If you have any extra wiggle room in your catering budget, offering a surprise "late night snack" just after last call at the bar is a great way to send off your guests and thank them for a memorable night (even if you just serve it "to go" for everyone to enjoy later on at home). Whereas the meal and wedding cake at your reception are not elements where you should really skimp, the beauty of the late night snack is that it can be as elaborate as cake pops frosted to match your wedding colors, or as simple as good old strawberry Pop-Tarts.
Wheel in an authentic street cart serving craveable junk food like corn dogs or hotdogs, soft pretzels with mustard, hot buttered popcorn, cotton candy, snowcones, frozen chocolate covered bananas, funnel cakes topped with powdered sugar or churros served with Mexican hot chocolate.
The Most Important Meal of the Day
I love breakfast so much, I eat it for lunch most days. Honestly, I really do...it's one of my little diet secrets. So this is definitely my personal favorite "Midnight Snack" concept. You can go a little more upscale with hot espresso with biscotti and chocolate covered espresso beans with cappuccino, or go with classic old favorites like strawberry Pop-Tarts, "top-your-own" Eggo waffles, breakfast burritos or Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts and coffee.
If you want to offer your guests a late night treat, but don't have a lot of money to spend, consider good, old fashioned fast food! There are two ways to go with this concept. 1. Place a large order of fries, burder, tacos and chicken nuggets with your local McDonald's, In-N-Out, White Castle or Taco Bell, and ask your caterer or a member of your wedding party to pick everything up toward the end of the reception. 2. Simply request that a special midnight snack such as mini sliders, grilled cheese and tomato soup, beef taquitos or eggrolls be added to the menu for catering. Just keep in mind that your guests won't want to sit down for a meal again at the end of the night, so limit your choices to easy (and preferably greasy) finger foods (no fork and knife required).
...And no, this doesn't include booze. Icy cold beverages are sure to be a hit with guests at the end of a warm summer evening. Mini milkshakes are always a good choice, or set up an ice cream float bar with an assortment of ice cream flavors and sodas like root beer, cream soda, vanilla and cherry cola for guests to concoct own late night indulgences. Another cute idea is a straight up milk stand, where guests can choose between chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and maybe even almond flavored milk...served in mini milk cartons with those colorful straws? Sold.
Because homemade desserts made with love really do taste better, after all! Cheaper, too! Milk and cookies, smores, chocolate covered strawberries and cake pops have all been pretty popular at weddings lately. Some other cute ideas you may not have thought of include PB & J sandwiches, chocolate covered pretzels, mini apple pies, rice crispy treats, ice cream sandwiches and even homemade oreos!
If you're interested, here are some fabulous recipes to help you get started on planning your homemade late night snack:
Homemade Oreo Cookies on The Cupcake Project
Mini Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches by Martha Stewart
Mini Apple Pies on Novel Eats
Rice Crispy Treats with Melted Chocolate and Sprinkles recipe on Celebrations at Home