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How To Make a Gorgeous Wedding Charcuterie Board

Imagine a wedding charcuterie board so stunning that all your guests are talking about it. Who wouldn’t want to have an edible piece of décor on their special day?

A charcuterie board with an assortment of meats, cheeses, crackers, and fruit, accompanied by small bowls of olives and honey, arranged on a white surface.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

A wedding is all about having your loved ones come together to celebrate you as a couple, but in addition to coming together for love, your guests also come together for food! Grazing tables and charcuterie boards are all the rage right now at weddings because they’re a convenient way to serve a variety of foods that cater to different dietary preferences. They keep guests entertained, and best of all, they look amazing and photograph beautifully!

Planning for and executing a huge wedding charcuterie board can seem overwhelming, but I’m here to help every step of the way. Let’s go through some quick planning tips, the essential ingredients that you can include, plus some inspiring wedding charcuterie board ideas you can try. 

Planning Tips Before You Start

A wedding charcuterie board is just like any spread you would do for a holiday party like ChristmasEaster, Fourth of July, or even your annual family beach trip. The only difference is that it’s larger in scale because you will serve all your wedding guests.

Whether you plan to stay on top of your charcuterie boards yourself or hire your caterer to take care of them, thoughtful planning is very important. You have to consider your budget, the number of guests, their dietary preferences, the wedding theme and aesthetic, different serving options, and more. Follow these quick tips to help you get started!

Assorted cheese and charcuterie platter with accompaniments on a wooden table.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Plan for Quantity

The size of your guest list will determine how much food you need to prepare. Marissa Mullen, a best-selling author and founder of That Cheese Plate says “Typically you should shop for about 3 to 4 ounces of cheese per person, and about 2 ounces of meat per person.” 

She suggests using the size of your serving platter as a guide for how much food to buy. “If you’re serving a cheese plate as an appetizer at a wedding, a 15-inch plate could feed about 12 people. If you’re working with a six-foot table, you could feed about 80 to 90 people.”

It’s ideal to add extra provisions – it’s always better to overestimate when it comes to serving food. However, if you plan to use your charcuterie boards as an appetizer before your main course, be mindful about overfeeding your guests. Consider preparing fewer options with toned-down flavors that will complement the main dish. 

Consider Your Audience

Another important thing to consider when planning your wedding charcuterie board is the guests’ food preferences. Take into account any restrictions (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, etc.) or allergies among your guests to make sure that there are options available for everyone to indulge safely and enjoyably. Additionally, prepare kid-friendly options for children attending the wedding.

Don’t forget about your personal preferences, though – this is your day and feel free to include food items that are special to you and your partner. Consider using signage so your guests know what they’re getting or need to avoid. I like using these adorable charcuterie labels!

Charcuterie Board Labels
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04/04/2024 10:58 am GMT

Choose a Serving Option Based On Your Budget

To know which food items to include in your wedding charcuterie board, consider your budget and decide on a serving option that aligns with it. First, decide whether you’re serving charcuterie as an appetizer or a main dish before choosing how to serve it. Here are a few choices:

  • Charcuterie Table: Choose a designated area at your wedding or reception venue where guests can gather and indulge in the spread, buffet style.
  • Charcuterie Platters: Place charcuterie platters at various stations throughout the venue.
  • Per Table Option: Serve smaller charcuterie boards on each reception table so guests can enjoy snacks without having to leave their seats.
  • Charcuterie Cups or Grazing Boxes: Provide guests with an individual serving of charcuterie in stylish cups or boxes (great as a takeaway treat, too!). This is a convenient and hygienic way for them to enjoy an array of snacks at their leisure.

Prepare Charcuterie Supplies

Aside from a wooden board or a serving platter, you will need small bowls and containers, spoons or spreaders for dips and spreads, tongs for meats and bread, cheese knives (sharper knives for firm cheeses and spreader knives for soft cheeses), and mini forks for smaller items. I suggest that you purchase a few sets of charcuterie accessories to make sure you have everything covered.

Don’t forget your décor for visual interest! Depending on your theme, you can use foliage, fresh flowers, and other decorative elements. You can add rustic wooden boards, vintage serving platters, or elegant cheese domes for extra charm.

Prioritize Safety

It’s important to prioritize safety when you’re dealing with food. Make sure that all perishable items, such as meats and cheeses, are stored at the proper temperature until they are ready to be served. Avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meats and other ingredients, and wash your hands frequently when handling food. Additionally, make sure that anyone who handles the food will tie their hair back and wear gloves when setting up.

