Whether you’re planning a traditional American wedding in America or incorporating aspects of American culture into a destination wedding overseas, there are tons of dishes and ideas that you can mix with international food and decorations.

Many Americans also like to include ethnic foods that are popular in their particular area—like Mexican cuisine for Texans and Californians or Cuban food in Florida.

While the food you choose is up to personal preference, there are several recommendations that can give your wedding a more culturally American flair. Check out some of the top recommendations and ideas below for inspiration.

1.  Traditional Southern Inspo

No matter which wedding event you’re planning the food for right now, traditional Southern food is a great way to go. These dishes bring comfort foods to the forefront, which you can elevate with a unique twist. Here are some favorites you might consider for appetizers, buffet style dinners, and desserts:

  • Mac and Cheese: A southern classic that you can elevate by adding BBQ short ribs or making them into bite-sized mac and cheese balls.
  • Cornbread: Enhance this appetizer with honey or jalapenos inside the batter and garnish it with caramelized jalapeno flakes.
  • Fried Chicken: Extra crispy, double-fried chicken is a great choice for a buffet, especially when you provide multiple sauce options.
  • BBQ Ribs: While they’re ultra messy when you use a wet sauce, dry rub ribs are the perfect way to make sure everyone stays clean at your formal affair.
  • Pecan or Apple Pie: Elevating pie is all about presentation. You can precut the servings for display or bake mini pies in individual tins!

You can also elevate your cuisine with fancy crystal or stainless steel serving bowls and trays.

2.  West Coast Health Trends

If you’re a Cali couple who loves organic health food, this wedding food menu is for you! Check out a blend of flavors that pay tribute to the California coast, as well as the foods that come over from Mexico:unsplash.com/…/variety-of-food-displayed-on-a-table-Ou4CQo6jzvU

  • Halibut Ceviche: Light, flavorful, and coastal, this fish-based dish keeps your guests happy and healthy!
  • Artisanal Cheese Display: California dairy is pretty famous, so choose cheeses made in California along with charcuterie and fruit to match.
  • Free Range Chicken: You can serve this at the carving board or buffet style to deliver sustainably sourced dinner for everyone.
  • Beet Salad: California farmland delivers tons of veggies, including organic, heirloom beets in gold and burgundy.
  • Churros: An iconic shoutout to Mexico, the churro is a great dessert option and can even be arranged in bouquets for serving. Fill them with chocolate or fruit puree for a fun twist.

And you can’t forget avocados! How about adding some to hand-rolled sushi appetizers or ceviche? So, what do you think of this elevated style for your wedding?

3.  East Coast Melting Pots


New York is a major East Coast destination that’s well-known for being a melting pot of different cultures. If you truly want to represent America from the East, you should consider incorporating some of the famous cultural foods available here, including Italian, Chinese, Indian, and Thai food!

  • Bruschetta: This Italian appetizer is a toasted baguette with a bit of tomato, basil, and cheese on top.
  • Egg Rolls: For some classic Chinese flair, add egg rolls to your appetizer lineup with whatever filling your heart desires.
  • Chicken Tikka Masala: An infamous Indian dish, this tomato-based curry sauce calls back to the tomato in your Italian appetizer to tie the meal together.
  • Mango Sticky Rice: Sweet, coconut-flavored sticky rice topped with mango slices shaped like a heart offers you a light, romantic way to finish off your meal.

Does this fusion menu speak to you? What dishes from each culture would you use to create your wedding menu?

4.  Midwest Salad Ideas

For the less traditional and more adventurous couple, the Midwest is a great source of truly unique ideas for your wedding menu. Known for producing salads that aren’t really salads, you can make a whole lineup of “salad” appetizers, entrees, and even desserts with Midwestern roots:

  • Pasta Salad: These salads come in a wide range of possibilities, including olive oil drizzled, Italian-inspired styles with olives and mini mozzarella balls, as well as something a bit creamier with a mayo-based sauce mixed into pasta, broccoli, and bell peppers.
  • Steak Dinner: Fill your guests up a little bit more with a hearty meat dish that features a potato salad side for that stick-to-your-ribs goodness.
  • Ambrosia Salad: Who could say no to marshmallows, Maraschino cherries, mandarin orange slices, pineapple, and shredded coconut? Supplement your wedding cake with a blend of fruit that gives an extra boost of sweetness!

Since Midwestern food can be a bit heavier, you may want to consider providing smaller portions or spacing your food further apart to give your guests time to recover between dishes.

5. Drinks for the Night

Even if you don’t have an open bar, thinking about how to pair drinks with food is an essential part of planning your wedding menu. You can shop around for American wines, choosing a red and a white option from famous vineyards, like Napa. You can also find traditional, local drink mixes, including sweet tea from the South and kombucha from California.

You should also provide an array of sodas, water, and juices to ensure everyone can find something they like. And don’t forget tea and coffee for dessert!

Making America Shine

From traditional comfort food menus to fusion menus with inspiration from around the world, you have so many options to explore when it comes to American wedding food.

If any of these ideas caught your eye, use the lists above as a starting point to customize your own hors d’oeuvres, entrees, and desserts. Then, talk to local caterers to see if they have any suggestions that may enhance your preferences. As experts, they have the recommendations you need to ensure your food shines!


Author Bio: Tess DiNapoli is a freelance writer and content strategist who has worked with a wide range of businesses nationwide. She has a passion for small business operations, particularly in the health, wellness, and lifestyle industries.