24 Appetizer Ideas Your Guests Will Love

From prosciutto-wrapped persimmons to grilled cheese and tomato soup shooters, these apps are sure to delight.
andrea fowler the knot wedding planning expert
Andrea Fowler
andrea fowler the knot wedding planning expert
Andrea Fowler
Wedding Planning Expert
  • Andrea Fowler is an Editorial Content Manager at Sony Music Entertainment.
  • Andrea is a New York-based content strategist and creative producer.
  • Andrea worked as an Assistant Editor for The Knot from 2015 to 2017.
Updated Jul 20, 2020

Ask any event planner and they'll tell you that the food you serve at your wedding is one of the last places you'd want to cut budget on (but we do have a few secrets to saving). The presentation of the menu helps to set the ambiance, and the smell enhances the culinary experience while the taste is, well, just plain delicious.

Appetizers don't have to be limited to a sit-down dinner, either. Consider starting the celebrations with a pre-ceremony cocktail hour with small bites, or follow the "I dos" with a cocktail hour so guests can stay active while you and your wedding party pose for photos before the reception meal. (Pro tip: A lot of these apps are also perfect for a late-night snack too.)

Here are our 24 favorite bites to keep guests happy until dinner.

1. Mini Gazpacho Soups

Wedding reception appetizer of mini gazpacho soups
Erica Follansbee Photography

From: A Plaid Mountain Wedding at Beano's Cabin in Avon, Colorado

Your guests will be absolutely delighted with this chilled soup wedding appetizer.

2. Fresh Oyster Raw Bar

Fresh raw bar for a wedding reception appetizer idea
Chennergy Photography

From: A Castle Hill Inn Wedding in Newport, Rhode Island

Watch out! Some believe oysters are aphrodisiacs. Whether you believe the myth or not, a fresh oyster raw bar is the perfect wedding appetizer idea.

3. Slider and Mini Beers

Hamburger slider wedding reception appetizer with beer shots
J. Stoia Photography

From: A Funky Wedding at Aria in Minneapolis, Minnesota

You can't go wrong with this pairing. Everyone will love these wedding hors d'oeuvres before the main meal.

4. Fresh Veggie Platter

Fresh veggie platter for a reception appetizer idea
onelove photography

From: A Rustic Backyard Wedding With an Elegant Twist at a Private Residence in Santa Barbara, California

Design a pretty looking veggie platter and everyone will be eager to dive in. Pair this wedding appetizer with a side of assorted dips, like hummus, tapenade and ranch.

5. Tuna Tartare Cones

Tuna tartare wedding reception appetizer
Marcella Treybig Photography

From: An Elegant Traditional Wedding at Hay Adams Hotel in Washington, DC

How cute (and convenient) are these tuna tartare cones? Your guests can easily grab and go as they mingle at your reception.

6. Meat Skewers

Meat skewer wedding reception appetizer idea
David Lynn Photography

From: An Elegant Formal Wedding in Mount Vernon, Colorado

Some of the best wedding appetizer ideas include those that won't get your guests' hands dirty. These skewers are perfect because they won't make a mess--and they're tasty.

7. Mini Hot Dogs and Pickles

Mini hot dog and pickle wedding reception appetizer idea
Josh Gruetzmacher

From: An Elegant Wedding at San Francisco City Hall in San Francisco, California

Hosting a backyard reception or a laid back affair? These wedding hors d'oeuvres are ideal for a casual setting.

8. Prosciutto-Wrapped Persimmons With Goat Cheese

Prosciutto wrapped persimmons with goat cheese wedding reception appetizer
Lacie Hansen Photography

From: An Eclectic Wedding at Miller Nurseries in Canandaigua, New York

Just looking at these lovely wedding appetizers makes our mouths water. Your guests will love snacking on these before the main entree.

9. Biscuits Topped With Chipotle Sauce

Biscuits topped with chipotle sauce
Al Gawlick Photography

From: A Romantic Wedding at Stonehouse Villa in Driftwood, Texas

Biscuits are a staple in the south. If you're hosting a southern wedding, consider adding these delicious baked goods to your appetizer spread.

10. Fried Chicken and Biscuit Sliders

Fried chicken and biscuit slider wedding reception appetizer

From: A Hip, Vintage Americana Wedding at TBD Brooklyn in Brooklyn, New York

If you're not careful, your wedding guests may fill up on these delectable fried chicken and biscuit sliders before the main course.

