caprese skewers on serving tray for summer wedding

32 Summer Wedding Menu Ideas We Love

Apr 6, 2021
By Wedding Spot

Congratulations on your summer wedding! You chose a blissful time for your celebration, with the best chance of sunny weather, relaxed guests, a beautiful backdrop, and delicious food. Your menu can take advantage of all that summer has to offer with lots of fresh produce, seasonal seafood, barbecue and grilled dishes, and icy treats. Want to wow your guests and make sure the food fully fits the season? These summer wedding menu ideas are all you need.

Whether you’re a DIYer or working with a caterer, keep reading for some of our favorite summer wedding appetizers, main courses, side dishes, desserts, and cocktails. Each item includes a link to a recipe or presentation idea that can be used as inspiration. We also added some creative vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free options for guests with dietary restrictions, ensuring that everyone has a wonderful time.

Read on for 32 summer wedding menu ideas your guests will love:

Appetizers and first-course ideas

1. Stuffed pepper poppers (vegan). This vegan appetizer is a fun dish for all of your guests, even if they don’t have dietary restrictions. With caramelized onions and quinoa, this dish offers a one-bite savory feast.

2. Caprese skewers with balsamic drizzle (vegetarian). There is possibly nothing more pleasing in the summer months than the combination of mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, and summer basil. A caprese salad is summer in a bite, and these skewers will be sure to delight your guests.

3. Mini burger bar. Miniature burgers are a cute way to pack lots of flavor into your cocktail hour. You can offer lots of creative toppings, flavored aioli and other spreads, and even accompanying milkshakes or fries for an added touch of fun.

4. Cajun shrimp guacamole bites (gluten-free, paleo). Embrace the flavors of the south with these shrimp and guacamole bites. As an added bonus, they’re gluten-free and paleo for guests with dietary restrictions.

5. Grilled veggie skewers (vegetarian). These veggie skewers may look simple, but they’re a light and flavorful way for guests to snack during your cocktail hour or reception. The skewers make these snacks easy to eat, and you can substitute a variety of vegetables or meats to suit your taste.

6. Crab mango salad. This refreshing and flavorful seafood dish has a lot of things going for it: it’s quick and easy to prepare, a little bit out of the ordinary, and a wonderful way to highlight fresh seafood. You can also substitute lobster, shrimp, or other seafood to really make this dish your own.

7. A grazing table. This colorful trend involves many different types of hors d'oeuvres, fruits, vegetables, and meats arranged artfully on a table for guests to return to as often as they would like. This gives guests the flexibility to eat as much as they want, and makes for some beautiful pictures as well. For a truly stunning look, arrange food on different levels to add dimension and height.

8. Edible flower salad with rose petals (vegetarian). Nothing says summer more than colorful flowers. Many flower varieties are edible, and can coordinate with your wedding colors and theme. If you’re planning an eco-friendly wedding, you can focus on locally-grown or wild varieties to add color and flair to your wedding day salads. To make this salad vegan, substitute the honey with agave, maple, or brown rice syrup.

9. Roasted tomato gazpacho shooters (vegan). Soup shooters are a fun and creative wedding trend, but hot soup may be unwelcome on a hot day. Offer your guests these gazpacho shooters as a light and cool alternative. They’re bursting with summer roasted tomato flavor.

Summer wedding menu ideas for main courses and sides

10. Maine lobster rolls. Lobster rolls always feel like a treat, but at a wedding, they have an added sense of fun and charm. These classic seafood sandwiches are a nice complement to venues on the water or with a nautical theme, especially in New England.

11. Scallop ceviche. Scallops are a great candidate for ceviche since they already have a melt-in-your-mouth texture and light flavor. Make sure your guests will be up for this one and that you have some simpler options as well, as ceviche can be too daring for some.

12. Elotes (grilled Mexican street corn) (vegetarian). If you’re celebrating at an outdoor venue or with a vibrant international theme, street foods from around the world are a fun option to highlight on your menu. Grilled Mexican street corn is an easy crowd-pleaser that takes advantage of in-season corn and summer grilling.

13. Peach and prosciutto flatbreads. While pizza might be a bit heavy as a summer wedding menu option, flatbreads are a great alternative with some dazzling and light flavors. This one pairs juicy grilled peaches with smoky prosciutto for a great summer combination.

