Good afternoon, you lovely lot! Now this post should come with a warning: if you didn’t have a substantial lunch today, you’re gonna want to go grab yourself a snack ’cause some tasty stuff is about to go down!
We’re talking DIY food and drink bars. No, I’m not necessarily talking about you DIY-ing them (although you totally could!), I’m talking about your guests! Effectively an adult play on the phrase ‘playing with your food’ we’ve collated our 20 favourite food bars!
From build your own bagels, to a walk-thru Taco bar, and from a sober hydration station to a spicy Bloody Mary stand… Every guest is catered for and the foodie fun is aplenty!
One: Italian Toasts
Nothing says ‘laid back summer party’ like a bruschetta or crostini bar.
Delicious rounds of toasted bread with all the Italian inspired toppings you could ever dream of. I’m thinking slices of cold mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, fresh perfumed basil, sundried tomatoes, drizzles of fine olive oil and plenty of ground pepper.
We love the height of this food bar too; it’s a pretty crucial theme throughout actually. Be sure to create different levels on your bar, so that all the little dishes are visible and easily accessible for guests!
…Anyone else just had to wipe drool from their chin?! Oh, we’re just getting started, my friends!
Two: the Boulangerie
And, because alcohol.
A) they’re a match made in heaven taste wise and B) I feel like lining your guests stomach is never a bad idea, am I right?!
An array of artisan loaves and baguettes, with butters and spreads to boot… What a killer start to a feast!
When dressing your bread bar, be sure to break up the beige-on-beige food palette with fresh foliage!
Three: Mac ‘n Cheese
A firm favourite in the street food world, it’s a favourite here at FBrides too!
Completely luxurious, allow guests to serve themselves a
huge healthy portion of Mac ‘n Cheese into a little card tub (for true street food vibes) and top with all the extras for a hella rich treat! We love the toppings listed in the image below, including:
- 2 additional types of grated cheese (in case it wasn’t cheesy enough, eh?!) try adding something with a good strong cheddar kick
- Sautéed wild mushrooms
- Fried onions
- Crispy smoked bacon bits
- Green peas
- Fresh spring onions
- White truffle oil
…I just adore how the humble Mac ‘n Cheese holds it’s own against that Champagne tower!
You go Mac ‘n Cheese!
Four: The Ultimate Cheese Board
I mean, come on.
What would serve yourself wedding food be without the godfather; the cheese board.
Always a favourite at weddings (and Christmas, and birthdays, New Year, Bar Mitzvahs, Friday nights in…) a cheese board is a must!
Gone are the days of just cracking open a pack of Jacobs (pun intended) and adding a block of cheddar and a blue and hoping for the best… Oh no!
We’re talking beautiful organically presented cheese boards, scattered with nuts and foraged-style fruit, or unique cheese selections with pre-paired ports/wines for the ultimate taste sensation!
Cheese has never looked so chic!
Five: Doughy Delights
Why only serve cake though, when you could serve biscuits, donuts and cookies?!
From a bar of crumbly, crunchy all-butter biscuits with pots of jam, to cones of sugared donut holes, or that sparkly donut stack?! (I DIE!) We’re in full support of additional serve yourself (
multiple times) cake-like treats to keep sugar levels high throughout your reception!
I mean, I’ll take one of each, please! Loving that brown paper table cover too, signage at it’s easiest!
Six: a Coffee Fix
Coffee can often be a bit of an afterthought at weddings, which in many cases makes little to no sense when the couple and many of their guests are absolute coffee fiends in any other setting!
Show your coffee drinkers some serious love by letting them DIY their own cup, just how they like it! Add flavoured syrups, milk variations and an iced coffee tap too so everyone can get their fix!
Paper cups and those repurposed palette signs give that last bar a real festival coffee shack vibe that we’re totally diggin’.
Seven: Poppin’ Corn
A lightweight snack that’s perfect for an afternoon of pre-dinner grazing; popcorn!
We love it served in vast quantities, with silver scoops and cute paper bags, true pick-n-mix style.
Keep things fun by opting for a variety of flavours, throwing in a couple of unusual flavour curveballs to get people talking!
…I am just so intrigued by the reddish/pink corn in that last photo! Any flavour suggestions, anyone?!
Eight: Bagel Station
Build Your Own Bagel.
Because, just like the art of sandwich making, bagel building is a very personal thing! Serve up classic toppings of cool cream cheese, finely sliced radish and cumber, and of course smoked salmon and let your guests stack their bagel high!
An original twist on a sandwich buffet, the bagel bar is a firm favourite with us!
Nine: Waffle Bar
Because who doesn’t want a warm fresh-off-the-griddle waffle to drizzle with all things gloriously sweet and indulgent?!
Such an easy DIY bar to set up, get yourself a couple of waffle makers and some pre mixed batter and allow guests to have fun ladling their own mixture and then dressing their waffles… Their inner child will thank you for it!
