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Keep the Party Going with Late Night Bites

Handheld and bite-sized offerings delight revelers

By Rebecca Padgett Frett and Rose Beasley

The DJ has cued up the final songs, the bar is at last call and preparations for your grand exit are being made. Many libations have been consumed, and the calories from dinner were burned off on the dance floor. Fries and cheeseburger sliders are being passed on silver platters. Guests gratefully smile between bites.

Late-night bites are not a new notion but one that’s back and bigger with weddings becoming more experiential than ever.

“Food has become more aesthetically pleasing in the last 10 years and has become more than a necessity, resulting in something like an interactive experience,” said Samantha Roche, director of events and operations at Andrew’s Catering in Tallahassee.

Photo by Alena Bakutis Photography

Roche said the promise of late-night snacks is an effective way to get guests to stick around well after the ceremony. Presentation of the food can be an event in itself. Roche points to a wedding Andrew’s Catering planned that had a ballpark theme complete with a popcorn machine and fry cones in red-and-white striped containers with the couple’s monogram printed on them.

The food is typically served in the last 30 minutes of the evening or as the guests are departing. Many couples opt to give out food instead of traditional wedding favors.

Snacks can be served in many ways. Serve-your-own sundae or build-your-own hotdog stations or taco bars would be best offered buffet-style. Miniature grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza slices or chicken tenders can be passed. Doughnut or soft pretzel offerings work well at an exit.

On-the-go options include french fry cones, macaroni and cheese cups, pre-bagged cookies or other treats, boxed mini-pizzas, bagged popcorn or boxed charcuterie.

Roche and Justin Chiricos, owner and executive chef of Catering Capers in Tallahassee, agree that late-night options typically fall into two categories: sweets and comfort foods.

“Many of our brides choose to offer one or two passed, filling hors d’oeuvres at the end of the night like our scrumptious mini-chicken biscuits with honey butter, our chicken and waffles drizzled with local honey or mini-cheeseburgers,” Chiricos said.

Chiricos noted that individualized grilled pizzas allowing the clients to select their own toppings are consistently a hit.

For those who wish to keep the party going, Chiricos adds, “It seems that the food items the couples choose are ones that soak up some of the libations they have been enjoying. Several of them have selected espresso shots with mini-doughnut holes or espresso coffee with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.”

End of the evening snacks can be an extension of your dinner theme. If your meal was Mexican or Spanish, consider empanadas, taquitos or churros. Italian foods include bruschetta bites or cannoli. To follow up a Chinese meal, consider egg rolls, dumplings or customized fortune cookies.

“Late night snacks are intended to be a fun experience that give couples a lot more creative liberty and room to play than dinner menus allow,” Roche said. “These bites are a way to infuse your personality and further customize your wedding.” 

On your wedding day, dance and drink the night away knowing your sweet tooth will be indulged and your midnight cravings met.

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