Cheap appetizers for a wedding in summer
Are you looking for delicious summer wedding appetizers?
Then you have come to the right place, especially if you are on a budget.
Many details go into preparing for a wedding because, after all, it’s going to be the biggest party you’ve ever planned in your life.
And most of us have probably never planned a wedding, let alone a big party.
Don’t panic, though, because planning and organizing the perfect summer wedding isn’t complicated when you know what you intend to serve to your guests.
Summer is here, and weddings are in full swing.
And the heat this year so far has been unbelievable.
So finding the perfect summer wedding appetizer ideas so you know exactly what to serve your guests is very important.
You want your guests to enjoy but also feel refreshed due to the heat.
What they eat and drink during your wedding is important.
This list is packed with the best wedding appetizers perfect for serving in summer.
When it comes time for your cocktail hour, all you need to think about is what food you will serve and what your favourite summer cocktails are.
What is cocktail hour at a wedding?
If you follow the traditional wedding route, cocktail hour is the period between the wedding ceremony and before dinner is served when guests typically mingle.
It is the beginning of the reception portion of the wedding.
This is where your guests can mix, mingle and relax before dancing the night away at your reception.
After tying the knot at the ceremony and dashing off for photos, you want to keep your guest entertained and fed while they wait for your return to the reception.
It is important to serve some food and drinks during this hour to help tie your wedding guest over until the main meal.
Remember that dinner can be served at the reception starting anytime between 5 pm or even as late as 6 pm.
If it’s hot out there, you don’t want them waiting until the wedding reception food is served to get any refreshments, especially food.
And you don’t want them leaving to find food elsewhere either.
Some might not come back, and others might take too long to return.
For couples looking for:
Elegant but easy wedding appetizer ideas
Simple wedding appetizer ideas on a budget
Easy cold appetizers for a wedding in summer
We have you covered.
If you are looking for easy wedding cocktail hour food on a budget, then you have done half the work by reading this post!
We’ve gathered several delicious ideas for summer wedding appetizers that will make your guests’ mouths water, suitable for any wedding theme and style.
So which appetizers are the best for summer weddings?
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What kind of appetizers do you have for a wedding?
And more specifically, what are the best summer wedding appetizers?
During the wedding cocktail hour, your wedding guests are encouraged to mingle amongst one another and enjoy some delicious wedding appetizers until the bridal party arrives.
You will want to serve appetizers that are easy to eat during cocktail hour, especially if no proper seating is available to eat comfortably.
These are often finger foods or, what I like to call them, one-bite appetizers.
The best one-bite appetizers are both easy to make and easy to eat!
You can also serve appetizers that are easy to hold by hand without getting messy such as mini sliders, small sandwiches or appetizers that can be carried on tiny plates or napkins.
Keep it simple but make sure it tastes delicious and is visually appealing!
We have created an amazing list of summertime wedding appetizers you’ll want to include on your wedding menu.
Whether planning a simple backyard wedding or an extravagant one, these delicious summer wedding appetizers can help you build your personalized appetizer menu.
They’re relatively simple to make but will look like expensive gourmet, which is why they deserve to be featured at your wedding.
We have a few ideas for you if you are looking for good wedding appetizers on a budget.
It’s a good idea to consider what types of finger foods you will serve your guests; just check out the ideas below and work with your cater.
18 Mouthwatering Summer Wedding Appetizers
Let’s look at some extraordinary summer wedding cocktail hour food ideas to encourage your guests to linger in the reception area a little longer and enjoy the party.
These creative appetizer ideas will make your wedding cocktail hour the night’s highlight.
We wanted to share a list of simple but elegant wedding appetizers anyone can make, especially if you are on a tight budget.
1. Lobster Salad Bar
Lobster salad is a classic that never goes out of style.
The combination of sweet lobster meat with savoury mayonnaise makes this dish incredibly tasty and easy to prepare.
Those looking for easy wedding cocktail hour appetizers on a budget must consider this finger food.
It’s also an ideal choice if you’re serving other seafood dishes at your wedding reception because lobster salad pairs well with many different dishes without competing for attention on the table.
Lobsters are usually expensive but consider using Culls to make this simple appetizer work, as it is seriously delicious.
