Colourful and fun, graze tables are perfect for replacing the canapés during your cocktail hour. Guests can meet and chat while they pick from a table piled high with meats, cheese, olives, fruits, bread and dips. It’s also a fabulous alternative to late-night buffet snacks and, of course, you can always go for a dessert grazing table instead of serving individual puddings.
Grazing tables for weddings lend themselves best to snacking, there’s no reason you can’t serve your main course family-style in the middle of your tables too. The possibilities are pretty endless, but we’ve picked out some of our favourites for you!
The keys to a great grazing table are abundance and personality – make sure it includes things you love as a couple and get creative with how to display it. We’ve got all the top tips for making your own DIY wedding grazing table at the bottom of the article.
Discover the perfect wedding catering suppliers near you on Hitched to make your wedding grazing table dreams a reality!
11 Delicious Grazing Table Ideas
Whether you choose a professional grazing table company or making your own wedding reception grazing table, your delectable display will be talked about for months after your wedding. Here are some of the best grazing table ideas and inspiration you can incorporate into your wedding planning.
1. Classic Charcuterie Table
Log slices of cured and smoked ham, salami, sausage and chorizo scream ‘eat me’. The classic charcuterie flavours have been elevated with this board from Kent's Bloc Cheese Grazing, thanks to fresh fruits, veggies, bread and jam for any non-meat eaters, while texture comes from crisp crackers.
Make a rustic grazing table for your wedding like this one with wooden chopping boards, mason jars and labels telling your guests what each cheese is.
2. BBQ Grazing Table
Delicious chicken skewers and veggie kebabs fresh off the BBQ are fabulous for a grazing table. It adds theatre to the display and is more filling than a cold table - ideal if you have quite a wait until the wedding breakfast. This table from London's Blame Frank is displayed with olives, herbs and tomatoes for colour, with different dips and sauces that your guests are sure to love.
You can go as far out with a BBQ grazing table as you like – roasted joints of meat or a hog roast and all the trimmings work brilliantly as sharing-style mains too.
3. Brunch Grazing Table
If you’re having a morning wedding, what about a brunch grazing table? This is also ideal for ordering to your suite while you and your bridesmaids are getting ready, or for serving the day after your wedding if guests are staying over. This platter from Amazing Graze in Berkshire is filled with fresh pastries, fruit and bagels, with a selection of jams and plenty of pops of colour.
4. Vegan Grazing Table
Vegan wedding food is becoming increasingly popular, so go for fresh and exciting plant-based grazing boards. Vietnamese spring rolls packed with avocado and a peanut dipping sauce, falafel, hummus, bruschetta, crudités, artichoke hearts, vegan cheese and more make for a vibrant and tasty spread.
This vegan board from Rainbow Grazing Co. is a great way to ensure your vegan guests won't feel side-lined, as well as providing tasty snacks for all guests - vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike - to enjoy.
5. Fruit Grazing Table
If you're looking for a handy way to get your five a day, this could be the option for you. Having a fruity grazing table is a great option for a spring wedding or a summer wedding, and is sure to keep everyone feeling fresh and healthy.
This fruit grazing table from Kalm Kitchen incorporates lots of bright colours, making this a beautiful reception centrepiece as well as a delicious snack for your guests. There are even a couple of chocolate brownies in there for anyone who fancies an extra sugar rush!
6. Pizza Party Table
Who doesn't love pizza? A pizza grazing table is a great alternative to an evening buffet, and a very easy way to incorporate food suitable for any diet. No matter whether you're vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, you can find a delicious pizza option.
Two J's Woodfired Pizza in Durham is sure to serve up a crowd-pleasing spread of pizzas made from locally sourced produce. Serve them across rustic log slices with bowls of basil leaves, bottles of olive and chilli oil and little dishes of other toppings scattered across the table.
