9 Mini Cocktail Hour Food Pairings that Taste as Good as They Look

By Heather Lee

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Photo by Volvoreta

Go ahead, play with your wedding food! A guaranteed way to impress your guests at your reception is by serving mini cocktail hour food pairings—and yes, you read that correctly. Believe it or not, your cocktail hour is an opportunity to really have fun with your menu options, so take it to the next level by offering bite-sized versions of your favorite food and drink combinations. Mini tacos? We’ll have three. A tiny Bloody Mary? Don’t mind if we do.With Finger food to munch on and pint-sized beverages to guzzle back, your hors d’oeuvre selections will be the talk of your nearest and dearest long after your wedding day. Plus, if you’re hosting this festivity before the wedding ceremony, mini cocktails and light bights ensure no one will be stumbling down the aisle. Here are a few delicious (and unexpected) pairings that are sure to make stomachs grumble and mouths water at your cocktail hour.

1. Fried Chicken + Rum and Coke

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Serve up some good old comfort food in style—scaled-down, that is. Go all mini everything, from the chicken itself to the Coke bottles to even the straws. Squeeze in a dash of rum and you’re all set. This is finger food we can all get behind.

2. Fried Clams + Bloody Mary

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Photo by Birds of a Feather Photography; Catering by Peter Callahan

For a seaside-inspired cocktail hour, all it takes is a little downsizing to completely revamp your nautical menu. Serve petite glasses of Bloody Mary, paired alongside mini fried clams in decorative oyster dishes. Stick a toothpick inside this cuisine for easier (and cleaner) consumption.

3. Tacos + Margaritas

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Photo by Birds of a Feather Photography; Catering by Peter Callahan

Don’t let size fool you—bite-sized tacos pack just as much of a punch, especially with a side of mini margarita to wash them down. Good luck limiting yourself to just one of these Mexican menu staples

4. Roast Beef Sliders + Beer

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Photo by Olivia Leigh Photographie

To ensure your favorite guilty pleasure meal goes from bar snack-status to truly glam and reception-ready, pair perfectly petite burgers with corresponding beer flights. A slider of mini proportions means a more efficient, mess-free way of getting your grub on. We’ll have seconds, please.

5. Cotton Candy + Champagne

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Nothing beats a sweet and bubbly combo, especially in perfectly pint-sized proportions. Guests can raise their glasses to toast to the happy couple at cocktail hour, but only after enjoying a small sugar fix. Bottoms up, mini fluffs of cotton candy and all.

6. Coffee + Doughnut Holes

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Photo by Love & Light Photographs

Bite-sized treats shouldn’t be limited to just the reception—they can even make an appearance at post-wedding brunch, as well. Definitely don’t skimp out on hefty coffee portions (especially for guests who took a little too much advantage of the open bar), but do toss in a few doughnut holes served on decorative sticks. This pairing takes everyone’s go-to cup of joe and favorite round confection to new heights.

7. Baby Burgers + Bourbon

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Photo by Kate Headley, Catering by Occasions Caterers

When you’’re dressed in your finest, the last thing you need is a sloppy sandwich. Enter the mini version—, like this one from D.C.-based Occasions Caterers—, with all the flavor, none of the mess. Chase down the burgers with shots of your favorite bourbon or whiskey.

7. Sundaes + Soda

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Photo by Con Poulos, Catering by Peter Callahan

I like to shrink favorite iconic foods to bize-size treats”,” says New York City– based caterer Peter Callahan. To make petite banana splits feel ice cream– parlor authentic, he serves them in footed glass dishes. Pair with a classic fountain drink (and add a shot of liquor for a boozy version).

8. Mini Pops + Prosecco

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Photo by The Great Romance, Catering by Hungry Bear Catering

Take a cue from L.A.’‘s Hungry Bear Catering and serve a boozy, grown-up version of Popsicles at cocktail hour. It’s both your dessert and your drink, all in one. Added bonus: The champagne flutes catch any drips.

