24 Italian Wedding Food Ideas Your Guests Will Love

If you’re planning to say ‘I do’ surrounded by the beauty of Italy, then you’ll probably want to incorporate some cultural traditions and rituals. One essential element will be the Italian wedding food you serve during the reception, and with so many delicious dishes to choose from, it can be challenging to figure out which option will be best for your guests! So we’ll be covering a selection of some of the most popular menu items that are sure to make an impact on your wedding day.

Showcase your favorite Italian wedding food with the below list of ideas that will have everyone talking (and munching) on your special day!

1. Ricotta, Peach and Pancetta Crostini

If you’re looking for summery Italian wedding food ideas then this one is for you. This mix of savoury and sweet is sure to satisfy your guests’ tastebuds! It makes for a delicious appetizer during your cocktail hour.

Italian wedding food ideas
Photography: Simmer & Sage

2. Italian Cheese

Italy is known for its great selection of soft and hard cheeses. Some of the most popular options include mozzarella, gorgonzola, Parmigiano, pecorino, ricotta, and burrata. So consider having a cheese board or grazing table during your cocktail hour to show off the wide variety of cheeses from Italy. Add in some fruit and spreads to create the perfect combination!

italian wedding food ideas
Photography: Marta Guenzi

3. Focaccia

Focaccia is a popular flat oven-baked bread that can be sweet or savory. It’s one of the easiest Italian wedding food ideas to use as an appetizer during your cocktail hour. Mix up different types of focaccia, such as Genovese, Di Recco and Di Ceci. Your guests will love the fragrant, warm and delicious flavors while they wait for the main meal to be served.

Italian bruschetta
Photography: Paolo Salvadori

4. Caprese Salad

This Italian classic is always a crowd-pleaser. It’s a simple salad consisting of mozzarella, tomato and basil which highlights the country’s flag. It’s also a perfectly fresh and easy option for a summer wedding.

caprese salad
Photography: Julius Ding

5. Prosciutto & Melon

Another delicious idea for a spring or summer celebration is prosciutto and melon. The sweet and salty combination makes for an ideal bite-size appetizer. You can add some mozzarella with homemade balsamic for an extra touch of texture.

prosciutto appetizer
Photography: Lyubov Brooke

6. Bread & Olives

Lay out a selection of popular Italian olives for your guests to indulge in an authentic taste of southern Italy. These include Baresane from Puglia, Castelvetrano from Sicily, Gaeta from Lazio and Taggiasca from Liguria. Complement them with a range of Italian bread and olive oil for the perfect aperitivo.

italian olives wedding
Photography: George Pahountis | Event Planner: Rock Paper Scissors Events | Catering: Aria Fine Catering

7. Pasta Station

Create a family-friendly casual dining experience with a pasta bar. Food stations are becoming more and more popular for receptions, as they’re affordable and provide variety. It’s also a great way for your guests to mingle while they choose their dish!

wedding pasta bar
Photography: ArtPhotoSoul

8. Italian Wedding Risotto

Find inspiration from the traditional Italian wedding soup by adding risotto and spinach. This idea is perfect for a winter wedding where guests can enjoy a warm and hearty meal.

italian wedding risotto
Photography: Victor Protasio

9. Orecchiette

Try out this ear-shaped pasta if you’re celebrating your special day in the south of Italy. There are many different ways to feature this pasta dish, which is typical in the Apulia region. For example, with sausage and broccoli for a winter dish, with smoked bacon for a simple primo piatto, or as a salad with herb vinaigrette or tomato and mozzarella for a Caprese style dish.

italian wedding food ideas
Photography: Justin Marantz

10. Seafood

The Italian peninsula is mainly surrounded by the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. So, it’s fortunate to have a bounty of seafood options. These traditional dishes are a perfect way to show off the country’s delicious cuisine. Some examples are seafood salad, seafood stew, linguine alle vongole, lemon and shrimp risotto, and stuffed sardines.

Italian wedding menu
Photography: Betsi Ewing Studio

11. Grilled Vegetables

The Mediterranean is known for its healthy mix of vegetables and legumes. One of the classic Italian side dishes is grilled vegetables. Include a colorful array of zucchini, mushrooms, red onion, bell peppers, asparagus, and eggplant. This vibrant selection is ideal to complement meat or fish.

italian wedding food ideas
Photography: One Love

12. Bollito Misto

When it comes to meats, Italian weddings tend to go for lamb, beef and guinea fowl. If you’re planning a wedding in Northern Italy, why not try the classic Piemontese stew? It consists of a mix of meats, including beef and veal, with a vegetable broth.

bollito misto
Photography: Cedric Angeles

13. Baked Eggplant

Make sure that you have vegetarian Italian wedding food ideas by opting for baked eggplant. This summer dish includes tomatoes, roasted eggplant with lemon and fresh herbs. You can also add Italian sausage if you don’t need to limite yourself to vegetarian options.

