One of the most important decisions a couple planning a wedding has to make involves food choices for the cocktail hour or for a reception where appetizers and drinks take the place of a sit-down meal. While the newlyweds might not be focused so much on the food during the actual reception or cocktail hour due to nerves or just being too busy, most of the guests will be paying attention to what is being served and couples want to thank guests for attending by providing tasty and well-displayed food. For couples planning a winter wedding, there are many ways to add seasonal flavor to a winter cocktail hour.
Winter Wedding Hors d’oeuvres and Appetizers
Winter is the season where most people indulge in comfort foods, food that warms the heart, soul, and stomach. Couples having a winter wedding can serve foods that are somewhat heavier or heartier than those served during summer weddings, when most people are dieting and eating lighter. When planning a winter wedding cocktail hour, plan to serve some warmer fare to offset the chilliness of the outdoor temperature as well as seasonal flavors. Look for recipes that use ingredients such as cranberries, pecans, cheese, winter squash, cinnamon, pears, and other fruits. Hot dips, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed olives, pot stickers, and hearty soups are also good ideas for winter appetizers. Sites such as Parties That Cook, Recipe Girl, and Martha Stewart Weddings are great places where you can find recipes and draw inspiration from when designing your menu. From Parties That Cook, here is a recipe for a goat cheese crostini that uses both cranberries and pecans. This recipe for skewered lamb with a pomegranate mint sauce would also make a good choice for a warm appetizer. Meatballs are a popular choice for wedding receptions and this recipe for grilled lamb meatballs is a Greek twist on a classic appetizer.
Winter Wedding Drinks and Cocktails
As you are planning the food for your cocktail hour, keep in mind the beverage choices you will have available to make sure that the flavor pairings mesh well. Serve warm beverages such as the hot toddy, hot buttered rum, spiced apple cider, or try a unique recipe for hot chocolate. Many couples try to save money by serving only one or two signature cocktails instead of a fully stocked bar in addition to other non-alcoholic drinks. Eggnog is readily available during the winter months and can be served on its own or used to make eggnog martinis. Other winter cocktail ideas are chocolate martinis, pear and sparkling cider, gingerbread martinis, and drinks which call for peppermint schnapps or crème de menthe.
Parties That Cook