Ten: Tacos Tacos Tacos
A walk-thru taco station. Yes, I can definitely get on board with that!
The key to this bar is to make sure all your taco fillings/toppings are super easy to self serve: opt for the perfect utensils suited to each ingredient and make sure they’re chopped finely enough to fill the taco… Nobody likes to queue too long for their beloved tacos!
…And if you’ve already catered your main course, why not opt for a late night snacking salsa bar (as above) super easy, and a fabulous Mexican alternative to the normal bacon butty ritual!
Eleven: Boozy Juicing
An absolute must for any summer wedding, whether it’s a sober fruit juicing stand, a fruity Mimosa bar or a punchy DIY Sangria stall… Fruit-filled drinks are always a favourite!
We love this reclaimed dresser idea, just add oodles of fruit, mismatched glassware, cocktail napkins, cute straws/stirrers, soda water, your feature drink of choice and a shed load of ice and you’ll have yourself a fully functioning DIY bar!
That burst of colour though! Slayy!
Twelve: Spud Life
I don’t know if it’s the Brit in me or what, but potatoes just always seem like a good idea!
Whether it’s the humble jacket spud, served up camp-style at your outdoor wedding with an abundance of totally scrummy fillings, or a french-fry stand served up on newspaper with a host of glorious dips, or even a childhood favourite of creamy mash served in cocktail glasses ready for your guests to sprinkle with a load of luxurious toppings for extra richness (and just to try and convince themselves it’s a little more adult than it really is!)
Spuds are always a good idea!
Pass the fries, please!
Thirteen: S’more Please
The Candian delicacy that no campfire is complete without!
Graham crackers, bars upon bars of chocolate and toasted marshmallows… If you’re having an outdoor wedding, get yourself a fire pit, get roasting and remember…
The S’more the merrier!
(Sorry, I had to)
Side note: substituting plain chocolate for Reese’s peanut butter cups may be the most ingenious idea I’ve ever seen!
Fourteen: Hydration Station
Quite the essential for summer weddings, make it fun and easy for guests to hydrate with little single portion bottles, or a tapped jar. Keep things iced, add a kick of citrus and position close to the dance floor!
Job done, and can we talk about how cute it looks?!…
Because nobody wants a dehydrated guest!
Fifteen: Noodle Bar
A pretty unique option for weddings, a clean-eating DIY noodle bar is a favourite in the street-food world!
Ideal for vegetarian/vegan health conscious couples who want their food to be a reflection of them, or as a side option for vegetarian guests!
Serve up pre-cooked noodles in a base-sauce, along with a big selection of crunchy, raw veggies and thinly sliced salads, cubes of soy-marinated garlicky tofu cubes ready for them to pile high, then top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and an oriental drizzle!
…You could even serve your noodles cold for a cool noodle salad!
Sixteen: Bloody Marys
Still one of the most on-trend drinks, the Bloody Mary is the perfect DIY-able cocktail: not too technical with plenty of variants so your guests can truly make it their own!
This just looks like WAY too much fun!
…Rasher of bacon with your drink anyone?! Why the hell not!
Seventeen: Berry Parfait
We are in love with this: the ice cream bar’s healthier, more sophisticated older sister, the DIY parfait bar is just divine.
Think punnet upon punnet of bright, fresh berries, selections of crunchy, honey-coated granolas, all served atop a creamy yoghurt base…
If you’ve planned a pretty hefty main course for your wedding, your guests will be forever thanking you for this dessert!
So cute, I can’t deal! This’d also make a great morning-after breakfast option!
Eighteen: Martini, Sir?
As though I’d just seen Bond himself, my jaw hit the floor when I first pinned this image!
Minimal, classic and hella chic, the DIY Martini bar will have your guests swooning (again, much like Mr Bond would!) for the rest of the evening…
Shaken, not stirred, of course.
Nineteen: Sushi on the Rocks
Because if you love sushi, you LOVE sushi!
For those couples that just have to get their sushi fix on their wedding day, good news: it makes the perfect DIY food bar!
Be sure to serve on ice (and when I say ice, you know I mean ice scattered with gorgeous flower petals as in the image below, right?!) if the weather’s set to be really hot, and make sure you include labels (people like to know what they’re eating when it comes to sushi!).
…And yes, I know, I know, oysters aren’t sushi! But I just had to include this oyster bar somewhere!
To kick off your wedding reception in pure luxury, just add Champagne!
Twenty: One Pot Wonder
And finally, the humble chili.
For the evening of an outdoor wedding, or once a slight Autumn chill has crept in, what could be more warming, more satisfying, than a camp-style enamel mug full of this glorious one-pot dish?
Now if you’ll excuse me, in true Hobbit style, it must be time for some sort of second lunch or something?!
But seriously, DIY food bars are just a fab idea. They allow your guests to cater to exactly to their taste, while not having to sacrifice any of yours!
Drop us a comment below if you’re opting for a DIY food bar, we’d love to
drool over hear about all your yummy plans!
Peace + Love