Photography: Greg DuPree

14. Pizza Bar

You can’t think of Italy and not mention pizza! You might be wondering if pizza is ‘wedding-worthy’, but there are several serving styles to suit your reception. For a casual affair include a sliced pizza bar. Or if you’re planning a formal celebration, enhance your pizza station with higher-end creative toppings and beautiful decor. Another popular option is a late-night snack bar for those guests that get peckish after dancing.

wedding pizza bar
Photography: Jenny Quicksall

15. Profiteroles

Although this choux pastry dessert is connected to France, the original recipe was invented by the Italian chef Panterelli. Surprise your guests with an eye-catching mountain drizzled with chocolate. You can serve them as mini desserts too!

chocolate profiteroles
Photography: Hardwell

16. Cannoli

Cannoli is a traditional Sicilian tube-shaped pastry filled with sweet creamy filling. The small dessert is popular throughout Italy. The secret is not to fill the shell too early! Or you can even add to your guests’ experience, by having your chef fill the cannoli and explain the history of your sweet treat in front of your guests.

17. Tiramisu

Treat your guests to this coffee-flavored Italian staple, originally from the Veneto region. You can serve it as mini desserts, or even instead of a traditional wedding cake. You’ll definitely delight your guest with this ideal petite dessert packed full of flavor.

Italian wedding dessert
Photography: Especially Amy

18. Gelato Van

If you’re having an indoor/outdoor summer wedding, then a gelato van is an entertaining way to treat your guests to a cool dessert. Provide a range of flavors and toppings for your guests to enjoy as they mingle outside. It’s a playful wedding food idea to give your guests a true Italian experience!

wedding gelato van
Photography: Nastja Kovacec | Caterer: da Celeste | Venue: Castello di Buttrio

19. Panna Cotta

Panna cotta means ‘cooked cream’, which is how the base for this Italian dessert is prepared. It’s a popular classic as it can be served in many different ways. For example, blueberry mint, vanilla with berries coulis, chocolate flavored, or with greek yoghurt and apricot, just to name a few!

Photography: Con Poulos

20. Semifreddo

Semifreddo is a classic Italian dessert, which is known for its unique texture. The mix of ‘half-cold’ and ‘half-frozen’ stays soft and doesn’t harden. It’s ideal if you want to round off your reception off with a light sweet treat.

Photography: Tina Rupp

21. Millefoglie Wedding Cake

If you want a truly Italian experience, switch up your wedding cake for a traditional Millefoglie. The translation is ‘a thousand leaves’. This Tuscan classic is made up of crisp pastry layers and whipped cream, with fresh berries, lemon curd and powdered sugar.

22. Limoncello

The Italian lemon liqueur is traditionally served as an after-dinner digestivo. You’ll hear many different stories about its origin, one of the most common is that it was served by the wealthiest Sorrento families to their most important guests. It’s considered particularly special as you can only use lemons grown on the Amalfi Coast, because of their thick skin and fragrant oils.

italian wedding food ideas
Photography: Anya Kernes | Planning & Design: The Tuscan Wedding

23. Prosecco Van

The sparkling white wine is specifically from the Veneto and the Friuli regions. There are many different ways to incorporate this popular drink into your celebrations. For example, a mobile bar during your cocktail hour, a prosecco tower during the cake cutting, prosecco ice lollies after your meal, or even mini bottles as wedding favors.

italian wedding food ideas
Photography: Aga Bondyra

24. Aperol

Aperol is an Italian bitter apéritif, originally from Padua. Italians like to serve this drink before dinner and is the perfect addition to a warm summer wedding. There are many different ways to present this bold and vibrant drink to brighten up your reception. For example, a special Aperol Spritz bar cart, an Aperol Spritz mobile bar, or even an Aperol staircase are just some of the creative ways to welcome your guests.

aperol spritz italian wedding
Photography: Lorin Kelly

With this exquisite selection of delicious delicacies, you’re bound to give your guests a mouthwatering Italian experienc! For more wedding planning advice head over to WedBoard. You’ll find more tips and inspiration for your special day, both local and destination including, Top 8 Beautiful Italian Wedding Venue Styles, How Much Does a Destination Wedding in Italy Cost, and 24 Italian-Inspired Wedding Decor Ideas.

Featured image: Collin Pierson

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