14. Braised beef short ribs. Braised meats are a great wedding option since they’re easy to prepare and avoid the “too rare” or “too well done” critiques that might come up with other beef dishes. This recipe is great for a late summer wedding, as it pairs well with both summer and fall grilled vegetables.

15. Beet carpaccio (vegan). If you’re looking for creative vegan menu options for your wedding, look no further. This dish puts beets center stage for a gorgeous presentation and satisfying flavors.

16. Pesto pasta salad (vegetarian). This pesto pasta salad can be served warm or chilled and makes a great main or side for any summer wedding. You can easily substitute vegan cheese or omit the feta in this dish for a vegan option as well.

17. Barbecued chicken with roasted corn pudding. This barbecued chicken recipe is a simple one to pull off for a crowd and can be paired with lots of summer favorites. The roasted corn pudding accompanying the chicken in the recipe can be served hot, or chilled for a picnic wedding vibe.

Summer wedding dessert ideas

18. Wedding macarons (gluten-free). Macarons are an elegant bite-sized confection that you could offer during your cocktail hour, dessert, or even as a unique wedding favor. There are limitless combinations of colors and flavors to match your theme and tastes, and these treats are naturally gluten-free.

19. Mexican wedding cookies (vegan, dairy-free). This vegan spin on a wedding classic will impress your guests and leave them wanting more. And they will never believe it’s vegan!

20. Strawberry cheesecake bars. If you’re not a fan of the traditional wedding cake option, or want some fun additional desserts to offer, cheesecake is a great summer wedding menu idea. These no-bake bars use strawberries as a centerpiece, but you can easily substitute other summer berries like blueberries or raspberries.

21. Crepes. For a fun dessert station, why not offer a French classic? Crepes are easily customizable and aren’t seen very often, with the added bonus of being a fairly light dessert option. This particular recipe utilizes summer fruits and whipped cream to keep your guests both satisfied and refreshed.

22. Chai blondies (vegan, gluten-free). For another great vegan dessert idea, try these chai blondies. They’re made with coconut oil and a flax egg, but your guests will only care about the spiced flavors and fun presentation.

23. Summer berry pie. This pie takes many delicious berry flavors and combines them all into a sweet and delicious treat.

24. Frozen key lime bites. A frozen dessert is great for cooling off at an outdoor wedding after lots of dancing. These key lime bites are perfect for munching in between songs.

25. Cakesicles. Put a fun twist on cake pops by crossing them with a summer favorite — popsicles! These cakesicles are whimsical and fun for guests of all ages.

Get inspired with even more unique wedding dessert ideas

Signature drink ideas for your summer wedding

26. Raspberry mango margaritas. Margaritas are the perfect accompaniment to many light summer dishes, especially grilled or Mexican-inspired. This raspberry mango version is creative and interesting, and special enough to be served as a signature drink.

27. Summer pineapple cocktail. If you’ve got fish on the menu, this summer pineapple cocktail would be a wonderful pairing. Bonus points if it ties into your theme with its bright color!

28. Blackberry lime margaritas. For one more margarita with a twist, try this blackberry lime version. This works really well for late summer menus, as blackberries start to be in season.

29. Summer moscow mule. There are lots of ways to customize the classic moscow mule to please your guests, take advantage of seasonal flavors, and highlight your wedding’s theme or location. You can even offer a few different versions and see what your guests like best!

30. Blood orange mojito. This mojito uses blood oranges to add tang and a delicious flavor boost. This cocktail would also be delicious in a non-alcoholic version, which is a nice offering for guests who are driving home or don’t wish to have alcohol.

31. Summer champagne cocktail. Champagne and weddings are a classic pair, and for good reason. This sparkling beverage puts everyone in a celebratory mood — and with a summer twist, you’ll have everyone saying cheers

32. Honey-sweetened limeade (non-alcoholic). This mocktail combines summer berry flavors with the delicious herbaceous notes from fresh basil. It’s a great choice to offer for guests who aren’t drinking and gives them a fun choice to feel like a part of the celebration.

Delight your guests with these tasty summer wedding menu ideas!

Once you have your dream menu created, it’s time to taste! Read on for everything you need to know before your wedding tasting.

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.