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17 Unusual & Unique Wedding Food Ideas for Every Style of Wedding

Amaze your guests with these unusual wedding food ideas - but be warned, this article *will* make you feel hungry!

a wooden platter of sliders and unique wedding food ideas served as canapes on cocktail sticks

Just as you can use wedding décor to personalise your ceremony and reception, you can use your wedding food ideas to reflect you as a couple. Planning your wedding meal ideas is fun, and also a great way to express yourself as a couple and plan a day that's truly unique to you. 

Are you a laidback pair? Choose a menu of your favourite simple culinary pleasures. Love to travel? Choose a cuisine you both adore from around the world. 

When you're thinking about what to ask your wedding venue, make sure you establish what the catering situation is. Some venues allow you to bring in outside caterers, but others require you to use their in-house team.

You may find there are set menus that you can tweak to make them unique. Whatever the situation, you'll need to work closely with your caterer so you're both on the same (menu) page - and it's essential to have at least one tasting before the big day.

17 Wedding Food Ideas: From Simple Buffets to Unusual Spreads

To help you give your guests a fabulous feast, we explain some of the dos and don'ts of food for weddings, as well as providing culinary inspiration in the form of unusual new catering trends.

From wedding food ideas for a buffet, to unique and unusual wedding catering ideas - you're bound to be spoilt for choice here. 

And if you're in a rush to get your inspo, just skip straight to the section you need. Bon appétit!

Simple Wedding Food Ideas

1. BBQ - Smoke Tin Kitchen

Racks of meat roasting over a charcoal grill

If you're planning on hosting a summer wedding, then there's no better way to keep those summer vibes going than with barbeque food in a wedding. This is the perfect way to accompany some outdoor drinks, and BBQ menus can be easily tailored to include vegetarian and vegan options. 

The delicious BBQ spreads at Smoke Tin Kitchen focus on fire-cooked food sourced seasonally and locally. Wedding menu options include oak-smoked salmon, grilled squid and wood-cooked whole chicken, with vegetarian options ranging from charred pumpkin to hispi cabbage. 

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2. Sliders - Garni 

Chef organising rows of sliders on wooden chopping boards

Sliders are the perfect option for delicious wedding canapes. They're completely customisable and pack all the fun and flavour of a hamburger or sandwich into a smaller portion - a great way to keep your wedding food ideas simple. 

Check out these mouth watering sliders from Garni, all made with local products and fresh ingredients. Yum!

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3. Good Old Pie - Mesa Catering

Smiling bride and groom hold up plates of pie and smile at the camera

Ah, the humble pie. Reliable, filling and delicious - could this be the perfect option for the food in your wedding?

Looking at these pastry mountains covered in rich gravy from Mesa Catering is enough to make us say 'I do'. Mesa chefs use free-range British beef in their pies, offering options such as classic beefsteak and kidney pie, as well as vegetarian options like goats cheese and sweet potato and spinach. 

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4. Ice Cream - The Horsebox Ice Cream Company

Bride with colourful bouquet and flower crown eats an ice cream in a cone

You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! This is a one of those wedding food ideas that's simple and a crowd pleaser, especially when it's soft scoop, locally produced and served in a delicious waffle cone like the ice cream from The Horsebox Ice Cream Company.

This is a great way to cool off with a sweet treat during a summer wedding. They also offer cups and spoons for guests who don't want a cone - although who wouldn't?

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5. Scones - Here Today, Scone Tomorrow

Scone with jam and cream on a plate beside a cup of tea

If you've decided to serve classically British cuisine at your wedding, then why not consider scones as a dessert option? They're lightweight, fluffy, delicious and oh-so-British, and Gloucestershire-based Here Today, Scone Tomorrow even offers a platter of scones in place of a wedding cake. The only remaining question is: will you put the jam or the cream on first?

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Wedding Food Ideas for a Buffet

6. Self-Serve Buffet - The Bo-Ho Catering Company

Self-service buffet foods laid out in black containers on a table with burlap table runner

You can't go wrong with wedding buffet food. Choosing a buffet over a sit-down meal isn't only cheaper on average; it also means that you can include many other food options for your guests to choose from, as well as easily cater to any dietary requirements. 

We love this spread from The Bo-Ho Catering Company. They offer completely bespoke wedding menus and wedding buffet food, as well as stand-alone services such as BBQs, hog roasts and paella. 