Assorted cured meats, olives, and grapes served with red wine on a table.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Trendy Wedding Charcuterie Board Ideas

With so many different ways to design, customize, and serve a wedding charcuterie board, one important thing to note is that your spread should reflect you as a couple. Add elements that showcase your personalities, interests, and shared experiences. Personal touches and meaningful details will make your spread memorable to all attendees. If you need some ideas, take inspiration from these trendy wedding charcuterie boards!

Charcuterie Cones

Charcuterie cones are a stylish way to serve your guests some appetizers, especially if you’re catering to a larger group. They’re pretty, fuss-free, and convenient for guests to grab. You can use edible cones like waffles or non-edible ones made out of paper or cardboard.

Fill it with a delectable assortment of meats, various cheeses, fruits, crackers, nuts, and candies. You can serve the charcuterie cones individually to each guest or guests can grab their share from a larger display.

Brunch Charcuterie Table

Everybody loves brunch food, so why not make a charcuterie table out of it? This is a great option especially if you’re having a morning wedding. Fill spread with your brunch favorites, along with fruits, cold cuts, hard-boiled eggs, bagels, pudding, fresh pastries, jams, yogurt parfaits, and more. Don’t forget french toast, pancakes, or waffles for the little ones!

Vegan Spread

Food choices that were once exceptions, like plant-based and vegan, are now taking center stage, even at weddings. Jodi Fyfe, the CEO and founder of Paramount Events in Chicago, says “The food and beverage scene is undergoing significant changes. Plant-based options and protein alternatives are gaining popularity.”

Take a fresh approach on your wedding charcuterie board by opting for plant-based ingredients. From hummus to Vietnamese spring rolls with a peanut dipping sauce, there are endless options to create a tasty, and vibrant spread.

Dessert Board

There’s always room for dessert, and there’s always room for dessert charcuterie boards at a wedding! Indulge your guests with a wide array of confections and sweet treats such as fresh fruits, miniature cakes, mini pastries, donuts, fruit tarts, and chocolates that pair perfectly with nuts and cheese. Consider having gluten-free or dairy-free dessert options to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions. With a #dessertboard, you can never go wrong!

An assortment of sliced cheeses arranged on a wedding platter, garnished with black olives.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Ingredients for Your Wedding Charcuterie Board

Now, let’s talk about the most important part of building wedding charcuterie boards – the ingredients! If you’re working with a budget, consider using only 2 to 3 high-end meats and cheeses and use them as the focal points of the spread, then fill the rest with more affordable options.

As long as you have a balance of color, flavor, and texture, you’re good to go. More importantly, make sure to include items you love as a couple because this day is all about you!

Meats and Cold Cuts

Did you know that the word ‘charcuterie’ literally means “cooked flesh” in French? That’s why the meats are the stars of every charcuterie board. Feature a variety of cured meats and cold cuts – a mixture of classics like chicken, beef, pork, and fish so that you can cover various tastes and preferences.

If you need some ideas, prosciutto, ham, capicola, bresaola, salami, Italian sausage, Spanish chorizo, smoked chicken,  turkey breast, or salmon are all great options.

Cheeses

The cheeses on a charcuterie board are meant to complement the proteins, so it’s ideal to choose your cheeses only after you’ve decided on your meats. Generally, you’ll want to include one soft cheese, one semi-soft, one firm, and one hard.

Soft cheeses like brie, burrata, goat cheese, and ricotta are spreadable, so they’re great to pair with meats, breads, and crackers. Semi-soft cheeses such as fontina, Havarti, and Roquefort are creamy and flavorful and would complement fresh fruits like figs and pears. Firm cheeses like Cheddar, Gouda, and Manchego can be enjoyed alone or paired with meats and breads. Lastly, hard cheeses such as Asiago, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Pecorino-Romano pair great with fruits and nuts.

Fruits and Veggies

Let’s balance out the savory with the sweetness of fruits and add a refreshing element by adding some vegetables. Opt for in-season produce as they’re less inexpensive and readily available. To help you get started, apples, berries, cherry tomatoes, figs, grapes, and tropical fruits are all charcuterie board staples.

When it comes to veggies, broccoli, bell peppers, celery, carrots, and radishes are great choices. Don’t forget something brined or pickled!