9. Hot Dogs + Pickles (+ Beer!)

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Photo by Josh Gruetzmacher, Catering by Betty Zlatchin Catering

Small versions of foods like hot dogs feel sophisticated and personalized. “We customize menus based on the couples favorite foods”,” says San Francisco caterer David Zlatchin of Betty Zlatchin Catering. For the drink, go with a classic American IPA or other light, crisp beer.

 

 

 

 

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Everything a Bride Needs to Know About Hosting a Daytime Wedding

By Jaimie Mackey

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Jasmine Lee

While the most popular time for a wedding is a Saturday evening, there’s no rule saying you can’t get married at other times of day. In fact, considering alternative times can actually save you a good amount of money and give you some flexibility when it comes to the type of event you’d like to have. So why not kick off a weekend of celebration with a daytime wedding instead of waiting until 6 p.m.? We’ve rounded up the most common questions surrounding a midday wedding and turned to our experts for the answers.

What should our timeline look like?

The biggest difference between a daytime and evening wedding is, of course, the timing. A couple can easily spend an entire day getting ready for their 5 p.m. ceremony, so bumping that up to 11 a.m. means getting creative with timing—and probably a very early start. Counting backward from 11 a.m., you’ll want to leave for your ceremony at 10:15, which means putting on your dress at 10. Allocate two hours for your hair and makeup (not including the bridesmaids!), which means the bride will need to be in the makeup chair by 8 a.m. To make sure you have a little time to wake up, shower, and relax with your friends, that alarm will be ringing at 6!

After the ceremony, you can skip cocktail hour and go straight to the meal you’ve planned at around 11:45. Guests should be wrapping up their meal around 1 p.m., and you can follow that with dancing, mingling, or another activity. Don’t forget to cut the cake! Your grand exit could be at 2:45 p.m., or if you’re planning to entertain guests for the afternoon, you can push it back as far as 4:30.

Do we have to provide evening entertainment?

Once your daytime wedding is over, there’s no obligation to entertain your guests for the rest of the evening. You may, however, want to offer some ideas for those who are in town for the weekend. Suggest activities (like local museums or sporting events) for the afternoon, provide a list of your favorite restaurants for dinner, and consider asking everyone to meet up at your favorite bar for a drink and another chance to toast.

What should we do after the wedding?

When it comes to the newlyweds’ afternoon, the sky is the limit! Book appointments at the hotel spa, take a nap in your honeymoon suite, or spend the evening with friends. We love the idea of an intimate celebratory dinner, either just for two or with your immediate families.

Can it still be a formal celebration?

Yes! Your daytime wedding can be as casual or as formal as you want. Of course, formal during the day isn’t quite the same as white tie at night, so don’t expect guests in ball gowns. You can, of course, still send formal invitations, use traditional wedding wording, and have a formal plated meal (think tablecloths and French service).

What should we wear?

Most couples having a daytime wedding opt for a slightly lighter and less formal version of traditional wedding attire. For a man, that might be a suit in gray or blue instead of black (or a morning coat instead of a formal tuxedo). For a woman, a traditional wedding gown is still the go-to, though often with a more relaxed silhouette (think A-line instead of ball gown) and fewer embellishments.

What should guests wear?

Your guests’ attire will depend on the formality you choose for the event, though they, like the couple, may opt for lighter colors and fabrics. Women might wear a skirt suit, a formal sundress, or daytime-appropriate cocktail attire. Men should wear suits (again, in a color other than black), and for a truly formal daytime wedding, should opt for a morning suit.

 

 

I raise my glass

For My Princess
I raise my glass and toast to my daughter’s life partner,Father-of-bride-toast she has chosen to be her life companion. A father sometimes doubts this day will ever come, and sometimes he fears it. My daughter is a princess to me, and will always be my little girl. May happiness and joy be with her always.

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Your DJ for your wedding day

It is important to know the difference between different types of DJs and what is best for their event. There are different types of DJs across this country so it’s a good idea discuss your overall expectations with your fiancé and your families. A friend of the groom might be a great mix DJ at the local club, but has limited wedding experience with a mobile system! Every wedding reception needs the DJ to be a confident MC and work closely with your whole team of vendors. Make sure your wedding DJ is not afraid of the microphone, but also someone who doesn’t use it too much for your tastes.

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