Menu Ideas for a Beach Wedding Reception

Tropical drinks for a beach wedding reception

If you're planning a beach wedding reception, a few menu ideas that add a taste of the sea to your celebration are a must. Choose delicious and varied dishes to create a wonderful, memorable meal for your first one as a married couple.

Ideas for Beach Wedding Reception Menus

From the first sip of a cocktail to the last, sweet bite of dessert, there are many ways to bring a taste of the beach to your reception menu.


Whether you plan to have a cocktail hour prior to the reception or will simply offer a selection of drinks during the meal, the right cocktails can set the mood for your reception. Popular alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices for beach weddings include:

  • Margaritas, pina coladas, and other tropical mixed drinks
  • Flavored rums and vodkas, particularly with splashes of mango, coconut, or citrus extracts
  • Fresh fruit juices such as pineapple, mango, and tropical punch blends
  • Fresh fruit smoothies or ice blended drinks


Appetizers can be passed during the cocktail hour or they may be served prior to dinner. For a beach wedding, delicious appetizers include:

  • Sushi
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Mini crab cakes
  • Fresh tropical fruit
  • Iced oysters
  • Crab or shrimp stuffed mushrooms
  • Coconut shrimp
  • Sun-dried tomato bread
  • Key lime popcorn chicken
Salad served at a beach wedding reception


A fresh salad cleanses the palette before the main course and can be a delicious beginning to any wedding meal, particularly when choosing from these scrumptious beach wedding favorites:

  • Garden salad with baby greens
  • Caesar salad with shrimp
  • Mixed local greens

In addition to a light salad, opt for light, flavorful dressings that will not weigh down the tastebuds.


A soup may be offered as an alternative to salad or it could be an entrée selection. Tasty soups that are popular on beach wedding reception menus include:

  • Clam chowder
  • Shrimp or lobster bisque
  • Jamaican pepperpot soup
  • Gumbo


The entrée is the key dish to any wedding reception menu. Many couples choose at least two entrees to give guests variety, and popular options include:

  • Jamaican jerk meats, such as chicken or pork
  • Grilled or broiled fish
  • Steak, including filet mignon, tenderloin, or prime rib
  • Lemon braised chicken
  • Chicken marsala
  • Surf and turf combinations
  • Barbequed chicken
  • Roast pork with lime

Side Dishes

The dishes that accompany an entrée should be just as delicious as the main course. Popular side dishes for many wedding menus include:

  • Rice pilaf, saffron rice, or wild rice
  • Roasted potatoes, potato wedges, or mashed potatoes
  • Pasta with various sauces
  • Grilled or sautéed vegetables


Many couples forgo a dessert menu in favor of the wedding cake, but adding a simple dessert or two to your beach wedding menu will add extra sweetness to the meal. Furthermore, many guests may not enjoy cake, and adding desserts to the menu can help couples cut wedding cake costs.

White wedding cake with seashell cake topper

Decadent beach wedding desserts include:

  • Key lime or other citrus tarts
  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Chocolate covered strawberries
  • Coconut macaroons
  • Lemon cookies
  • Coconut cream pie
  • Pineapple upside down cake

Wedding Cake

The wedding cake is the crowing glory of any reception menu. While couples have many delicious options for beach wedding cakes, popular choices include:

  • Vanilla or chocolate sponge cake with tropical fruit fillings
  • Lemon sponge cake with a vanilla or lime filling
  • Dark chocolate cakes with chocolate ganache
  • Vanilla cake with a toasted coconut filling

Many Options

Beach wedding reception menus can range from casual barbeque to elaborate regional fare, but if a couple chooses their menu carefully they will be able to enjoy a delicious meal to celebrate their very special day.

Menu Ideas for a Beach Wedding Reception