23 Summer Wedding Food Ideas That Will Keep Your Guests Feeling Refreshed

And cool throughout your entire celebration.
jenna clark headshot
Jenna Clark
jenna clark headshot
Jenna Clark
The Knot Contributor
  • Jenna is a freelance writer for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in wedding traditions and planning.
  • In addition to The Knot Worldwide, Jenna contributes to other online publications including Insider, People, BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast.
  • Jenna graduated from Hofstra University with a major in public relations and a minor in creative writing.
Updated Apr 25, 2024

When it comes to summer wedding food ideas, the possibilities are almost endless. That said, it might feel overwhelming—which is why we're here to help. Whether you're going through summer catering menu ideas with your partner, or are simply brainstorming a list of food for your summer wedding, we have options for you. To help us develop this list of summer wedding menu ideas, we tapped Lisa Ware, president of Catering by Michaels, Alex Avramenko, director of meetings, catering and special events at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, Maria Bartolotta, director of catering for The Bartolotta Restaurants and Bryan Thoman, executive chef and overseer of banquet culinary operations at The Equestrian Hotel in Ocala, Florida.

Once you read through our list of ideas and are ready to begin planning your summer wedding and finding caterers to help you bring your summer wedding food dreams to life, you can review the ones we have listed on The Knot Vendor Marketplace. In addition to searching for local caterers or those in the area where you'll be hosting your wedding, The Knot Vendor Marketplace also allows you to search for caterers according to any dietary preferences you may have (gluten-free, halal, etc) and by the type of catering (chef stations, buffet, etc) regardless of the type of summer wedding you're planning.

Summer Wedding Food Ideas

From ceviche to s'mores, we've compiled a list of food for summer weddings that you can review and discuss with your caterer. Read on for our list of expert-approved picks.

1. S'mores

Finish the evening with some s'mores if you want to evoke a nostalgic feeling in your guests while they prepare to say their goodbyes. "Whether it's the classic on-a-stick version, a station set over live fire or creatively served in a mason jar, push pop or cookie form, S'mores remain a timeless favorite," says Ware.

2. Ceviche in Martini Glasses

Thoman recommends cooling off your guests with a refreshing glass of ceviche. Serve this dish in martini glasses for an extra relaxed feel.

3. Mini Taco Hors d'Oeuvres

Tacos are a great way to capture guests' eyes and stomachs, according to Ware. Place each mini taco on a lime for a visually stimulating (and refreshing) appetizer.

4. Fruit Tart Pies

Combine two dessert staples into a refreshing sweet treat. "Tarts are blank canvases that allow you to play with countless flavor profiles," says Thoman.

5. Donut Hole Cones

Donut hole cones summer wedding food ideas
Photo: Hannah Bryerton Photography,Caterer: Avvino Restaurant

Fill up some paper cones with donut holes for a unique take on the classic cone. You can match the cones' paper colors to that of your wedding color palette or your favorite summer colors.

Find all the vendors you need

Meet every kind of expert from bakers to bartenders and more.

6. Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers

Cherry tomato and mozzarella skewers summer wedding food idea
Photo: Anna Swain Photography
Caterer: Jordan Caterers

When it comes to food for a summer wedding, it's hard to go wrong with Caprese. Place small pieces of tomato and mozzarella onto some skewers for a flavorful and messy appetizer or light bite.

7. Mango Panna Cotta Shooters

Mango panna cotta shooters summer wedding food idea
Photo: Purity Weddings Photo and Video
Caterer: BawarchiTandoori

If you're planning a summer wedding, it is essentially an unwritten rule to have a fruit-based dessert present on the dessert table. Even if a mango panna cotta is not your favorite, Thoman recommends panna cotta since it can be made to please a variety of palates.

8. Deviled Eggs With Caviar

Although caviar isn't a requirement, deviled eggs can be a great summer wedding food idea. Whether or not you opt to have them presented individually or on top of a piece of bread (as pictured above) is your choice—either way, they'll serve as a cooling and savory snack.

9. Fresh Tropical Fruit Skewers

If you're looking for outdoor wedding menu ideas in particular, Avramenko recommends fresh fruit skewers. "If the wedding is outside, fruit skewers are a great option, as they help the guests cool off," says Avramenko. Whether you want to keep the skewers to just fruit or add additional items is up to you—either way, they will be refreshing.