This salad is an excellent choice because it is easy to make from scratch and doesn’t require much cooking time.
The only cooking involved is making the dressing to go with the lobster meat.
This is a great wedding appetizer to make ahead.
You could also make this dish even more effortless by purchasing prepared mayonnaise or sauce at your local grocery store and mixing in your ingredients like celery or onions before serving it on top of lettuce leaves or crackers as an appetizer for your guests.
However, you can also try doing it in tiny sandwiches if you want something different.
This right here is the perfect cold appetizer for wedding cocktail hour for summer weddings.
Check out this amazing but simple keto lobster salad recipe.
2. Dried Fruit & Nuts Salad
Consider serving nuts and dried food if you need easy wedding appetizers that are affordable.
Dried fruit and nuts are great to add crunch to your snack or dessert table.
If you have one, you can use them as an appetizer or as part of your salad bar.
Dried fruit is an excellent option because it has a long shelf life and is easy to transport.
Plus, it provides a healthy dose of fibre, which helps keep guests full and satisfied.
In addition, nuts are a fantastic option because they’re easily portable and can be served as an appetizer or dessert.
Easy wedding appetizers like this one is a must and should be added to your wedding menu.
This is it if you were on a hunt for make-ahead wedding appetizers.
Mix some dried fruit with nuts like almonds and pecans in a large bowl.
Then place the bowl on one end of your cocktail table with a small serving spoon beside it.
If you want to get fancy, whip up homemade granola bars.
They’re easy to make and can be made ahead of time so guests can grab them as they enter the reception hall or take them home as gift favours at the night’s end.
Speaking of granola bars, here is a quick no-bake granola bar recipe.
3. Caprese Skewers With Balsamic Glaze
Who doesn’t like a good Caprese salad?
If you have been looking for simple wedding appetizers, this is it.
A bite-sized version of a classic Caprese salad, you can serve mini Caprese skewers at your wedding, and you will be saving money.
These adorable skewers are perfect for any summer wedding gathering.
I love how super fun they look.
Plus, they only take a few minutes to make – you can even make them ahead of time if you are DIYing your wedding!
The Caprese Skewers are dressed with balsamic glaze and extra virgin olive oil, making them a quick, easy, make-ahead, healthy appetizer for any casual get-together or a fun summer wedding.
So if you know your wedding guests will be a hungry crowd, you will have them ready to go.
4. Greek Salad Cucumber Party Bites
These party bites are the perfect cold appetizers for the wedding cocktail hour!
These mini low-carb greek salad cucumber party bites are a fun and super-easy no-cook appetizer to make for a summer wedding.
The taste of this greek salad makes it an easy one-bite appetizer perfect for any occasion.
It is a no-cook recipe and comes together in minutes for couples short on time.
Layer black olive pesto on cucumber slices.
Top with a square of feta cheese, basil and a slice of tomato.
It makes for perfect summer wedding appetizers on a budget.
5. Vegetarian Sushi Donut Station
This Japanese delicacy has become incredibly popular in the U.S., especially among millennials.
And why not?
It looks great and tastes even better.
There are many different sushi recipes, from California rolls to spicy tuna rolls.
You will LOVE this simple Vegetable Sushi Donuts Recipe made with only five ingredients!!!
The vegetable sushi donuts are easy to make and perfect for weddings to be served during the cocktail hour.
They are also light, refreshing and fun!
They make for some perfect summer wedding appetizers.
If you’re worried about making your sushi, just find a local restaurant that serves sushi or ask them if they’ll cater your event!
6. Prosciutto-Wrapped Stuffed Dates
These simple and delicious Prosciutti-wrapped stuffed dates are the perfect snack or finger foods for your wedding cocktail hour.
The sweet dates are stuffed with a combination of goat cheese, mascarpone and basil and then wrapped in salty prosciutto, finished with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
I love that you can make them in advance.
Simply make the dates the day before the wedding and store them in the fridge overnight.
Then take them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before cocktail hour starts.
7. Smoked Salmon Canapés with Cucumber
If you are looking for an easy yet super elegant summer wedding appetizer idea, then you are in luck.
