One of the things I’m always telling our couples who are planning their elopement or intimate wedding is: DON’T FORGET THE FOOD! It’s easy in the planning of your ceremony and the logistics and the scenery to forget about the food, but don’t! First off, every happy marriage is based in snacks (at least we think so), and secondly, there’s nothing like some matrimony to make you hungry.
While we always have some snacks on hand for all our couples eloping (mostly because I love snacks), when we’re helping couples plan their elopement, I always tell them to think of their elopement like an awesome date that lasts all day, and to incorporate all the fun activities that they love doing together. And obviously, huge part of that is the food you love! If you’re eloping outdoors and meeting up with folks for food afterwards and find yourself in need a space to host people for a few hours, there are plenty of small venues that you can rent out on PeerSpace or other sites.
So, while it can require some out of the box thinking & problem-solving to think about food and catering for just two people (or a small group of people, if you’re having some loved ones accompany you for your elopement day), it’s really a super flexible situation and is a lot easier to plan than feeding the 100 or 200 guests at a regular wedding reception! It opens up a lot of fun doors and ideas. So, while this is far from an exhaustive list, here’s some of our favorite elopement dinner options.
ELOPEMENT DINNER IDEAS
Head to your favorite dive bar after your ceremony for some comfort food and cozy familiarity. French fries and your favorite beer, what better way to start off married life?
Have dinner at your favorite restaurant. It’s a pretty simple idea, but one that folks often forget about! Just make some reservations (or book their private dining room, if they have one) and voila: there’s your wedding dinner, just how you love it.
PIZZA. Take out pizza, wood fired pizza, homemade pizza, cheap pizza, fancy pizza, whatever kind of pizza. We love pizza. It’s an amazing elopement day food, and you can find it just about everywhere, even in tiny mountain towns, which makes it even better. For that matter, icecream is another great option!
Make it a picnic! Pull out all the stops and make a super awesome charcuterie or cheese board. Everyone loves a picnic, plus you can bring one of those adorable wicker baskets and some chilled wine along too.
If you’re backpacking, dehydrate your favorite meal ahead of time and have it as your dinner out on the trail! If you’re going to be hiking for much of your elopement day, stuff your pack with all you & your partners favorite treats! This is a fun way to surprise your boo with a few of their favorite snacks along the way.
Hire a private chef for the evening. Yes, they exist, and no they’re really not as pricey as you might think! A private chef is a great way to feed a small group of people with absolutely no stress and you can get whatever kind of food your newly married heart desires.
If you’re eloping in the cold weather season, Keep it cozy indoors with some donuts, hot chocolate, and other wintertime sweets. Or roll with brunch and whip up some pancakes or some waffles. Keep a thermos of warm cider handy (spiced whiskey optional).
Look into food trucks! You can find trucks to hire for events on Roaming Hunger and other sites. While some food trucks and catering companies have headcount minimums in order to hire, some of them are more comfortable coming out for smaller gatherings. If you find a newer company or have a friend that has just recently started their catering business, they might be more open to catering smaller gatherings.
Commission a small wedding cake from a cake artist! An elopement or a tiny wedding doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake & eat it too 😉
Potluck it! Especially if you’re gathering with a small group of friends and family, there’s probably someone in there (cough cough grandma) who makes a killer recipe. So have folks bring a dish to share, like they would at a potluck or holiday dinner.
If you have a rental cabin or airbnb kitchen at your disposal, or if you’re eloping close to home, you can always host the dinner and create a do-it-yourself style dinner. Make a ton of pasta & have a pasta bar, a taco bar, a pizza bar, a mashed potato bar, waffle bar, pancake bar, burger bar, the options are pretty limitless.
Fire up the grill! If you or one of your family members seriously knows their way around a barbeque grill, this is a pretty fast and easy way to feed a lot of folks, plus it smells delicious. Add in a bonfire and some smore supplies and you have yourself a summer evening dream.