7. Rainbow Grazing Table
The clue's in the name over at Rainbow Grazing Co. - just look at this gorgeous colourful grazing table. Here you'll find everything from glossy pomegranate seeds and pistachios to cornichons and red bell peppers. Theming your grazing table around rainbow colours will give you an amazingly extra theatrical display. If you’ve got any rainbow décor, then this will be the perfect addition.
Also - who can resist a rose made of salami?!
8. Wedding Breakfast Grazing Platter
Not that kind of wedding breakfast - but rather what you could eat on the morning of your wedding. There are a million and one different ways to introduce unusual wedding food ideas into your celebration, so why not order in some of this grazing boxes for you and your wedding party to tuck into as you get ready?
This delicious selection from Kent-based caterers Bloc Cheese Grazing includes all the makings of a hearty brunch - pastries, bagels and fruit - as well as some floral decorative elements to create a truly beautiful spread.
9. Doughnut Stacks Grazing Table
Who doesn't love doughnuts? Doughnut walls have been a popular imported American feature of wedding receptions for several years now, but you can also take things a step further by incorporating them into your grazing table, whether it's sweet, savoury, or a combination of the two.
Using doughnut stacks is a creative way to add these sweet treats to your grazing table - just look at this example from Graze and Gorge in Jesmond. The combination of vertical stands and the classic sprinkled doughnut adds a fun modern look to your reception.
10. Fruit and Honey Details
This snapshot of a grazing table from Graze and Gorge shows just how important the details are. Combining complementary sweet and savoury ingredients is an excellent way to introduce some complex yet delicious flavours to your wedding feast.
Not only does the brie and honeycomb combo look amazing, it also tastes great. Combine this with figs, walnuts, apple slices and dried apricots for more flavour contrast and texture. It's a great wedding dessert option if you're not a fan of the traditional puddings.
11. Kid's Grazing Table
Don't forget about the kids! Planning a wedding with children can be tricky at times, so it's important to keep them satisfied, and what better way to do that than with classic childhood lunchbox snacks? This children's' grazing table from Rainbow Grazing Co. has all the classics - Party Rings, Babybels, Hula Hoops, as well as some healthier sandwiches and fruit. The adults will want in too!
How to Make Your Own Grazing Table
A grazing table is a fantastic guest experience to add to your wedding, or a really nice touch for a hen party or bridal shower. A professional grazing table company will take the stress out of planning and arranging a grazing table and are adept at dealing with dietary requirements and allergies. However, if you’re feeling creative and love food, you can make one yourself!
Michelle from Graze Life gives us some tips on what makes a wow-worthy table.
1. What Type of Grazing Table Do You Want?
Savoury, sweet or a mixture? Here’s our shopping list of the produce you’ll need to make a fantastic charcuterie grazing table, which is one of the easiest and most popular tables as it lasts well at room temperature.
Pick and choose what you like from this - the aim is a balance between savoury, sweet, soft and crunchy, with plenty of sharp pickles and chutneys.
- Cured meats
- Cheese (soft ones like brie and hard ones like Parmesan or mature cheddar)
- Freshly baked bread or baguette
- Artisan crackers, breadsticks and crostini
- Pesto and tapenade
- Pickles and cornichons
- Vegetable crudités
- Artichoke hearts
- Sun-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
- Stuffed peppers
- Balsamic vinegar and olive oil
- Fresh figs, grapes, apple, pear, blueberries, strawberries
- Dried figs and apricots
- Almonds and walnuts
- Gourmet extras like posh scotch eggs, pâté, prawns or a Graze Life favourite – the sweet potato pakora
We spoke to Hannah from Rainbow Grazing Co. to find out her expert tips on creating your own grazing table. She advises:
"I think variety is the most important part of making sure a grazing table is really spectacular - a great variety of different types of cheese and charcuterie, but also all the extra bits around it that can add so many different tastes and textures - fresh and dried fruits, antipasti, flavoured crackers, nuts and pickles - they all help to make every bite unique and cater to all tastes and preferences of your guests too."
