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The Wedding Guy’s ultimate pre ceremony refreshment ideas.



These days more and more couples are opting to have civil or humanist ceremonies in private venues and it’s a beautiful idea to welcome your guests with a little reception before the ceremony. This is a lovely idea especially as many guests will arrive earlier than expected to ensure they are on time and “occasionally” guests may be left waiting as schedules don’t always run on time!

These refershments differ to what would traditionally be served after the ceremony which is usually Prosecco and more substantial canapés.

So I have compiled my favourite seasonal pre ceremony reception refreshment combinations.

(Remember this is only a snack as a welcome offering for guests after their drive to the venue and as always be mindful of serious allergies especially nuts.)

Spring & Summer

Elderflower Fizz;


Elderflower is one of my favourites & in my opinion is the most refreshing drink; mixing quality elderflower cordial with sparkling water.  It’s also very tasty mixed with a little Prosecco!

Homemade Lemonade;


A real favourite, easily made & there are also beautiful organic varieties available.

Lemonade: sugar, water, lemon juice. Easy, right? Well, the problem is that if you just stir all of these together the sugar will sink to the bottom. So the best way to make lemonade is to make a simple syrup first, by heating water and sugar together until the sugar is completely dissolved, and then mix that with the lemon juice. Make the simple syrup, combine with the lemon juice, and then add more water (and ice) to dilute the lemonade to your taste.

Lavender bubbles;


Lavender is such a natural and beautiful herb this one goes down a treat and can be easily made with Lavender essential oil.

DIY Lavender bubbles,  mix 1 litre of sparkling water with 1 cup of raw honey, 2 drops of lavender essential oil with the juice of 6 lemons and garnish with fresh Lavender sprigs. Chill and serve.

Strawberry iced tea;

Blend strawberries in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Strain the pureed berries, discard seeds.
Mix together pureed strawberries, cold tea, lemon juice, and a little  amount of sugar.
Chill until ready to serve.
Serve with ice and obviously strawberries as garnish.


Homemade Cookies,  Scones with cream & Jams are the ultimate accompaniment to all of the above, remember this is just a snack..

Autumn & Winter

Remembering all of the above can be easily served in early autumn and with our temperate climate possibly until late September! October? Am I pushing it??

Well in the colder weather regular tea and coffee is always welcome but there are varieties on this to think about.

Red Berry tea, Lady Grey, hot port and am just thinking mini Irish coffees, or hot whiskey to get the warmth back in. If serving alcohol pre ceremony I would recommend going with quarter to half measures in the alcohol department.

Then the December classic, mulled wine.

Mulled wine;


Everyone has their own variation on this and as long as it includes cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg then happy days..

Warm tartlets & nibbles;

I love little brioche bite size tartlets and these can be filled with beautiful fillings like goats cheese, red onion marmalade, ask your caterer or venue for suggestions. Mini mince pies and warm cranberry biscuits go down a treat as well for Christmas weddings.

Jonnie Cooke from Cookes Kitchen has an amazing array of canapés for weddings. See his menus HERE. As one of Ireland’s premier wedding caterers, Jonnie will always have lots of great foodie ideas to welcome your guests.

I have helped couples in the past organise some beautiful welcoming treats and as always for more information.





One comment on “The Wedding Guy’s ultimate pre ceremony refreshment ideas.
  1. Stephen Sheridan says:

    If anyone has any other great ideas or items the would like to add to this I would love to hear them.