These smoked salmon canapés with cucumber are the perfect bite-sized food for summer weddings.
The canapés are made with seafood and a lemon artichoke cream cheese spread.
These appetizers can be served cold for a wedding cocktail hour, making them an easy dish to whip together for that summer heat.
Serve the salmon canapé appetizers along with your other favourite wedding hors d’oeuvres.
8. Easy Antipasto Skewers For Summer Weddings
Antipasti are considered some of the best wedding appetizers!
These Antipasto Skewers are a super easy, make-ahead, grab-and-go wedding cocktail hour snack!
The great thing about these Antipasto appetizers is that they can be assembled the day before and refrigerated overnight for a stress-free wedding day.
Honestly, Antipasto skewers are the easiest appetizer EVER.
Loaded with flavour and so easy to make, these are perfect for bridal showers, weddings, parties, and more!
Double or triple to serve a crowd!
Follow this simple wedding appetizer recipe, and have the perfect snack for your cocktail hour.
So many delicious flavours and textures on one stick… your wedding guests will love them!
9. Easy Shrimp Wedding Appetizers
This easy shrimp appetizer features well-seasoned shrimp over creamy guacamole on a piece of smoked salmon and a crunchy slice of cucumber.
These are easy summer wedding appetizers that your wedding guest will drool over.
There are so many reasons we love this shrimp wedding appetizer and why you should too:
- They are healthy appetizers
- The recipe is so easy to make
- It’s an instant crowd-pleaser
Couples looking for a simple DIY wedding appetizer should consider this shrimp appetizer.
10. Caprese Bruschetta with Balsamic Glaze
Are you looking for the perfect summer wedding appetizer?
It is a crowd-pleaser, and I am sure it will be a hit at your summer wedding.
With the perfect balance of sweet and salty, the fresh ingredients bring delicious flavour to every bite.
And the cheese?
Well, that’s just the cherry on top – try it out!
11. Cuban Sandwich Appetizer Skewers
The Cuban sandwich DIY wedding appetizer skewers are fun to make and fun to eat!
These cold appetizers on a stick with Swiss cheese, ham, Dijon mustard, salami, and baby dill pickles can be made in advance too.
They are absolutely a crowd-pleaser and are the most delicious summer wedding appetizers!
The wedding cocktail hour is one of my favourite parts of the wedding.
Mostly because your wedding guests get to mingle, meet new people and can relax after witnessing the special moment at the wedding ceremony.
Then you are off to capture more photos.
While this is happening, there is nothing wrong with having them sip on some refreshing cocktails and eating one of these delicious Cuban Sandwich skewers.
12. Summer Wedding Chips and Salsa
Chips and salsa might seem like an obvious choice for summer wedding cocktails, plus there are several ways you can serve this classic combo!
Try dipping tortilla chips into homemade guacamole or salsa, or serve some chips with buffalo wings.
For added colour and flavour, try using purple carrots in your salsa or making it with sweet potatoes instead of regular tomatoes.
I found this amazing seven-layer dip and chips that you could try.
These wedding cocktail hour snacks are simply delicious and quick to make.
The seven-layer dip consists of beans, sour cream, avocado, salsa, cheese and a variety of toppings, depending on the version.
13. Cheese Tray
If you are looking for easy wedding cocktail hour appetizers for your big day, consider having a cheese tray.
A cheese tray is an excellent addition to any wedding cocktail hour because it offers something sweet, salty, and crunchy at the same time.
You can choose from various kinds of cheese, including brie, cheddar, gouda, blue cheese, and feta.
Add crackers or breadsticks for dipping and some sliced apples or pears for sweetness.
If you want to keep things simple, try just serving different types of crackers with a selection of cheeses from which guests can choose their favourite flavour combination!
14. Quick Salami Bread Appetizer
If you are looking for easy appetizers for a wedding reception, consider having some salami appetizers.
Your wedding appetizer menu ideas should have various options available to your guests.
You want to offer easy appetizers for cocktail hour to make it easy for the guests.
These quick salami appetizers should be part of your bite-sized wedding appetizer menu selection.
Each bite is perfectly balanced in flavours and ingredients and is great for entertaining guests with an aperitif!
