10+ Dinner Ideas for Elopements and Intimate Weddings

In the midst of planning your elopement or intimate wedding one detail that can get lost between the ceremony, the scenery, and the logistics is: the food. Definitely do not forget about the food. I may always have snacks on hand for all my couples to stave off any hangry tendencies (and because I’m an avid snack enthusiast), planning what will be for lunch or dinner is an important detail. Whether your elopement features just the two of you, or a handful of family and friends, there are many options to have some amazing food on your celebration day.

Depending on the details of your day, it can require some out of the box thinking and problem-solving to think about food and catering for just two people, or a small group of people if you’re having a few loved ones with you on your elopement day. But, truthfully, planning food for 2-15 people is waaay easier than planning to feed 100+ guests at a regular wedding reception! Eloping opens up some really fun food options that will really add to the experience of your wedding day.

Elopement Dinner Ideas

Watertown, NY Elopement Photographer

1. Head to your favorite dive bar after your ceremony for some comfort food and cozy familiarity.

2. Have dinner at your favorite restaurant. It’s a relatively simple idea, but it’s one that is sure to be a hit when it’s your favorite.

3. Explore the area you’re getting married in and check out some of the locally owned restaurants.

4. Enjoy farm-to-table dining.

A few northern NY faves include:
Farm To Table Bistro—Rochester, NY
The Brine Well Eatery—Syracuse, NY
The Hub Real Rood Market and Eatery—Tupper Lake, NY

5. PIZZA. Take out pizza, wood fired pizza, cheap pizza, fancy pizza or (my personal favorite) a pizza truck.

6. Two words: Taco. Truck. (Or Ice Cream Truck, or Donut Truck.)

7. Make it a picnic! Pull out all the stops and make a super awesome charcuterie or cheese board. Everyone loves a picnic. Some couples that I’ve worked with opted for this route and it made for a great time, and even better photos. Alternatively, I recently had a couple opt for a full salad bar for their dinner service. Pack everything up in a backpack or basket, bring along some chilled wine and enjoy the day.

8. Hire a private chef for the evening. This is one of my favorite options because it really adds a touch of intimacy to the experience having a professionally cooked home meal is chef’s kiss.

9. 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 pot-luck style (if you’re having a few guests), or (if it’s just the two of you) make dinner together yourselves. This can be one of the best ways to try new foods if you’re a foodie. You can also make it themed if you’d like, for example comfort foods, or family tried and true recipes.

10. Catering. Catering is always an option if none of the other options appeal to you. There are many restaurants who will provide amazing meals for any number of guests, or for just the two of you!

11. If you’re opting for a smaller gathering, 10 or fewer guests, you can also choose to cook together and make it an experience for you and your family/friends. Granted, this can be tricky if you have a smaller kitchen.

12. Make it a BBQ—you can hire it out, or do the grilling yourselves. Either way, it’s going to be a dinner that everyone will enjoy.

13. You don’t have to offer a full-fledged meal, you can absolutely offer hors d’oeuvre or light snacks—or maybe you’re making your elopement a movie night where you all watch your favorite movies on a large projector and you have an abundance of theatre snacks!

No matter what kind of meal you decide to have on your elopement or wedding day, make sure it’s one that you’re going to enjoy. Your dinner doesn’t have to be the conventional three course meal if you don’t want it to be. Next, you’re going to want to consider what to offer for dessert!

About me

Donna Marie

Your elopement + wedding photographer and planning assistant. I'm your body positive bestie, dream vendor locator, facilitator of 10 second dance parties, and your unobtrusive personal paparazzi for when you say your vows. 

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