or living space while a private chef cooks you a professional dinner?

A fantastic option for those of you eloping in the Eagle River, WI area is Chef Luke, who offers private chef services specializing in fine steak dinners + whole pig roasts. Talk about mouth watering – just imagine the heavenly smells coming through the kitchen as you enjoy meaningful time with your new spouse!

4. Cook a meal with your family

Want to keep it casual + extra meaningful? Cook a meal with your family on your elopement day, or have them bring items to make a potluck dinner! It’s a super simple way to spend intentional time with your guests, and gives you the chance to 

If you want to do this, I highly recommend booking a spacious Airbnb so you can all celebrate in an intimate, private space, and have fun cooking + making memories together! Be sure to check out my guide to the 8 Best Cabins in the Upper Peninsula for an Airbnb Elopement if you’re eloping in the UP and want to find a great Airbnb for your big day 🙂

grilling at reception

5. Snack on charcuterie boards

Finally, charcuterie boards are always a win – I swear everybody loves them! And the best part about them is that you can really put ANYTHING on them. Maybe you want to snack on some yummy cheeses, meats, + crackers for an appetizer, or you want to bring out a dessert-filled charcuterie board with all your favorite sweets (imagine a s’mores charcuterie board that lets you build your s’mores with a bunch of ingredient choices!)

They’re also a great option if you’re eloping in the outdoors, and want to set up a cozy little picnic after your ceremony – like on the top of a mountain, or in a grassy field with a view! 

P.S. I actually make charcuterie boards myself for couples and would absolutely love to make one for your elopement 🙂 I made the one pictured below for Lindsay + Duncan’s Marqette elopement, if you’d like to see an example!

BONUS: Curating a Beautiful Table Setting for Your Elopement Dinner

And one last tip to round this out: I highly recommend curating a beautiful table setting to go with your delicious elopement or wedding dinner, no matter what you end up eating! Having a gorgeous, intentionally set up tablescape will make your meal all the more enjoyable + memorable. Your wedding is an excuse to get fancy and splurge a bit on what matters to you, so why not feast off of beautiful plates, use fancy, color-coordinated napkins, and have stunning flowers covering the table?

More Elopement + Intimate Wedding Resources

If you loved learning about all your options when it comes to eating on your elopement or wedding day, I know you’ll love all the other elopement + intimate wedding guides I’ve created recently for you! Check ‘em out below to start planning your dream day with the help of all my knowledge + expertise as a professional elopement photographer.

What is an Intimate Wedding? A Simple Guide to Planning One

5 of the Best Places to Elope in Marquette, Michigan

8 Best Cabins in the Upper Peninsula for an Airbnb Elopement

  1. […] 5 Fun Wedding + Elopement Dinner Ideas for Your Big Day […]

  2. […] And because I love food SO much and think it is such an important part of your wedding day, I published a blog post recently dedicated to solely elopement food! Trust me – you won’t want to miss out on these 5 Fun Wedding & Elopement Diner Ideas for Your Big Day. […]

  3. […] some help figuring out what to eat on your elopement day?! Check out my recent blog post with 5 Fun Wedding or Elopement Dinner Ideas for Your Big Day, which even includes more of my favorite local food vendors that you can […]

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