A huge congratulations on your summer wedding and tying the knot! You have selected an incredibly beautiful time for your wedding celebration as you have relaxed guests, sunny weather, gorgeous backdrops, and fresh and delicious food.
Your summer wedding menu ideas can truly take full advantage of all that the lovely summer season has to offer with lots of seasonal seafood, fresh produce, grilled dishes, tasty barbecue, and icy treats. If you want to truly take advantage of all that this season has to offer, these summer wedding menu ideas are perfect to create the best menu for your guests.
Summer wedding buffet menu ideas
First, let’s start with buffets. Buffets are an easier approach to serve a wide variety of foods and avoid the hassle of figuring out courses for guests. The wedding buffet vs plated cost is also something to note and can be more achievable for couples.
Buffets make the big day even more special by letting your guests get up and move around. It doesn’t have to be the traditional buffet where all the food is displayed in the back of the room. Think about interactive food stations where each station is a node to different fresh summer ingredients.
Another trend with buffet style menus for summer wedding menu ideas is grazing tables. A grazing table is basically taking up a whole table and filling it with different kinds of food for guests to graze on while the event takes place. Some grazing table staples include cheeses, meats, nuts, and berries, all things that you can quickly pick up on and snack on.
These tables allow your guests the opportunity to nibble here and there as the day progresses and avoids the feeling of having to sit down for a big, heavy meal.
Keep it light and fresh
If you are wondering what to serve at a wedding reception buffet, aim to keep it fresh and light. Summer always brings a lot of fresh ingredients that can be incorporated into summer wedding menu ideas, so try and incorporate these fresh flavors into your stations or passed around appetizers. Think about how you are going to greet guests, maybe with something light and refreshing when they enter the venue.
Summer wedding menu ideas can basically take traditional wedding menus and add seasonal food like the incorporation of berries, fresh herbs, and melons. Anything that is fresh in season should be made use of the most.
For example, for the wedding food main course, traditional wedding menus will usually focus on some kind of meat, but in the summer months, a lighter fish might be better for summer wedding menu ideas.
For pasta, if you are thinking about pasta, using a light sauce like a browned butter sauce instead of a heavier one will work better with the hotter months. Bright, colorful, and enticing food will be the most popular for your summer wedding. No guest wants to feel overly full in the hot sun.
Summer menu ideas
Now that you have a sense of the kinds of food that should be served at a summer wedding let’s dive into some specific summer wedding menu ideas. There are so many incredible options to serve at a summer wedding. Still, the way to truly make your wedding menu and wedding food set up special is by focusing on dishes and ingredients that compliment the warm season and, in turn, will compliment your beautiful wedding.
These are so incredibly easy and have always been a fan favorite. Nothing says summer like bright and delicious tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, hand-picked basil, and a drizzle of balsamic. Caprese skewers are a really great, easy, and filling option without weighing down your guests.
Seafood! Everyone loves a good sushi bar, and guests will be raving about fresh sushi at your wedding for years. Working with your caterer to set up this refreshing, tasty, and gorgeous option will be crucial, but everyone will appreciate the effort. Also, don’t forget to offer some vegetarian options for possible guests who don’t want to or can’t eat raw fish.
Pizza is popular for everyone, probably one of the all time favorite foods for most. If you are thinking about doing a spread of pizzas but are worried that it might be too heavy for your guests and the summer months, a simple and delicious flatbread with some greens, prosciutto, and a fresh lemon squeeze can be a much lighter and tastier alternative.
Similar to the sushi bar, nothing screams warm sunshine and summer like fresh seafood. Setting up tasty, light options of seafood with a bunch of different sauces will create a fun, delicious, and interactive station.
Carrying on with the seafood theme, capture fresh, summertime flavors with lobster rolls. If you want to stray away from lobster, these lobster rolls can be changed to feature chicken or other seafood like tuna or crab instead. You and your guests will feel like they are on the cape, hanging out in the beautiful sun.
Prosciutto and melon
Nothing pairs better together than cantaloupe and prosciutto. They are a match made in heaven and embody the taste of summer with the sweet and saltiness. A simple and creative appetizer that will be refreshing and tasty for your guests for outdoor wedding menu ideas for summer.
What pairs well with a margarita in your hand and the sunshine? A taco, of course! Fish tacos will capture the flavors of the summer season into the mix, and make sure you don’t forget the lime for this tasty summer wedding menu idea.
Ice cream cones
Ice cream would probably be a little out there for the colder months, but for the summer season, it is the perfect treat. It is summertime after all, and everyone loves some ice cream during the summer! Serve mini ice cream cones in multiple flavors after, or even before, dinner as a little treat.
If you are thinking of hosting a wedding on a beach or somewhere outside and want to capture that east coast vibe, oysters can be such a fun treat to add to your summer wedding menu ideas.
Oysters can get relatively pricey so consider setting up a bar for your guests with oysters on the half shell, paired with a multitude of sauces for toppings as an appetizer instead of an addition to a meal.
When thinking about serving dishes for a wedding reception, especially plated meals, for a summer wedding, consider incorporating fresh fish and pairing it with light and tasty vegetables. The perfect pairing is a sea bass filet with asparagus, red peppers, and other seasonal vegetables. Top it over a creamy risotto and have the ideal summer plated meal.
Everyone loves burrata, especially in the summer months. Burrata is such a refreshing and light cheese that honestly pairs perfectly with anything and everything. Seasonal tomatoes that are bright and will complement the burrata would make an excellent addition as an appetizer.
When you think of hanging out during the summer, it usually follows with a hotdog. This summer staple can be dressed up with a high quality bun, delicious Dijon mustard, and fresh herbs. Mini hot dogs are the optimal tasty treat for a summer wedding that won’t break the bank.
While we said earlier that avoiding heavy foods, like meat, is best for a wedding, there are ways to incorporate meat for those that can’t live without it. Steak, or other heavier proteins, can be paired with lighter ingredients to be bright and light enough for summer. Perfect ingredients include fresh tomato salsa, garlic, herbs, or roasted corn.
So many delicious options
The summer wedding menu ideas are endless as the summer produces the freshest and most delicious ingredients. As long as you don’t shy away from incorporating the bountiful ingredients of summer within your menu, you really can’t go wrong.