Southern Wedding Food Ideas

Getting married and looking for the perfect Southern wedding foods? The best Southern appetizers to serve on your big day? Southern desserts too? Signature cocktails? I got you! This post is one to bookmark…

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First things first, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Getting to decide on all the fabulous reception details might seem overwhelming (at first) but I’m here to show you some ideas and inspiration you can use to create your perfect Southern wedding menu.

What do you serve at a Southern wedding?

Southern traditions almost always include food and weddings is no exception. We pay homage to the flavors and fresh foods we’ve enjoyed for generations.

Without further ado… let’s talk Southern wedding appetizers! Traditionally served while guests are mixing and mingling during cocktail hour, appetizers should be simple to eat, typically bite-size or 2-bite, and not too filling.

Southern Wedding Appetizers

I’ve listed out a few ideas for Southern wedding appetizers to get your menu started! Remember, you don’t have to serve all of these. Most couples opt for 2 to 3 different appetizers passed around during cocktail hour.

Mini Chicken Salad Rolls (shown above, we served these at my wedding) – You could serve chicken salad on yeast rolls or mini biscuits.

Mini Shrimp and Grits

Mini Shrimp & Grits (as shown above for my book The Southern Entertainer’s Cookbook photographed by Kyle Dreier)

Mini Burgers - Perfect Party Food!
Mini Burgers

Mini Cheeseburgers – EVERYONE loves these slider sized mini burgers! Pick your favorite toppings!

Cream Cheese and Pepper Jelly Phyllo Cups – Sophisticated yet a nod to Southern flavors when topped with a toasted pecan!

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs

Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs – Take the typical deviled eggs up a Southern notch with the addition of pimento cheese! Elevate their appearance with a paprika and green onion garnish.

Mini BLT Biscuits

Mini Pimento Cheese BLT Biscuits – These are so delicious

More Southern Wedding Appetizers

WANT MORE APPETIZER IDEAS? Did you know we have a whole second site devoted to the BEST APPETIZERS around the web? So if you want even more appetizer ideas, be sure to check it out!

Wedding Cocktail Hour

Southern Wedding Signature Cocktails

I love the idea of a signature cocktail. While you likely should serve up traditional offerings like beer, white wine, red wine, and perhaps a liquor bar (if budget allows), having a signature cocktail is a little something special for guests to enjoy!

Wedding Signature Cocktail

What do you mean by signature cocktail?

A signature cocktail is a unique cocktail recipe created specially for the couple‚Äôs wedding day that is a nod to the couple’s style from their favorite flavors, hometown, or other personal touch. Many couples even give their cocktail’s a clever name.

Is it hard to pick just one? Serve up a groom’s choice and bride’s choice!

Cocktail Recipe on Cocktail Napkin

Consider printing your signature cocktail’s recipe on cocktail napkins to pass out with the drink so guests can have the recipe to take home!

Signature Cocktail Drink Ideas

  • Tennessee Iced Water was the signature cocktail we served at my own wedding! We live here in Tennessee, met in Nashville and knew we wanted to tie our state in somehow.

Southern Wedding Entree Ideas

Chicken, beef and fish are the most common wedding entrees, but you can certainly give all three of these delicious main dishes a few Southern twists. Here are a few ideas…

  • Beef Brisket
  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Hickory Smoked Pork Shoulder
  • Cedar Plank Salmon
  • Beef Tenderloin
  • Fried Chicken
  • Shrimp and Grits
  • Shrimp Boil
  • BBQ Shrimp
  • Oyster Boil
  • Lobster Po’Boys
  • Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
  • Crab Cakes
  • Charleston Grilled Chicken (grab my recipe in my Southern cookbook!)

Southern Wedding Side Dish Ideas

  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Collard Greens
  • Southern Style Green Beans
  • Black Eyed Peas
  • Grits (better yet, pimento cheese grits)
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Corn Pudding, Corn on the Cob, Corn Fritters, Creamed Corn
  • Corn Succotash
  • Cornbread
  • Buttermilk Biscuits (with butter and jams)
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Vidalia Onion Salad

Southern Wedding Dessert Ideas

We all know that weddings include the traditional wedding cake as part of the sweet finish to the night, but what about adding in a few other special Southern dessert ideas to your wedding menu? Guests will LOVE you!

If you want to stick to traditional wedding cake, here are a few Southern cake ideas that would delight your guests!

Southern Wedding Cake Ideas

  • Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Lemon Orange Chiffon Cake
  • Coconut Cake
  • Hummingbird Cake
  • Strawberry Layer Cake
  • Pecan Pie Cupcakes
  • Mississippi Mud Cake
  • Butter Pecan Cake
  • Texas Sheet Cake

Southern Wedding Late Night Snack Ideas

There’s nothing better than a late night snack arriving after hours of dancing the night away on the dance floor with your friends and family! It’s been several hours since dinner and guests always appreciate a little something to enjoy as they finish the evening.

We served mini take-out boxes filled with Apple Fritter donuts from Fox’s Donut Den here in Nashville, TN. They’re a cult favorite at the local donut spot and we still have friends and family tell us how much they enjoyed their little box of donuts as they left the reception!

Here are a few more late-night snack ideas for your Southern wedding!

  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (they make minis if you wanted to fill little boxes)
  • Chick-Fil A (mini chicken biscuits are always a hit)
  • Mini Burgers
  • Popcorn (in custom popcorn boxes)
  • Hand Pies or Mini Pies with Ice Cream
  • Hot Cocoa & Cookies or Milk & Cookies
  • S’mores Bar
  • Hot Dogs
  • French Fries (in custom french fry boxes)
  • Ice Cream Sundaes
  • Chicken & Waffles
  • Petite Berry Cobblers
  • Mini Milkshakes or Mini Ice Cream Cones
  • Pizza or Flatbreads
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (served shooter style in shot glasses)
  • Corn Dogs
  • Biscuits & Jam (have a Bojangles nearby?)
  • White Castle or Krystal
  • Miniature Tacos
Southern Wedding Foods

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  1. This is really cool… Question: did she fall in the water? Looks like she’s stuck!!! :)
    And the rest of the wedding seems like a lot of fun too! Great one to share.

  2. I love all things southern and I really like this wedding! cool

  3. More impressive than the parasols are the “scrambled eggs” on the groom’s shoulder-boards. I’m guessing he’s aCaptain in the Navy…he looks too young for Admiral.

    The parasols are a nice idea – we may have a wedding in the family soon in Calif. …I’ll keep it in mind.

    Did the bride really get wet in her wedding gown? Very adventurous!!!

  4. I didn’t drop into the water but I did consider it! I was really nervous swinging out the first time. A ton of fun though!

  5. Kristin, thanks for sharing…we all think you are gutsy and awesome :)

  6. Sorry, but the bride didn’t go into the water. She had to take pictures the next day, but wanted the illusion for the wedding album. She would have gone in, if more pictures were needed.

    Also, the groom is a US Army Major and is wearing the Army White Dress Mess Uniform.

    The rope swing provided entertainment for the family while the bride and groom were taking wedding day photos!

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