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The 26 Best Cocktail Hour Foods for 2024 Weddings around Boston

Welcome to the ultimate guide to selecting cocktail hour foods that will wow guests at your 2024 wedding in Boston. Not only are we, Joseph & Erika, a great option for a live wedding music + DJ duo, but we have also tasted a ton of hors d’oeuvre at all the various weddings we’ve attended.

We’ll help you decide what delicious bites to treat your friends and family to, whether you like lobster rolls, seared scallops on faux oyster shells, miniature burgers, or something completely different. With an eye on classics beloved by New Englanders as well as trendy dishes sure to impress the chicest of guests, this list has something everyone will love.

You can’t forget comfort food favorites turned into bite-sized pleasures—think beef biscuit sliders and fried mac 'n' cheese lollipops—guaranteed crowd-pleasers! Plus, consider the importance of seasonality to ensure your selections are not only delicious, but perfectly suited for the time of year.

Key Takeaways

  • Mini lobster rolls offer a taste of New England and are perfect for Boston weddings.

  • Ahi tuna tartare adds elegance to your cocktail hour with its chic presentation.

  • Fried mac 'n' cheese lollipops turn comfort food into stylish finger food.

  • Snap pea sushi is a fresh, contemporary option that impresses guests.

  • Beef biscuit sliders with crispy fried onions bring big flavor in small packages.

Classic New England Favorites

Mini lobster rolls on a white serving dish at a tented wedding on the beach.

Classic New England favorites bring a taste of the sea and local tradition to your wedding. Think fresh, succulent seafood and hearty, comforting eats that will delight your guests with every bite.

Lobster Rolls

Lobster rolls are a must for your Boston wedding’s cocktail hour. Biting into soft bread filled with fresh, chilled lobster meat that’s lightly dressed and full of flavor will set the perfect New England vibe.

You can also offer variations like chicken or chickpea salad in bite-sized buns for guests who prefer something different. This adds a personal touch everyone will appreciate at your celebration.


Clams make a great choice for your cocktail hour. They can be part of a raw bar that fits well with nautical-themed weddings. Guests will enjoy the taste of the ocean, adding a classic New England feel to your special day.


Oysters are a classic choice for your wedding cocktail hour, especially in Boston. You can serve them on the half shell with a little Tabasco sauce, or fry them up and offer some rémoulade sauce for dipping.

Seared Scallops

Choose seared scallops if you want a chic touch at your cocktail hour. You can kick it up a notch and wow your guests by serving them on imitation oyster shells. This presentation not only looks stunning, but also complements the elegant vibe of live music at your wedding.

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops

Bacon-wrapped scallops are a hit at Boston weddings. They combine seafood's freshness with bacon's richness. This choice impresses guests, fitting perfectly into your cocktail hour.

Fried Asparagus

Fried asparagus turns a simple vegetable into a must-have hors d'oeuvre for your wedding. Guests will love the crunchy outside and tender inside. Serve it as a stylish finger food that stands out.

Corn Dogs (A Playful Nod to Local Fairs)

Bring a taste of local fairs to your wedding with mini corn dogs and serve them on skewers for easy eating. Offer different types of 'dogs' to accommodate your guests’ diets. These small delights are both fun and unexpected, making your cocktail hour stand out.

Corn dogs add a playful touch everyone will enjoy. They remind us of sunny days, laughter, and joy at the fair. Your wedding will have that same happy vibe with these bite-sized treats on the menu.

Chowder Cups (A Mini Version of the Classic Soup)

Chowder Cups are perfect for your cocktail hour. This mini version of the classic New England soup brings a taste of Boston right to your wedding. Guests will love holding these tiny cups filled with hearty chowder as they mix and mingle.

Contemporary and Chic:

Wild mushroom stuffed puff pastries on a wooden serving dish in a rustic barn setting.

For those of you looking to infuse your wedding with a modern twist, think "Contemporary and Chic." This section brings the freshness and flair of current trends right to your cocktail hour.

These dishes blend bold flavors and elegant presentation, turning each bite into an experience. From silky ahi tuna tartare to creamy burrata with vibrant heirloom tomatoes, these choices are all about sophistication.

Avocado toast on bruschetta offers a beloved classic with a twist, while hamachi crudo salad introduces a light yet flavorful option. Fancy Korean rice cakes add an unexpected but delightful crunch amidst softer textures.

Each choice reflects current culinary trends, making sure your guests indulge in not just food, but art. Wild mushroom-stuffed puff pastries bring earthy tones to the palette, complemented by cool cucumber and salmon slices for those who adore seafood without going traditional.

Sweet potato slices offer a sweet-savory balance perfect for pleasing various taste buds.

Ahi Tuna Tartare

Choose ahi tuna tartare for a stylish appetizer at your wedding. It pairs well with lively music and fun on the dance floor. Serve it in oversized spoons for extra flair. This dish adds elegance and a touch of luxury to your cocktail hour, making it unforgettable.

Ahi tuna tartare is perfect for modern weddings. Its sophisticated look and delicious taste set the tone for a night of celebration. Make this choice to impress your friends and family right from the start.

Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes

You'll love burrata with heirloom tomatoes for your chic 2024 wedding in Boston. This Italian dish pairs creamy burrata cheese with juicy, colorful tomatoes. It’s a stylish and modern choice that adds elegance to any cocktail reception.

Avocado Toast on Bruschetta

Choose avocado toast on bruschetta for your wedding cocktail hour. This choice combines creamy avocado with crispy bread, making for a dish that looks elegant and tastes great.

Guests will enjoy this modern twist on a classic snack. The mix of textures and fresh flavors will make it stand out.

