16 Creative Food & Drink Bars

Want to go beyond the carved meat station at your wedding reception? Consider incorporating unique self-serve food and drink stations on your big day to show off your tastes and personalities. Customized food bars are an unexpected way to wow your guests and encourage them to mix and mingle. Here are 16 fun and creative ideas to draw inspiration from.

Popcorn Bar
A whimsical late-night snack idea, the popcorn bar is always a crowd pleaser. For a rustic touch, place the popcorn in barrels on an old wagon cart. Or, fill glass containers with different flavors of popcorn. Provide scoops and favor bags, and let the guests have fun mixing it up.

Pretzel Bar
Serve up some hot pretzels during cocktail hour or treat guests to a late-night pretzel station complete with spicy mustard and melt cheese for dipping. Accompany the spread with your favorite beers or ciders for a food bar that’s sure to keep guests coming back for more.

Donut Bar
Who doesn't love donuts? Plus, they're budget-friendly and easy to turn into an impressive display – from multi-tiered serving platters to donut walls. Let your guests get creative with delicious glazes or fun sprinkles.

Trail Mix Bar
Are you an outdoorsy couple? Think trail mix bar! It's like a candy table but better because your guests can mix and match sweet and savory to make delicious combinations. Perfect for those late-night munchies!

Photo credit: Conlee Arpin

S'mores Bar
A campfire favorite, a s'mores bar is a classic choice for an outdoor wedding – and fun for both kids and kids at heart! Amp up the station with all the crowd-pleasing goods – marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate – so guests can make their own. No access to a fire pit during your wedding? Purchase a few Sterno heat cans – and don't forget the skewers or marshmallow roasting sticks!

Milk and Cookies Bar
This nostalgic idea is easy and budget-friendly. Fill icy cold beverage dispensers with different types of milk and display a variety of cookies (Oreos, Thin Mints, or honor your grandma by serving her famous cookies) – great as a late-night, sleepytime treat! For an adult version, serve mini White Russian cocktails with the cookies.

Juice or Flavored Water Bar
Freshly-squeezed juices are a great way to keep parched guests deliciously hydrated during those summer outdoor weddings. Another thirst-quenching (and easy) idea is to have water on tap with infusions of sliced cucumbers, mint leaves or cut-up strawberries with citrus.

Coffee Bar
Whether you’re hosting a brunch wedding or an evening wedding, you can’t go wrong with coffee! A coffee bar is a great way to refuel the guests after all that dancing and fun. Mix it up by setting out different flavored syrups and milks, sugar cubes or rock candy sticks and mugs. Consider customizing to-go cups with your names, monogram or wedding crest.

Sweets Bar
You can’t go wrong with a diverse sweets bar – from cookies to candies to cupcakes and more. There’s no better signage for this display than a framed sign that says, “Love is Sweet.”

Bacon Bar
It’s true: Bacon makes everything better! Great for a wedding brunch, set up a bacon table loaded with bacon-wrapped scallops, candied bacon strips, bacon kabobs, honey jalapeno bacon or even chocolate-dipped bacon. Don't forget the mimosas.

Pie Bar
Here’s a sweet twist on the cake table trend. From decadent strawberry to mouthwatering blueberry or chocolate pecan, a table laden with beautiful homemade pies and tarts is a delicious option.

Potato Bar
A serve-yourself potato bar is an easy and affordable party idea, and your guests will enjoy customizing their potatoes with as many tasty toppings as you can think up.

Cheese + Charcuterie Bar
Perfect for cocktail hour, delight guests with a charcuterie bar brimming with a delectable selection of cold meats, cheeses, antipasti, dips, crackers and fruits. Pair it with glasses of tasty cider to wash it all down.

Local Treats Bar
Set up a table with a selection of local treats and regionally made specialties, such as Alaskan-grown jams, salmon spread, candy or craft beer.

Fondue Bar
Add a retro twist to your wedding with a fondue station. Serve a variety of cheese or chocolate fondues and make sure to include different breads, fruits, and veggies for dipping.

Hot Cocoa Bar
A hot cocoa bar is perfect for weddings with lots of kids, or for warming up guests during chilly winter months. For creative touches, add delish trimmings like mini marshmallows, peppermint stick stirrers, sprinkles, chocolate shavings, and whipped cream.