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7. Finger Foods Buffet - Luxury Catering For Kent

Buffet spread on white table with sandwiches, quiche, skewers and samosas

Before 'picky bits' and 'girl dinner', there was finger food. Simple, straightforward and all to be eaten with your hands, there's no simpler way to do wedding buffet food than with picky bits. 

There are plenty of things you can include - check out the buffet from Luxury Catering For Kent for some inspiration. They've included hashbrowns, chicken skewers, tarts, sandwiches and quiche for a spread guaranteed to keep guests and couples satisfied. 

Put it this way - no guest will be disappointed to see a finger foods buffet at your wedding - especially after a few drinks!

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8. Hog Roast - Northern Dishes

Bucher carving a hog roast

If you want a quirky wedding buffet idea, why not consider having a hog roast on your big day? These meaty feasts are a cheaper way to feed your guests, as well as acting as an impressive visual feature on the day - just look at this huge hog roast by Northern Dishes.

It's one of the best wedding meal ideas if you know your guests love a good pork joint. 

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Unusual Wedding Food Ideas

9. Fish and Chips - Paddy's - Food Truck

Chips and battered fish with tartar sauce and a wedge of lemon

There's nothing more quintessentially British than a portion of good old fish and chips - in fact, it's one of our favourite wedding meal ideas. So if you're a fan of the chippy or if you want to bring a more relaxed and casual vibe to your evening celebrations, fish and chips is the way to go. 

This mouth-watering portion from Paddy's is enough to convince anyone, especially once you learn that they source their cod fresh from Billingsgate Market and their crispy chips are made from hand cut Morris Piper potatoes. 

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10. Hot Dogs - Hot Sausage Company

Bride stands in front of a hot dog cart in a courtyard at dusk

We challenge you to find a more classic street food than hot dogs. Quick to make and easy to eat without the need for plates, this is a great evening option for your guests' late night nibbles, or even to serve as the main food for weddings. 

The Hot Sausage Company offers sausages in a range of flavours, as well as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Not only that, the iconic red booth also serves as a great photo prop.

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11. Rolled Ice Cream - Frew & Co

5 blue tubs of rolled ice cream with toppings and topping jars arranged behind them

We all love ice cream, but have you ever had rolled ice cream, like these delicious spirals from Frew & Co? These ultra-thin scoops look seriously impressive and can be served with all types of different toppings. 

We also love the ideas of presenting ice cream rolls in a bouquet - what a unique centrepiece.

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12. Oysters - Rocks Oysters

COllection of oysters with prawns, lemon wedges and sauce

Oysters may not be to everyone's tastes, but they're a sure-fire way to add some class and elegance to your wedding celebration - just look at this gorgeous display by Rocks Oysters.

These seafood experts have hosted events for the likes of Tabasco and Guinness, and are ready to bring the same platters to your wedding. 

One thing's for sure, it's one of the most unique wedding catering ideas. These could end up being the perfect way to end your wedding. After all, you know what they say about oysters...

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13. Paella - Vamos Paella

Pan of paella with mussels overlooking a green lawn

Paella may seem like a less traditional wedding food idea, but this age-old dish is meant to be shared among friends and families. There are endless ways to switch it up, whether you want seafood, chicken and chorizo or vegetarian. 

Vamos Paella has been serving up their gigantic paellas since 2011, and can even provide tapas and canapes for your wedding day as well. 

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14. Churros - The Wee Churros Corner

Churros with sauce, whipped cream and a cup of chocolate

If you want to keep the Spanish theme going with dessert, there's no better option than some delicious churros. These fried dough sticks are best when served with chocolate and cream. Dundee-based The Wee Churro Corner even makes their own dipping chocolate, as well as serving teas and coffees.

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TikTok Wedding Food Ideas

15. Grazing Table - Rainbow Grazing Co. 

Grazing table set up in an outdoor patio presented in a vintage cart

Wedding grazing tables are everywhere right now, and when you consider all the benefits, it's very easy to see why. People can't get enough of this wedding food trend for several reasons; firstly, the possibilities are endless, whether you want charcuterie like this delicious grazing table from Rainbow Grazing Co., brunch tables or dessert grazing tables. Your guests will have plenty to choose from. 

Not only are grazing tables great food offerings, but they also look very impressive. Try adding some brightly coloured fruit and vegetables to really make it pop. 

