Baby Bites: Mini Versions of Your Favorite Snacks to Serve at Cocktail Hour

These days, many weddings—even the fanciest and most formal among them—tend to take a turn toward the casual when it comes to food. Or, at least, the hors d’oeuvres. After all, a wedding is a celebration, and what better way to get your guests into party mode than with casual comfort foods they all know and love?

Small snacks to serve at your cocktail hour or after party | Weddings Illustrated

Photos by Jessica Lorren Photography (left) and Catering CC

While this wedding trend isn’t exactly new, it’s one that we hope stays a while. It’s fun and versatile (you could serve mini bites at your cocktail hour or after-party), and the snacks are as cute to look at as they are tasty to eat. Need more convincing? Check out these downsized versions of popular snack foods—think tacos, sliders, even chicken and waffles—and just try not to get hungry.

Burger and Fries

Mini burger and fries to serve at your cocktail hour, Hunter Ryan Photo | Weddings Illustrated

Photo: Hunter Ryan Photo / Catering: Burger House / Venue: Private club in Naples

Remember when Hilary Swank won an Oscar for “Million Dollar Baby” and promptly hightailed it to Astro Burger to celebrate? Well, this is kind of like that.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 

Grilled cheese and tomato soup shooters to serve at your cocktail hour, Catering CC | Weddings Illustrated

Photo and food: Catering CC

The dictionary definition of “comfort food” will splash smiles all over your guests’ faces (but hopefully not soup on their suit jackets). If you want to truly get gourmet with your grilled cheeses, add ingredients like caramelized onions, or use creamy cheese like gruyere or Havarti.


Hot Dogs

Miniature hot dog hors d'oeuvres, photo by KT Merry Photography | Weddings Illustrated

Photo: KT Merry Photography / Catering: White Apron Catering / Venue: Private Jupiter home

What could be more nostalgic for a spring or summer wedding than a tray full of fun-sized franks, which are reminiscent of a trip to the baseball park? Whether or not your guests are fans of the game, they’ll be rooting for you all night long.

Shrimp Cocktail Shooters

Shrimp Cocktail Shooters, Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Wedding Photography | Weddings Illustrated

Photo: Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Wedding Photography / Catering: Townsend Catering / Venue: Eastern Green, Rosemary Beach

The full-size version might not exactly be easy to eat while standing—much less while mixing and mingling—but a single shrimp dunked in a chilled and tangy tomato-based sauce (or even gazpacho) certainly is.

Lobster Rolls

Mini lobster rolls to serve at your cocktail hour, Jessica Lorren Photography | Weddings Illustrated

Photo: Jessica Lorren Photography / Catering: Chez Gourmet / Venue: The Flagler Museum

A sandwich that’s sometimes served with a fork and knife, lobster rolls get a low-maintenance makeover when downsized and, in this case, even served in the style of a cream puff.

Short Rib Sliders and Bourbon

Barbecue Sliders and bourbon to serve at your cocktail hour | Weddings Illustrated

Image via Brit + Co.

Savory short ribs and smoky bourbon shots pack a one-two punch—and prove that good things definitely do come in small packages.

Chicken and Waffle Skewers

Chicken and waffle skewers to serve at your cocktail hour | Weddings Illustrated

Photo via Tattooed Martha

Whether you’re serving up small breakfast-style bites at your after (or after-after) party or just want to give your guests a taste of something salty and sweet during cocktail hour, this usually messy Southern staple is made super-portable when served on handy skewers.

Tacos and Tequila

Mini tacos and tequila to serve at your cocktail hour, by Peter Callahan Catering | Weddings Illustrated

Photo via Peter Callahan Catering

Perhaps second only to PB&J, tacos and tequila are one of the food world’s most perfect matches. Have plenty on hand, because your guests will certainly be reaching for dos or tres.



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