10. Sushi Station

Try a sushi station if incorporating sushi into your summer wedding menu is a non-negotiable. "A sushi station is a fun idea and easy for guests to help themselves," says Bartolotta.

11. Charcuterie Board

If you're having a cocktail reception, don't overlook a charcuterie board. Add cheese, fruits, meats, vegetables or any other elements you see fit for your celebration. "I always recommend starting with a grazing table at a cocktail reception," says Avramenko.

12. Boozy Popsicle Signature Cocktails

Looking to spice up your summer wedding cocktail offerings? Avramenko recommends adding boozy popsicle cocktails to your list of summer wedding menu ideas. Just make sure to ask your caterer what booze they plan to use so you won't encounter any surprises.

13. Passed Watermelon Cube With Burrata and Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Burrata is the perfect food for a summer wedding, especially when it's served on watermelon cubes. Add some balsamic vinegar to each cube for a sweet and savory summer wedding appetizer.

14. Italian-Inspired Pasta Station

If you're hosting an Italian-inspired wedding, Avramenko and Bartolotta both agree that a pasta station can make a great addition to your celebration. Whether you opt to have cheese tortellini or fettuccine already like this couple or select different kinds of pasta, the taste is what matters.

15. Seafood Station

Seafood station summer wedding food idea
Photo: Kristin Jordan Photography,
Caterer: Chatham Bars Inn

If you're looking to keep your summer wedding menu light, Avramenko recommends a seafood station. Crab legs, oysters and shrimp can be particularly good inclusions for a cocktail hour station, but the final selection is up to you. Add some nautic decorations to the station table for some added flare—we think your guests will appreciate it.

16. Wood-Fired Pizza

If you want to have your guests' mouths watering, wood-fired pizza can do the trick. Add some tomatoes or vegetables to make it a summertime pie and serve it on a pizza peel (one that's cooled off) to keep it authentic.

17. Grilled Summer Vegetables

Offer your guests a variety of grilled summer vegetables at your summer celebration. Although we love how this couple chose zucchini and green beans for their display, eggplant and cucumbers work, too.

18. Mini Crab Cakes

If you're looking for summer wedding food ideas for a nautical wedding or one taking place at a tropical beach or destination, mini crab cakes are a solid menu pick. Have them passed around during cocktail hour or request for them to be placed on your dinner buffet display if that's the route you choose to take. Regardless of when they're served, these seafood delicacies will leave your guests' tastebuds smiling.

19. Fried Chicken Sliders With Coleslaw

When it comes to summer catering menu ideas, fried chicken sliders with coleslaw are an especially good one for those who enjoy meat, but don't want their entire meal to revolve around it. The coleslaw provides some additional moisture and crunch for a memorable tasting experience.

20. Ice Cream and Sorbet Cups

Ice cream and sorbet cups summer wedding food idea
Photo: Michela Watson,
Caterer: Leopold's Ice Cream

Treat your guests (literally) to some ice cream and sorbet cups from Leopold's. Not only will these ice cream cups provide your guests with sweet frozen traits, but they will also add to the aesthetic if they happen to be included in any wedding photos in an outdoor or backyard celebration—no wonder why ice cream is such a highly requested food for summer weddings.

21. Fried Mac and Cheese Bites

Trigger nostalgia of childhood with these fried mac and cheese bites. Place some toothpicks on each to ensure easy handling when moving from the serving tray to one's plate. For a more elevated bite, add a dipping sauce on the side of the tray—we'd recommend marinara.

22. Lettuce Hors d'Oeuvres

Lettuce is a classic summertime staple which is why you should consider adding it to your summer wedding menu. Take some wedges and drizzle some dressing and bacon on top for some added crunch.

23. Fresh Heirloom Tomato Salad

Start your guests off with a fresh heirloom tomato salad. Salad is a great choice since it's hydrating and can be served in many forms from on a plate to in a cup for easy handling during a cocktail reception or an at-home wedding reception

Up Next
  • Backyard BBQ wedding ideas
    17 Backyard BBQ Wedding Ideas for Your Celebration