11. Tacos and Tequila

Taco and tequila paired wedding reception appetizer
Kristyn Hogan

From: A Romantic Formal Wedding in Nashville, Tennessee

Eating tacos just doesn't feel right without a sip of tequila on the side. Chances are, this taco wedding appetizer idea will be the talk of your wedding reception for all the right reasons.

12. Shrimp Cocktail Shooters

Shrimp cocktail wedding reception appetizer idea
Karson Photography

From: A Playful Classic Wedding at the Spoleto Festival USA Building in Charleston, South Carolina

Your guests will get a kick out of this fun wedding appetizer idea, but they're not for the faint of heart. Be sure to warn your guests that they include spicy hot sauce and alcohol.

13. Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzel and Coke reception appetizers
Brett & Jessica

From: A Creative, Movie-Inspired Wedding in Durham, North Carolina

You can't go wrong with some salty soft pretzels as your wedding hors d'oeuvres. They're simple but totally delicious.

14. Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed pepper wedding reception appetizers
Larissa Cleveland Photography

From: A Beach Destination Wedding at Casa Malca in Tulum, Mexico

If your wedding hors d'oeuvres look this good, your guests are going to be extra excited to see the main course.

15. Fried Mac and Cheese Bites

Fried mac and cheese balls for a wedding reception appetizer
Stephanie Brazzle Photography

From: An Elegant, Burgundy Wedding at the Windsor at Hebron Park in Carrollton, Texas

Everyone loves mac and cheese. With this amazing wedding appetizer idea, they won't even need a fork to indulge.

16. Bacon-Wrapped Snacks

Bacon-wrapped wedding reception appetizers
Emily Katharine Photography

From: A Rustic Farm Wedding at Lange Farm in Dade City, Florida

Bacon makes everything better. Consider adding this bacon-wrapped treat to your appetizer selection.

17. Family-Style Caprese Salad

Family style caprese salad wedding reception appetizer
Julius & James

From: A Modern, Rustic Wedding at Berkeley Fieldhouse in Toronto, Ontario

Everyone will be eager to dig into this fresh Caprese salad. Serve it at the dinner tables before the main entree comes out.

18. Veggie and Meat Skewers

Vegetable and meat skewer wedding reception appetizer
Julius & James

From: A Modern, Rustic Wedding at Berkeley Fieldhouse in Toronto, Ontario

Invite your guests to nosh on these delectable skewers as they wait for a chance to chat with the newlyweds.

19. Fresh Fruit Station

Fresh fruit wedding reception appetizer station
Ryan & Jacy Photography

From: A Yellow Backyard Wedding at a Private Residence in Maple Valley, Washington

Not only is fruit delicious, but it makes for a beautiful, colorful display. If you're hosting a summer wedding, serve all the summer favorites like watermelon and strawberries.

20. Spinach Balls With Dipping Sauce

Spinach balls with white dipping sauce wedding reception appetizer
Leah Fisher Photography

From: A Rustic, Outdoor Wedding at a Private Home in North Yarmouth, Maine

Spinach balls are the perfect addition to your wedding hors d'oeuvres.

21. Moroccan Chicken Skewers With Mint Yogurt Sauce

Moroccan chicken skewers and mint yogurt sauce wedding reception appetizer
Leah Fisher Photography

From: A Rustic, Outdoor Wedding at a Private Home in North Yarmouth, Maine

If you're looking for your wedding guests, they're likely swarming your display of these incredible Morrocan chicken skewers.

22. Grilled Cheese and Gazpacho Soup

Grilled cheese and gazpacho soup wedding reception appetizer idea
Kristin Chalmers Photography

From: An Intimate, Garden-Party-Themed Wedding at Kentford Farms in Stonginton, Connecticut

Who needs a main course when you have these cute sandwich soup combos?

23. French Fries

French fry weddign reception appetizer or late night snack idea
Front Room Photography & Videography

From: An Enchanting, Ultra-Sparkly Wedding at Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

French fries can be fancy, too. Add these potato sticks to your wedding appetizers and your guests will thank you later.

24. Mini Sliders

Slider wedding reception appetizers
Erica Follansbee Photography

From: A Fourth of July County-Fair-Inspired Wedding at Publick House Historic Inn in Sturbridge, Massachusetts

These mini sliders are perfect for a casual wedding reception. Pair them with french fries or tater tots and you'll be good to go.

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