An assortment of cold cuts, cheese, and fruit arranged on a platter for a wedding.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Bread and Crackers

Once you’ve decided on your main ingredients, you’ll need something to keep it all together. Baguettes (try it toasted in olive oil – yum!), flatbreads, pita, mini croissants, and toasts are versatile and can go with almost anything. Add crackers and crisps like breadsticks, pretzels, saltines, multi-grain crackers, water crackers, and fruit and nut crisps for a variety of flavors and texture.

Dips and Spreads

When it comes to dips and spreads, I like to add a mixture of sweet and savory to my charcuterie boards. Honey, jams, jellies, fruit preserves, hummus, mustard, pesto, pate, and tapenades are all great. I add a pinch of red pepper flakes to honey and it makes a delicious sweet and spicy spread that’s always a hit with my guests!

Nuts and Sweet Treats

Now, on to fillers. Don’t underestimate them, though – they add a much-needed layer of texture and flavor to the spread and keep the board last longer! Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios are classic choices. For variety, add candied, roasted, or spiced nuts to the mix.

When it comes to sweet treats, the options are endless – you can go as simple as chocolates, cookies, candy canes, and cupcakes or all out with pastries, pâtés, and miniature cakes. It’s entirely up to you and what you think would go well with the other elements in your spread.

When setting up your wedding charcuterie board or spread, utilize bowls, baskets, and even shelves for some contrast and height, which will add depth and interest to your display. Don’t forget to incorporate your wedding colors, add natural elements such as fresh herbs or flowers, and include decor according to your theme!

Wrapping Up

A gorgeous charcuterie board is the perfect way to serve snacks at your wedding reception. Whether you plan to serve it during cocktail hour or as a main meal, it’s an easy way to keep your guests entertained. Planning and putting together a wedding charcuterie board isn’t easy, but with careful planning, it won’t be hard to achieve the perfect charcuterie board that your guests will love and remember. Most importantly, you and your partner should love it, too – your charcuterie board would be more appreciated and meaningful when infused with your favorites as a couple!

If you found this post helpful, save it on your bookmarks and come back to it when you need to. I would also appreciate it very much if you could share this with family or friends who you think might want to learn how to make a wedding charcuterie board!

An assortment of cold cuts, cheese, and fruit arranged on a platter for a wedding.

Easy DIY Wedding Charcuterie Board

Jessica Haggard
A wedding charcuterie board is just like any spread you would do for special occasions, the only difference is that it’s larger in scale because you will serve all your wedding guests. The quantity of food and the length of preparation depends on the size of your guest list and your serving option (full charcuterie table, platters, or individual servings), but the recipe is essentially the same. For now, let’s make one wedding charcuterie board!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Snacks and Appetizers
Cuisine American
Servings 1 wedding charcuterie board

Ingredients
  

Meat and Cold Cuts

  • Prosciutto
  • Ham
  • Capicola
  • Bresaola
  • Salami
  • Italian sausage
  • Spanish chorizo
  • Smoked chicken
  • Turkey breast
  • Salmon

Cheeses

  • Soft cheese like brie, burrata, goat cheese, and ricotta
  • Semi-soft cheese like fontina, Havarti, and Roquefort
  • Firm cheese like Cheddar cheese, Gouda, and Manchego
  • Hard cheese like Asiago, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Pecorino-Romano

Sweets

  • Chocolates
  • Cookies
  • Donuts
  • Cupcakes
  • Pastries
  • Pâtés
  • Miniature cakes

Nuts

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios

Dips and Spreads

  • Honey
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Fruit preserves
  • Hummus
  • Mustard
  • Pesto
  • Pate
  • Tapenades

Bread and Crackers

  • Baguettes
  • Flatbreads
  • Pita
  • Mini croissants
  • Toasts
  • Breadsticks
  • Pretzels
  • Saltines
  • Multi-grain crackers
  • Water crackers
  • Fruit and nut crisps

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Tropical fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Radishes

Instructions
 

  • Gather your equipment. You’ll need a large wooden charcuterie board, bowls or containers (for dips and sauces), and utensils such as knives, spreaders, tongs, and toothpicks.
  • Begin arranging the ingredients in this order – meat products, cheeses, larger items like containers with dips and sauces, fruits and vegetables, and bread and crackers. Add fillers like nuts and sweet treats to empty spaces.
  • Place utensils where they are needed like tongs for the meats and spreaders for soft cheeses.
  • Add your decor like herbs, flowers, or any decorative items.

Notes

For bigger spreads like a charcuterie and grazing table, utilize bowls, baskets, and even shelves for some contrast and height, which can add depth and interest to your display. Don’t forget to add in some decor according to your theme!
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