2. How Much Food Will You Need?
The amount of food you’ll need will depend on your guest numbers and when you’re serving the grazing table. Remember that this is often a replacement to canapés, where you’d normally only serve 3-5 per person, so your table doesn’t need to be huge. If it’s for an evening buffet, in place of something like bacon rolls, you’ll want a more substantial table.
For a canapé-equivalent board, as minimum amounts you should plan out 2-3 slices of meat per person and roughly 30-60g of cheese.
Hannah says "This completely depends upon what meal your grazing table is being used for, and the appetites of your guests! I would advise working with your caterer to figure out the best option for you, as there are often lots of extras that can be added to your grazing table if there are larger appetites, or scaling the volume back if it's for a later feast in the evening where not quite so much food is needed."
3. Safety First
The boring bit, but if you’re dealing with food, you can’t make your guests ill. It's important to follow the Food Standards Agency rules - wear gloves, tie your hair back and make sure your food is stored correctly before serving.
Guidelines say chilled food should only be kept out at room temperature for a maximum of four hours and hot food for two hours, as bacteria can begin to grow after this. Your venue will be able to advise you on all of this if it has a food hygiene certificate.
4. Style Your Table
Your aim should be to make your grazing table to look insanely delicious. Hannah advises "Our top tip for styling a grazing table is not to panic! There is a moment in every table creation where it doesn't look quite 'right', but once you start adding those final touches, it all comes together to look amazing and effortless."
Grazing tables lend themselves so well to a rustic set-up that incorporates different textures, colours, heights and scents – here’s some ways to do that:
- Drape thinly sliced ham into piles, fan out salami and chorizo and roll up thicker cuts like bresaola to give visual variety
- Use tumbling bunches of herbs to add scent and colour, either in terracotta pots or tucked underneath and around plates
- Log slices make a fantastic rustic base for serving cheese, breads or pots of dessert – we love this large one from Amazon for only £21.99
- Use upturned gold or rose gold wire baskets to balance platters, log slices or marble trays on; here’s a rose gold pair we love
- Create layers of height with pillar candles and tapered dinner candles in either pure white or jewel colours. Tealights look amazing in burgundy, emerald and sapphire-coloured glass holders (just don’t light them anywhere someone might lean over with a sleeve!)
- Grazing tables need centrepieces too, whether that’s a tumbling vase of wildflower, an amazing sliced sourdough loaf or entire pineapple!
- Terracotta tapas dishes make great little serving dishes for small mounds of olives
- Think about what you’ll lay down on top of your table to actually put the food on – fresh banana leaves are an amazing tropical twist or wooden chopping boards are great too
- Mini Le Creuset-style ramekins with lids are great for serving dips in as they can be covered while prepping the table; we love this orange and cherry red set
- Place a large piece of honeycomb on top of your cheese with a honey drizzler so that it drips tantalisingly down the side
- Pair dried fruit with fresh fruit next to it, e.g. dried apricots on a bed of almond should sit next to halved figs, peaches or a bunch of grapes
- Try to add some seasonal influence: festive chutneys in winter, ripe berries in summer, sunny spring flowers, autumnal pears or even decorative pine cones
- To stop double-dipping, make sure you have plenty of cheese knives and spoons for doling out bites – we love this set of chic stainless steel and wood cheese knives. Dessert tables will need bamboo skewers or mini forks so you can dip your doughnut bites and strawberries in melted chocolate sauce
- Scatter edible flowers across all the food, this looks even more amazing if it’s contrasting colours, e.g. yellow pansies against the rich purple of beetroot hummus and orangey-red nasturtiums against green olives
- Mini chalkboards make cute signs for labelling food (necessary for any allergies or dietary requirements!) and for making food puns (even more necessary)
- The key is to make sure there’s no empty spaces so just fill, fill, fill. Crackers, nuts, popcorn and small berries like blueberries are ideal for plugging gaps
Now, get to the front of the queue so you get first dibs on the amazing grazing table you've assembled!
If you’re looking to get more food into your day (who isn’t?), why not try one of these amazing ways to include doughnuts in your wedding?