It’s a simple, straightforward party appetizer idea which is extremely easy to make.
Salami appetizers are great because most people love a good slice of salami, and most people have salami handy.
So, these quick salami bites will save the day if you need a last-minute appetizer idea.
Your guests will love you for including this tasty summer wedding appetizer idea.
15. Grilled peach & lemon ricotta crostini
Grilled peach & lemon ricotta crostini is an elegant but simple wedding appetizer!
The grill infuses just the right amount of smokiness to this dish.
It’s an ideal recipe that will help entertain your guests because it comes together so quickly & effortlessly!
If you have been looking for simple wedding appetizers, this is it.
It’s one of the best wedding appetizers sure to impress a crowd.
There’s something about bite-sized hors d’oeuvres that seem so upscale and elegant…especially when they’re topped with a grilled peach!
16. Cucumber Rollups with Fresh Herb Cream Cheese
If you are looking for easy wedding finger wedding foods, look no further than these delicious cucumber rollups with fresh herb cream cheese.
Who doesn’t like cream cheese?
I know I love cheese in all forms.
These cucumber rollups with fresh herb cream cheese make a nice alternative to the typical veggie tray you find at BBQ weddings and parties.
They are the perfect cold starters for weddings, making them extremely refreshing for a summer wedding!
So if you require summer wedding appetizers, this is it.
17. Mini BLT wedding slider appetizers
Sliders are popular and easy wedding cocktail hour appetizers.
These mini BLT sliders appetizers have all the vibrant flavours of your favourite bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich on a toothpick.
They’re easy to pick up and eat, and your wedding guests will love the flavours of these small bites — especially the crispy bacon!
Best of all, the recipe is super simple, and the fresh colours look so pretty on a platter.
The bright reds and greens make this BLT bites the perfect summer wedding appetizer.
18. Grilled Watermelon Pineapple Skewers
Are you looking for a quick dessert for your summer wedding this year?
These Grilled Watermelon Pineapple Skewers have just four easy ingredients and are dipped in the most deliciously simple yogurt sauce!
Pair it with your favourite refreshing cocktail for a relaxing summer BBQ wedding!
Grilling watermelon gives it a deeper sweetness, meaning it deserves a place on your dessert table.
How many appetizers should you serve at a wedding?
The best part of getting married is celebrating your one big day with those you love; family and friends.
And the best way to celebrate that is to have a big party after the ceremony, including eating and drinking!
There are no better ways to celebrate this day’s blessing than with delicious finger foods and a tasty summer cocktail hour.
And choosing the right cocktail hour food is essential if you want your guests to enjoy their experience and not leave the party craving a meal.
Now that we have given you a few summer wedding appetizer ideas let’s get down to the details.
What is the standard rule for serving appetizers?
We recommend 6-8 pieces per person per hour for wedding cocktail hour appetizers.
So if you have a 1.5 to 2-hour cocktail timeline before dinner, I would consider increasing that a little.
In terms of how many different options of wedding appetizers you should have, consider having four to five different options during your cocktail hour, totalling eight to ten pieces per guest!
You do not want to leave your guests hungry while waiting for the reception to start.
If you only serve appetizers at your wedding, I suggest heavy hors d’oeuvres.
Serve 15-18 pieces per person per hour over a 4+ hour event, dinner replacement.
And include a few late-night snack platters like mini pizzas, burgers and fries or tacos.
We hope this article was informative and that you can come up with some ideas for your wedding cocktail hour.
And there you have it, cheap wedding appetizers for a summer day!
The cocktail hour wedding appetizers you serve are an important part of your wedding day.
You want to ensure you serve something light, refreshing and perfect for summer weddings.
Creativity and planning make it possible to serve gorgeous wedding appetizers without overspending.
Hopefully, these mouthwatering summer wedding appetizers on a budget will help you better budget!
Did you enjoy our summer wedding appetizer ideas?
What summer wedding starters will you be serving on your wedding day?
If you have other suggestions for finger food wedding appetizers on a budget, please share them below.
Especially if they are fancy wedding appetizers.
We want to show our couples that a wedding doesn’t have to be tacky just because you are on a budget.
So bring on all the fun wedding appetizers perfect for summer weddings.
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