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16. Food Trucks - Ninjo

Black and red noodle bar food truck with stools outside

If you've been paying attention to WeddingTok, you can't have missed the abundance of couples opting for food truck catering at their wedding. Food trucks are a great way to create a unique and memorable dining experience for your guests, as well as creating a more informal atmosphere perfect for socialising. 

Check out this adorable food truck by Ninjo Noodle Bar - they even have a mini noodle bar set up at the front.

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17. Coffee Bar - Chida Coffee Bar

Coffee station set up under a yellow gazebo in front of stairs

We all know that wedding celebrations can be exhausting, so why not keep your guests nice and perky by bringing in a coffee truck? This is a fabulous option for the evening time before people start to get ready to dance the night away. 

Mobile coffee bars like Chida Coffee Bar can operate out of a truck or set up a mini coffee bar under a gazebo, ready to supply your guests with all the espressos, lattes, cappuccinos and teas they need. 

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What Foods Are Served at Weddings?

Different cultures serve different foods - but you don't have to be bound by tradition, if that doesn't suit you. In Western wedding culture, classic wedding food tends to be a three-course sit-down meal or a substantial buffet. However, there are lots of other options, as well as ways to put your own twist on proceedings.

What Should You Not Serve at a Wedding?

In theory, no food for weddings is out of bounds, so long as it's what the couple enjoys. Want to include pizza in your wedding? Why not?! Fancy serving a hearty afternoon tea? Go ahead! 

Kathryn Collier, Events Manager at Blame Frank, agrees: "Wedding menus can be tricky to put together, you want to be able to provide options that all of your guests will be able to enjoy, but it's your wedding, prioritising foods that you are excited to eat is just as important as catering to the picky eaters.

"We keep our menus as flexible as possible so that hopefully we can work with our clients to find solutions to satisfy the tastes of all their guests."

The only thing we'd say is that you should consider your guests. We don't mean tying yourselves in knots trying to cater to individual preferences. But if, for example, you know the majority of your guests prefer simple dishes, it's unlikely they'll thrill to a menu of complex French fine dining or a spread of fiery Sri Lankan delicacies. 

Allergies must be taken very seriously. Ask your guests to tell you about any allergies with their RSVP and make sure these are passed on to your caterer. This might mean you can't have any dishes that include, say, nuts on the menu, but guest safety comes first.

What Is the Cheapest Food to Serve at a Wedding?

You really can give your guests a good feast on a budget. Opt for dishes that use seasonal, locally sourced ingredients as far as possible. Not only will this make your day a more eco-friendly wedding, it should help to keep wedding food costs down. Offering vegetables over meat will also save money. However, if you're a keen carnivore, ask your caterer which meat dishes work best using cheaper cuts.

Kathryn offers some additional insight: "It is difficult to say what is the cheapest food option, as prices from caterers will often change seasonally or in relation to volume. A more reliable way to make a few little savings though can be to look in more detail at your service options.

"Having your guests collect their own meals, either from a point of service or from a buffet, can be more affordable than a full table service meal, for example. And there are a few small changes like that which you can make throughout your day that will help you reduce costs."

Working with your caterer to create a bespoke menu is a great way to find areas where you can cut down on costs, as Lewis Bates from The Bo-Ho Catering Company points out: "Choose a caterer you trust and work with them to create a menu that suits you, your day and your budget."

How Do You Calculate Food for a Wedding?

Your caterer will work out how much food you need, whether that's for a sit-down meal or buffet, and including any canapés at the drinks reception. That's why they ask for the final guest numbers several weeks before the wedding, as your wedding food is a per-head price.

Kathryn says, "The most reliable way to calculate the cost with any caterer is to request a quote."

What Time Is a Wedding Breakfast?

This depends on the time of your ceremony. In most cases, you'll go straight into the drinks reception, and then it's time for the wedding breakfast. Think carefully about your wedding day timeline - you don't want to leave a block of time with nothing for guests to do.

However, you don't have to go with the flow. Your wedding is your day, and you can always decide to shake up the order of things. As Kathryn says, "All weddings are unique and there should be no hard and fast rule to creating your order of ceremonies.

"Most often we get requests that start with canapés around 2.30pm, followed by a wedding breakfast around 4pm, but all of this is dependent on your ceremony, your venue, and the type of day you want to have. Your wedding is your oyster! We're just here to serve it to you."

Once you've sorted your wedding food, keep on top on the rest of your to-dos with the ultimate wedding checklist.