Everyone knows that when the “I do’s” are over, a wedding is all about the food (and drinks). But if you’ve already blown your budget on the DJ and the venue, spending a boatload on catering might not be the best idea—after all, going broke isn’t exactly the best way to kick off happily ever after.
But you can still have the wedding of your
When it’s time to break out the bubbly, skip the champagne in favor of the more budget-friendly but equally sparkly prosecco. Its floral notes also blend fantastically with the pear and cranberry flavors in these fruity flutes.
Berry-kissed and lightly sweet, these pretty pink drinks are second only to the blushing bride. They’re also made with only three ingredients, which should come as great news for anybody who wants something fancy but not fiddly.
Sangria is often associated with summertime, but this autumn-inspired version is ideal even for November nuptials. It’s filled with fall fruit, while a hefty glug of brandy joins the prosecco to help warm your guests right up.
Given the rosé renaissance in recent years, this cocktail is trendy in addition to being tasty. With fresh grapefruit juice lending plenty of tartness, it’s also a perfect choice if you’re looking to serve something that’s fruity but not overly sweet.
Studded with fresh watermelon cubes and finished off with sprigs of mint, this easy-to-sip drink is a no-brainer for summer weddings. Unlike lots of fruity cocktails, there’s no added sugar in this one, either.
You don’t need to have a destination wedding to serve up an island-inspired drink. Kick off cocktail hour with these muddled mojitos, and your guests will be ready to hit the dance floor in no time.
While the sparkling lemonade part of this cocktail is perfect for warm-weather events, the whiskey side gives it a certain cozy quality so it’s just as suitable for wintertime weddings. It’s not the most common combination, but it’s one your guests will never forget.
Walnuts and goat cheese are a regular couple at weddings, but this crostini recipe kicks up the combo with the addition of roasted grapes and fresh thyme. The extra components elevate the dish without sinking your budget.
Save your guests from greasy fingers by baking the wontons for their appetizers in muffin tins instead of frying 'em. These crispy little cups can really hold just about anything, but the chili-lime shrimp and avocado filling here is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Stretch the cost of steak by serving it as an appetizer instead of an entrée. These bites are dressed up with vibrant notes of red chili, cilantro, and lime and spooned onto cucumber cups; there’s nothing that looks or tastes cheap here.
Spare your friends and family from having to juggle their cocktails and assemble their own appetizer plate. These handy skewers place all the critical components of antipasti, from the olives to the salami to the cheese, on a stick. They’re convenient, elegant, and fun to eat.
When you’re busy DIY-ing your wedding, any time-savers = lifesavers. Here, store-bought hummus and pastry sheets help the savory squares come together with minimal effort, but the easy sautéed kale and red peppers still add a fresh, homemade element.
Stuffed with quinoa, mozzarella, and basil, these mini mushrooms may be small, but each little capful is surprisingly hearty. The absence of breadcrumbs also makes them suitable for any gluten-free guests.
Between things wrapped in bacon and things stuffed with cheese, traditional wedding appetizers don’t leave a lot of options for vegan attendees. Give your plant-based guests some love with these simple but hearty pumpkin pinwheels—they’ll so appreciate not being stuck with boring crudité.
If you’re serving dessert in mason jars, you’re already doing it right. But take it a step further by making said dessert vegan, gluten-free, Paleo, and insanely delicious so that they work for just about anybody’s diet. These fruity pots do just that.
A wedding cake these days costs as much a house, so cross it off the must-have list and replace it with these perfectly portioned alternatives. With champagne in the batter and frosting, gold glitter sprinkles, they’re just as celebratory as any three-tiered creation, for a fraction of the price.
When there are centerpieces to make and vows to write, nobody has time to make lattice tops. But these no-bake desserts, served in phyllo cups, make sure you can have your apple pie and eat it too.
They may look fancy, but these dipped chocolaty pops are so much easier to make than you think and totally worth the wow factor. The recipe also makes 48 pops at once, so if your wedding is on the small side, a couple batches of these are totally manageable.
Does it get any cuter than these little cannoli? Served in baked pie crust shells, these sweet, cream-filled cups aren’t just aesthetically adorable, they also save you the trouble of frying pastry dough.
Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, these chocolate-dipped treats would be welcome on any table. They’re also surprisingly simple to make, so even if you (or whoever you delegate dessert to) aren’t much of a baker, you can whip these up with confidence.
From the champagne toasts to the sugary desserts, weddings are super sweet—sometimes, almost too sweet. Provide some respite with these dark chocolate truffles, where a touch of cayenne pepper offers just enough of a kick to cut through any potential cloyingness.
Even if you’re super crunched for time and money, you don’t have to send your guests home empty-handed. These three-ingredient prepped cocoa cones repackage super-affordable grocery store items into super cute favors that are especially suited for winter weddings.
Alright, so these do come with their fair share of corn syrup/butter/brown sugar, but it’s your party and you can do what you want, including sending your guests home with these addictive and adorable mini cartons of caramel corn. Everyone can save clean eats for another day.
A memorable and clever wedding favor is a quick layering job away with these deconstructed (and way less messy) s’mores. Plus, none of the edible items are homemade, which leaves you time to get a little crafty with labeling the jars.
Let your loved ones know how much you appreciate them by sending them home with “olive” your love. The infused oil couldn’t be easier to make, and the bottles are reusable, so this is the perfect mix of practical and pretty.
Consider using dried ingredients. Dried herbs and spices do not contain water and are safer. Note: As with any homemade preserved recipes, there's a slight risk of botulism. For optimal safety, sanitize containers by boiling them for 10 minutes, use herbs that have been fully dried, and include a note on the bottle so guests know to use within a few days.
Although they’re traditionally made at Christmastime (misleading much?!), these shortbread-like, sugar-dusted domes also make for rather appropriate wedding favors. Pack up a handful in cellophane to distribute, and we promise your guests won’t be mad about 'em.
Homemade jam is a popular wedding favor for good reason: It’s hard to mess up, it makes for a lovely presentation, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t appreciate a jar of berry-sweet goodness. This recipe adds thyme leaves to the strawberry mixture, so the resulting spread is like nothing anyone will find at the supermarket.