Bless your heart. Between wedding catering, booking a venue and setting the guest-list, your plate is quite full (we do puns around here). Still, you want to create the perfect wedding day experience for your guests. Let's tackle your big day like a pro and come up with a few awesome backyard wedding catering ideas.
Our favorite Backyard Wedding Catering Ideas
Give the Ol' Southern Taste in Your Venue's Kitchen
Wedding catering in Texas should be comfortable and leisurely, two things a great menu for your reception dinner can bring. Maybe, there is nothing that gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling like a hot plate of southern homestyle food.
You can spread that feeling by serving a simple, comforting buffet menu of all the favorites.
~ Snacks ~
Pimento Cheese Dip platter with veggie and an assortment of crackers
Try out the simple and quick recipe linked above! Just double or triple for the amount of guests attending
These can be as easy as buying a local made mix and throwing it in a bowl, or make your own with a recipe like this one
Cowboy Caviar with Tortilla chips
Trader Joe’s make a great pre-made version of this for extra ease when setting up your appetizers
~ Dinner Menu ~
Chicken Fried Steak with Grandma’s gravy
Green salad with Ranch or Balsamic dressing
Carrots caramelized in bourbon and maple syrup
Roasted Garlic potato casserole
Boiled corn with parsley butter
Collard greens with ham hock and crispy onions
An assortment of these dishes is sure to impress, and lots can be done ahead to have a smooth Texas wedding day and reception. Your guests will not forget a delicious spread of southern dishes to fill their plates with.
You can even consider making your reception a potluck! In true southern fashion ask the best cooks from your guest list to bring their favorite homestyle dish to add to the spread. You make the main dish and some starters and put together a true gathering affair with dishes from your guests' home kitchens.
Biscuits with whipped honey butter - save time by getting these highly reviewed pre made biscuits, all you have to do is whip some honey butter and bake off the biscuits!
Stir Up Some Scrumptious Salad
When you think of salads, the first thing you imagine is a bowl of leafy vegetables, dull and far too healthy for a party, but there is a lot more to salads!
Salads can be delicious and filling and absolutely packed with flavor. Caesar Salad with grilled chicken can be an entree for a crowd, Russian salad is colorful and festive and full of delicious ingredients, and build-your-own chopped salad bars are a great way to make preparing and serving a meal to your wedding’s guests easy and low maintenance.
Here are some ideas for serving entree-worthy salads at your wedding reception:
~ Cobb Salad Bar ~
Mixed greens and Romaine - grilled chicken breasts - crispy bacon - fresh tomatoes - hard boiled egg halves - avocado slices - fresh herbs - crumbled blue cheese - Red wine vinaigrette (try out Brianna’s blush rose dressing)
~ Russian Salad Bar ~
Mixed greens and spinach - roasted beets - grilled chicken or fish - oven roasted potatoes and carrots - fresh green peas - garlic and lemon vinaigrette (Garlic Expressions salad dressing works perfectly on this one!)
~ Caesar Salad Bar ~
Romaine hearts - Grilled chicken or steak - garlic & parmesan croutons - creamy caesar dressing - marinated anchovies (for a splurge, try these Matiz brand Spanish anchovies to really impress the fish lovers. Or, keep it simple with some classic salty jarred ones)
~ Sweet and Savory Chinese Chicken Salad Bar ~
Mixed greens - shredded purple cabbage - rotisserie chicken - sweet mandarin oranges - crunchy chow mein noodles - shredded carrots - sliced red bell peppers - fresh cilantro and mint - creamy & tangy sesame dressing (like this one)
Alternatively, you can order salads from your favorite restaurant that offers catering, and pick up the day of your wedding. This is a simple and easy way to offer a great meal to your guests without any of the hassle of preparing ingredients.
Warm Up Your Texas Wedding Guests with some Texas Pecan Coffee
Coffee is not something you would usually think of when coming up with backyard wedding catering ideas in Texas. But you can pretty much guarantee the majority of your crowd is going to be coffee drinkers, because... America.
Make it fun, though, by going back to the roots with a nice medium, Texas Pecan roast served fresh at the gate. Or, put together a lovely coffee bar with just a few simple pieces of equipment and allow your guests to fuel up on a flavor of their choice, to keep them dancing all night long!
Here is a fun and affordable cocktail coffee offering recipe to impress your guests:
Celebration Irish Coffee
1 cup hot or cold brewed coffee
Sprinkle of cinnamon or chili pepper on top
A small table near the buffet works great for a coffee bar. All you need is some large hot liquid dispensers, easy to find at any restaurant supply stores.
Set out paper cups, stir sticks and some pitchers of cream and bowls of sugar. Fill the dispensers with your favorite flavor of coffee and allow your guests to serve themselves. These containers will keep the coffee hot and can be easily refilled from a coffee maker.
