Ideas & Advice

Tapas-Style Wedding Menu

It’s true: Tapas are trendy and for good reason. Small plates that are big on flavor might be just the thing to take your wedding reception menu from average to exciting.

It’s like a cocktail reception but better. Serving these small Spanish dishes may save on cost, while making you the talk of the town. “For total success, pair any of the following dishes with casual seating, super fun cocktail napkins, and a killer margarita,” says Wendy Neal of A Catered Affair.


Have your guests begin at a table filled with tasty small offerings.

  • Marinated olives
  • Bite-sized assorted cheeses
  • Fried, herbed Marcona almonds
  • White bean dip with toasted pita bread
  • Fresh guacamole with homemade chips


Small plates cooked to perfection and passed to guests as they socialize.

  • Lime, cilantro, and coconut milk-marinated tuna tartar with grilled toast
  • Braised chorizo
  • Croquettes with serrano ham and manchego cheese
  • Herbed goat cheese and wild mushroom crostini
  • Mini-chicken empanadas with guacamole
  • Maine crab cakes
  • Mini-beef burgers with smoked-tomato aioli


If you’re concerned about the older, more traditional guests in your crowd, add a paella and grill station into the mix.

  • Paella Station
  • Shrimp, mussels, clams, chorizo, and chicken served with rice Carrots, turnips, spinach, artichokes, and ripe tomatoes served with rice Fresh bread and olive oil
  • Grill Station
  • Assorted marinated grilled vegetables Grilled flank steak, chorizo, chicken, and shrimp Chimichurri sauce