35 Budget-Friendly Wedding Finger Foods
Looking for the best wedding finger foods on a budget? These recipes and ideas include simple yet delicious ingredients prepared in creative ways. While most of the budget-friendly options listed below are vegetarian, there are plenty of options for meat lovers too. But first, let’s answer some FAQs about wedding food in general.
How much should wedding guests eat?
Most weddings serve appetizers, a seated or buffet meal, and a dessert. If you have an open bar, you’ll need to create a menu with heavier foods just in case people overdo it. You can also choose to do a heavy round of appetizers followed by a light meal.
If the reception lasts over five hours, time your courses out so guests are consistently fed throughout. Or, offer coffee and tea with light bites towards the end of the evening.
How many appetizers should you serve at a wedding?
The answer is different for every couple. You’ll need to factor in these key elements when making your decision.
Budget. You don’t have to go over your budget to make sure everyone is full and happy. If you’re serving a meal, count on spending two-thirds of your food budget on this first. Then divide the remaining number by the number of guests. You might even be able to mix in one more costly appetizer (like sushi, steak bites, or caviar) in with a bunch of more budget-friendly finger foods.
Day-of timeline. Planning to host a cocktail hour (or two) between the ceremony and dinner while you take your photos? If you plan to serve dinner immediately after, you can get away with 2-3 heavier options. Any longer than that and you’ll need to consider adding another 2-3 light options too.
Party size. If your wedding guest list isn’t finalized yet, you might want to consider foregoing those backup lists of people in favor of serving more food to your closest family and friends.
Tradition. A good rule of thumb from expert wedding planners is to serve at least three different types of appetizers. Count on each attendee to eat 2-4 pieces every 1.5 hours during which a meal is not served.
Explore 35 of our favorite budget-friendly wedding finger foods:
1. Potsticker Spoons
Whether you choose beef, chicken or veggie, single-serve potstickers in a bamboo or plastic stiletto serving spoon with a splash of broth will be a big hit.
2. Bar Munchies
Give classic peanuts, snack mixes and pretzels a formal twist by creating homemade versions and lightly roasting them with unique spices (like cayenne, garlic, tamari or rosemary).
3. Veggie Skewers
Veggie skewers are a colorful way to get some healthy foods in at your wedding. And the options are endless. If your wedding is during the spring or summer, use fresh produce from the farmer’s market. If it’s during the fall or winter, grill heartier vegetables like onions, sweet potatoes and green peppers to create a rainbow display.
4. Soup Shooters
Go the extra mile and include some crostinis, mini sandwiches or garlic bread toasts for dipping! Get inspired with these tasty ideas.
5. DIY Taco Bar
Set up a buffet table with all the fixings.
6. Mini Pigs In a Blanket
Some mini sausages wrapped in phyllo dough with homemade honey mustard sauce will win over lots of guests at your wedding.
7. Potato Salad Cups
Here are some super simple potato salad recipes for every menu and budget that you can make yourself or share with your caterer as a jumping-off point.
8. Mexican Corn on the Cob
Cut corn cobs into halves or thirds and stick toothpicks on either side to keep the mess at bay. Or turn it into a mini salad and serve it in cups.
9. Grilled Cheese Sliders
If you’re doing tomato soup, these are a must-have. If traditional cheddar feels a little too childish, try something more gourmet like gruyere and cranberry mango chutney or any one of these great recipes.
10. Savory Pinwheels
The possibilities are endless but we love the idea of classic ham and cheese, which you can make ahead of time and freeze for up to one month.
11. Mini Pizzas
This is another great option for buffet tables as long as you keep the sauce warmed. But if you’d prefer to DIY or cater them as passed hors d’oeuvres, here are some darling and sophisticated pizzette recipes.
12. Wedding Cake Balls
Save on cake cutting with adorable bites you can actually make from a mix!
13. Ranch Dippers
A hit among adults and children alike, some carrot sticks, celery, cherry tomatoes and bell pepper sticks sitting in a tiny cup of ranch is an easy option. You can also serve them in hummus, garlic and herb dip, or french onion dip.
14. Mini Fruit Salads
Use whatever is in season or goes well with your other appetizers. For example, mixed berry salads are perfect with other cheesy finger foods.
15. Fiesta Wheels
Prep time per roll will only take about 15 minutes according to this recipe!
16. Pesto Crostinis
Use parmesan, mozzarella, tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic and fresh basil too.
17. Goat Cheese and Mushroom Cups
You can either use a flaky dough to serve them in or use the actual mushroom cap as the container for the delicious filling.
18. Tomato Basil Bites
Here’s a quick and easy recipe you can make ahead of time.
19. Broccoli and Cheddar Pockets
Use phyllo dough or bake these into crescent rolls. Add some chicken for extra protein.
20. Cinnamon Almond Twists
If you’re feeling extra fancy, try this strawberry version or add a little cream cheese.
21. Apple Hand Pies
If you really want to blow their socks off, serve your wedding guests the cheddar crust version of this classic treat.
22. Caramelized Onion Tarts
You can add pretty much any cheese you want, including brie, goat or gorgonzola.
23. Pasta Shooters
Yet another option with endless possibilities. Use a classic red sauce and serve with a mini meatball. Or add some veggies for a fresher taste.
24. BBQ Pulled Chicken Sliders
If you have a large guest list and don’t want to use 100 slow cookers to serve them this appetizer, simply shred some rotisserie chicken. And don’t forget the pickle!
25. Quiche Tarts
Here are some of Martha Stewart’s favorite quiche recipes that you can make in miniature for your big day.
26. Honey Berries
Berries in a cup drizzled with honey, salted chocolate sauce or even balsamic dressing are a fun addition to your menu.
27. Wedding Deviled Eggs
Upgrade this classic with toppings like fresh herbs, sliced olives, bacon strips or hot sauce. Use spoons or thick toothpicks to serve.
28. Guac in Chip Cups
29. Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
Serve them along with mini cups of almond milk, hot chocolate or even Kahlua shots. If you don’t want the hassle of extra serving tools, turn the cookies into containers for the beverage.
30. Melon Ball Kabobs
Combine traditional cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew for a refreshing treat. Mix in mint, lemon, honey and goat cheese to kick it up a notch. You can serve in cups or as a skewer.
31. Yogurt-Dipped Strawberries
Dip them in mini chocolate chips, crushed almonds or sprinkles that match your wedding colors. Make them even more Pinterest worthy by creating an ombre display.
32. Mini Cheeseburger Sliders
Offer one plain, one crowd-pleaser (like Hawaiin or bacon BBQ), and a third wacky version (think fried ice cream or mac and cheese).
33. Spicy Chicken Wings
Serve dipping sauces in a fountain, like this brilliant wedding did.
34. Peanut Butter Overnight Oat Spoons
Add as many fun toppings as like, including shredded coconut, banana slices or strawberry jam. Scoop a ball on top of a spoon for easier serving or freeze them ahead of time for a truly finger-friendly experience.
35. Mini Jello Molds
They’re beautiful and highly versatile. Serve with a strong toothpick or in smaller shapes for easy handling. Here are some classy alcoholic versions.
Your guests will definitely say your wedding had the best food!
There are plenty of other cheap wedding reception dinner alternatives you can use in addition to these wedding finger foods. You can also save some money by bringing your own wedding caterer for the reception.