Add extra sweets to the coffee bar with a platter of angel fingers or homemade caramel to stir into the hot cups of coffee.
Hire A Dreamy, Backyard Wedding Food Truck
Backyard wedding food trucks are an uncommon option but they are becoming increasingly popular in 2022. If you are organizing a small, outdoor wedding that is more casual than formal, consider bringing in a food truck that serves your guests some scrumptious street food.
Check out this list from The Knot, of great food trucks available to hire in the Texas area.
A backyard wedding food truck can serve things like gourmet hot dogs, burgers, pizza, tacos or other quick and delicious meal options. Maybe there is a local food truck you love to visit? Ask them about catering a wedding and bring your favorite bites to all your guests.
Food trucks can set up ahead of time and give a great outdoor festival feel to your reception. This will also save you the hassle of preparing a meal ahead of time.
Smoke Up Some Texas BBQ
Here in Texas, good barbecue joints go out of business because there's too many great ones. Smoked barbecue for a Texas wedding can be the best thing you do for your guests. The sweet aroma of brisket and hot rolls can liven up the reception and give your guests a comforting taste of Texas for their meal.
The menu can be as varied as you desire with all the sides to go along with that great smoked meat. Think about offering a variety of options if you’ve already got the pit smoking. Here is an idea for a classic BBQ menu to serve at your reception:
~“I Do” BBQ Menu ~
Meats - Texas smoked brisket with burnt ends, pulled pork or backyard smoked chicken
Sides - Mac and cheese, maple bourbon baked beans, coleslaw, smokey corn
Bread - Corn bread with honey butter, Fresh rolls
Sauces - Texas BBQ sauce, Carolina BBQ sauce, hot pepper sauce, creamy ranch
Keep It Classy with Fresh Seafood
In a different direction, seafood is a classy, out-of-the-ordinary option for a sophisticated event. Salmon is one of the most popular choices and can be a hit if done to perfection. But switch it up with some Tilapia or Black Cod to knock it out the park for your wedding’s dinner.
~ Texas Seafood Dinner Menu ~
Cedar plank grilled salmon filets with roasted lemons and herb butter
Green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and strawberries
Green beans with parmesan and almonds
French bread with garlic butter
(try out Rachel Ray’s recipe for this one and you won’t be disappointed)
Hiring a great caterer is key on this one, as seafood must be fresh and cooked to perfection in order to be enjoyed properly. It’s also important to include other options for those that don’t eat fish, like extra vegetable side dishes or even a meat option such as roast chicken.
Serve up Special Texas Wedding Cocktails
Cocktails are an excellent way to fill the space between the ceremony and the reception of your wedding, while food is being prepared and seating is being set up. Conversation will flow when everyone is welcomed to grab a drink and mingle before the party starts!
Cocktails are greatly appreciated by guests at a wedding as they help ease the crowd into the celebration, and gives them something to drink while visiting with family and friends. Bartenders can be hired to serve, and even come up with a signature cocktail to honor the newly wed couple.
Batch cocktails are also a great way to have easy service and keep your budget low. Here are some recipes and ideas for batch cocktails to serve to your wedding guests:
The Best Big Batch Margarita
2 bottles Tequila Blanco, whatever your preferred brand is
1 bottle Cointreau (orange liqueur)
2 cups lime juice, fresh squeezed is best but bottled works too!
1 cup simple syrup (you can buy this in the mixer isle at the store)
Lime wedges and salt to serve!
Moscow Mules for a crowd
1 cup fresh lime juice or bottled
1 liter ginger beer or ginger ale
Sparkling water to top off the pitcher
Lime wheels and fresh mint to serve as garnish
Other ideas for cocktails to keep your wedding festivities running smoothly:
- Strawberry Rose Punch
- Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade
- Champagne Sorbet Punch
Serving hors-d'oeuvres along with these wedding cocktails is a great way to keep people satisfied while they wait for dinner to be served, plus it’s always a good idea to snack while you drink! These cocktails will feel fancy and festive, without breaking your budget, and guests are sure to enjoy the cocktail hour at your wedding!
Backyard Wedding Catering Takeaways
These are some interesting options for brides and grooms who are looking to do something different for the catering of their backyard wedding in Texas. It’s not difficult to come up with exciting options and hopefully these ideas will help you put together the wedding of your dreams! All you have to do is get a little creative and remember that your wedding does not have to be too expensive!
Interested in hosting your backyard wedding at Olde House? We’d love to be a part of your big day. Book now Enjoy this post? Check out these! 5 Ways to Have a Low-Budget Dream Wedding Benefits of Tying the Knot at a Historic Venue The Hottest 2022 Wedding Trends
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