Hamachi Crudo Salad

Your wedding cocktail hour just got a fresh twist with hamachi crudo salad. This dish brings together hamachi crudo, shaved daikon, radishes, cucumbers, and jalapeños. Dressed in zesty ponzu sauce, it's a light yet flavorful choice that promises to impress.

Korean Rice Cakes

Korean rice cakes bring a unique twist to your wedding appetizers. These chewy delights are perfect for guests who love trying new foods. They're not just tasty; they also add a modern, cultural flair to your celebration.

With their soft texture and savory flavors, Korean rice cakes will surprise and satisfy.

Wild Mushroom-Stuffed Puff Pastries

You'll love wild mushroom-stuffed puff pastries at your wedding. These treats are served in a unique puff pastry shell, making them not only delicious but also visually appealing. They're perfect for any season, especially if you're planning on tying the knot in Boston.

The blend of savory mushrooms wrapped in flaky pastry is sure to surprise and delight your guests, offering a creative twist on classic hors d'oeuvres.

Cucumber and Salmon Slices

Cucumber and salmon slices are a must for your chic wedding. These bites blend fresh cucumber with rich salmon. They're perfect for guests as they mingle and enjoy the DJ or live music at your Boston wedding.

This choice shows you're on top of contemporary trends.

Sweet Potato Slices

You'll love sweet potato slices at your wedding. They incorporate cream cheese, ramson cream, goat cheese, cress, and cranberries as a healthy option. This appetizer fits perfectly with a modern wedding theme.

Snap Pea Sushi

Snap pea sushi is a fresh and impressive choice for your cocktail hour. It offers a crisp, refreshing bite that will delight vegetarian and vegan guests. Picture the vibrant green of snap peas paired with the subtle flavors of rice and hints of sesame.

Your guests will appreciate this thoughtful addition alongside live music provided by a Boston wedding DJ.

Comfort and Crowd-Pleasers:

A plate of mini chicken and waffle bites on a white plate at a wedding cocktail hour.

For a wedding everyone will talk about, add comfort food and crowd-pleasers to your menu. These dishes bring warmth and joy, making guests feel at home.

Beef Biscuit Sliders with Crispy Fried Onions

You'll love beef biscuit sliders with crispy fried onions for your wedding's cocktail hour. They're small, easy to eat, and pack a big flavor punch. The tender beef sits perfectly between soft biscuits, topped with golden crispy onions that add just the right crunch.

Pulled Pork Sliders

Pulled pork sliders are perfect for your laid-back barbecue wedding. They combine slow-cooked, tender pork with soft buns to delight your guests. This comfort food is a crowd-pleaser that makes everyone relaxed and happy.

Serve these mini sandwiches with a variety of sauces. Your guests can choose how they want their slider to taste. This small touch makes the meal more personal and fun for everyone.

Mini Pizzas

Mini pizzas at your wedding will be a hit. Guests will love the convenience of grabbing a bite-sized pizza while enjoying live music and DJ sets. These small delights can also serve as charming take-home treats for everyone.

Fried Mac 'n' Cheese Lollipops

A classic comfort food is reimagined with crispy fried mac 'n' cheese on a stick, a dish that is sure to delight your wedding guests. This chic hors d’oeuvre is perfect for adding a playful twist to your cocktail hour.

Serve these lollipops with fun dips or just by themselves. Either way, they're bound to impress and satisfy everyone's taste buds.

Classic Sliders

Classic sliders are a must-have for your wedding cocktail hour. They're small, tasty burgers that everyone loves. You can make them special by adding unique toppings or sauces. This choice makes sure your guests enjoy every bite.


Meatballs bring comfort and joy to any wedding. They are perfect for your guests as they mingle and enjoy the live music. Serve them on fancy skewers or in small dishes with toothpicks for an easy grab-and-go treat.

Think about the season of your wedding when choosing meatball flavors.

Summer weddings might call for lighter, herb-infused meatballs, while winter celebrations pair well with richer, savory versions.

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and waffles combine sweet and savory in one bite. This crowd-pleaser is a hit at weddings, especially with live music from a Boston wedding DJ setting the vibe. This comforting snack is a great choice to pump you up before dancing to your favorite tunes.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Imagine warm, gooey grilled cheese paired with creamy tomato soup. This combo brings a touch of home to your wedding. It's a hit that makes everyone smile.

Serve mini grilled cheeses with small cups of tomato soup for easy eating. Guests will love the taste and comfort it adds to your special day.

Mini Donuts

Mini donuts at your wedding add a sweet touch that everyone loves. They're perfect for guests with a sweet tooth, offering comfort in every bite. These little treats are crowd-pleasers, making them a must-have during cocktail hour.


Your wedding in and around Boston deserves unforgettable bites that surprise and delight every guest. From the classic charm of New England favorites like lobster rolls and chowder cups to chic contemporary dishes such as ahi tuna tartare, your cocktail hour menu should mirror the excitement of the city itself.

Balance comfort with sophistication through choices like beef biscuit sliders alongside innovative eats such as snap pea sushi. Each selection not only promises a taste of Boston's rich culinary landscape but also ensures your celebration stands out.

Opting for these top picks means your wedding will be remembered for its incredible food, matching the joy and uniqueness of your special day.


1. What are some popular cocktail hour foods for weddings in Boston?

For your wedding in Boston, consider adding crowd-pleasers like deviled eggs, mini quiches, and spring rolls to your menu. Don't forget buffalo wings and pigs in a blanket for a touch of comfort food. Offering hors d'oeuvres such as salads, spanakopita, and sushi rolls will surely delight your guests with a variety of flavors.

2. How can I make my wedding's cocktail hour unique?

3. Are there vegetarian options suitable for a wedding cocktail hour?

4. How important is the presentation of food during the cocktail hour?

5. Can I include both hot and cold appetizers at my wedding's cocktail hour?

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