Catering ideas for your Backyard Wedding


📷 Nikki Meyer

Miss-matched blankets sprawled across lush green grass under a large shady tree, you can almost feel the tranquility set in as you sip on a nice cold drink. But who said picnics can’t be chic too? Shallow tables dressed in elegant fabric, candles, flowers and dinnerware set out for a delectable feast. However you look at it, picnics are a convenient catering option for your backyard wedding reception. You can do a great deal of preparation prior to the big day and if you are trying to avoid “pay-per-head” catering obligations then DIY picnic baskets are the way to go.

A few things to consider; be mindful of elderly guests who cannot move around easily and will have trouble sitting on the ground (perhaps set up a picnic table for them instead). Always have a backup plan for rainy weather.

Barbeque Buffet

📷 Onelove Photography
📷 Byron Bay Weddings

This may be one of the most effortless ideas for a casual backyard wedding. Set up accessible barbeque stations where family and friends can socialize whilst assisting with frying up some tasty lemon and herb chicken, BBQ ribs and prawn skewers. Guests can help themselves to a buffet style spread of fresh breads, coleslaw, creamy pasta salad and crisp greens. Pinterest is overflowing with recipes for barbeque companions like nachos, spicy cucumber salsa and grilled pear and kumara salad.

A few things to consider; confirm with your venue that you can in fact light up the “barbie” on their premises. Barbeques can be very vegan friendly. Always have a backup plan for rainy weather.

Burger Bar

📷 The Fitfork

If you have picky eaters on your guest list then this is perfect for you! Have a self-serve styled burger bar tastefully laid out with gourmet toppings, sauces and sides. Chicken, beef and veggie burgers patties can be cooked before the reception and placed in heated servers amongst delicious bowls of caramelized onions, shredded cheeses, butter mushrooms and crisp side salads. With the variety that a burger bar offers your guests, everyone will be going in for seconds.

A few things to consider; borrow salad bowls and serving spoons from family, that way you won’t need to hire these and save on your catering budget.

Mobile Woodfired Pizza Truck

📷 Coastal Crust

A creative, hands on and engaging catering idea appropriate for your backyard wedding is a mobile woodfired pizza oven. Guests can individually create their own pizzas and select their various toppings before handing it to the cook who will pop it in the woodfired oven. Alternatively, as an fun suggestion, get each table to collectively pair toppings and create pizzas to share at the table. This will definitely leave an impression on your guests.

A few things to consider; confirm with your venue if they will allow you to have a fire on their premises. Pizzas can be very vegan friendly

Candy Buffet

📷 Sarah Falugo

Let’s not forget dessert! Candy buffets are so versatile and they have a “two-birds-one-stone” effect. If you are trying to cut down costs, why not use a candy buffet as the desert for the evening as well as your wedding favor. Print personalised candy bags with a thank you message and at the end of the evening, guests pick candies to place in their bag to take home with them.

A few things to consider; Outsourcing this to a visionary family member to setup will alleviate some stress off the couples shoulders. Try avoid candies that are individually wrapped to reduce the chance of littering. Set out and “open” and “closed” sign on the candy buffet table as guests tend to help themselves to candy before they are supposed to.


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