Your guests are attending your wedding to witness your loving vows, of course, but why not treat them to some tasty bites as long as they’re around? Autumnal hors d’oeuvres are warm, hearty, and delicious. Unlike dishes in a heavy meal, bite-sized versions offer your guests the chance to sample a variety of tastes and still have plenty of energy to hit the dance floor.
Mini pumpkins make great containers. Hollow them, bake them, and fill them with soup (roasted pumpkin soup is one obvious choice) for single-size servings. Set the top back on to keep in the heat. Mini pumpkins also look attractive as central containers for platters. Fill them with dipping sauce and surround them with fresh crudités, crunchy pita chips, or slices of crusty, sunflower seed bread.
Acorn Squash Fries
If you’re a fan of sweet potato fries, take the technique one step further. Clean and de-seed an acorn squash and cut it into strips for deep frying. The curved shape of the squash makes for unique, visually-appealing fries. Serve them lightly dusted in salt and nutmeg for an extra seasonal appeal. Yellow curry dipping sauce takes the fries to an even higher level.
Blackberry Brie Baguettes
In most parts of the country, autumn is blackberry season. Embrace the ready availability of these plump, sweet berries at nearly all food stores, and put them to work for your wedding menu! Layer slices of creamy brie cheese on top of thin slices of crusty baguette. Spread fresh blackberry preserves over the cheese. The end result is a chewy, sweet, savory dose of perfection.
Meatballs with Herb-infused Gravy
Give mini meatballs some autumnal flair by topping them with fresh garden herbs. Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme aren’t just random lyrics from a Simon & Garfunkel song. The four herbs had poetic meaning in medieval times and signified sweetness, strength, romance, and courage. They also combine to add a delicious flavor to gravy. Pour it over falafels or bread cubes for a vegetarian version.
Roasted Fennel and Baby Root Vegetables
Serve multicolor baby carrots and parsnips side by side with sliced fennel root for a colorful dish that’s perfect for fall weddings. Sliced gold and red baby beets complete the platter’s rainbow. Roast them until the edges are just crispy and top them with a squeeze of fresh lemon, sea salt, and cracked pepper.
Red Pepper Tortilla Rolls
Colorful red tortillas echo the beauty of falling autumn leaves. You can buy red tortillas ready-made or find a caterer who specializes in Mexican cuisine. Including roasted red chiles in the tortilla flour makes the end product come out a spicy and brilliantly appetizing shade. To make the rolls, lather roasted red pepper spread on the tortillas and layer them with the sliced meat (or vegetables) of your choice. Turkey, ham, and portabella mushrooms are especially popular options. Roll it and slice it for the hors d’oeuvres platter.
Pumpkin Rolls with Cream Cheese Filling
The best cocktail hours serve both savory and sweet options so guests have a chance to satisfy all areas of their palate. Pumpkin rolls are popular options with guests of all ages. They’re as sweet as cake, and the swirled pattern that’s revealed when they’re sliced adds visual interest to an hors d’oeuvres platter. Keep a few extra rolls in the refrigerator, because these tend to go more quickly than anticipated!
Plan with Your Caterer
Planning the perfect autumn menu takes time and creativity. Meet with your caterer well before the wedding so you can exchange ideas and try variations on recipes that catch your eye. If your caterer has any specific specialties that are always crowd pleasers (such as a creamy pumpkin bisque), find ways to incorporate them into your cocktail hour offerings. No matter what, don’t get intimidated by all of the options in front of you. Remember, you don’t have to be a great chef in order to appreciate great food–that’s why you’re hiring a professional!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.