Summers tend to be packed with weddings, and that's a great thing, because it means people can still connect meaningfully in this increasingly isolating world of ours, and that those people are likely going to hire waiters to walk around with trays full of glorious foodstuffs.
But which of these passed morsels of appetizer-y goodness should you seek out with the greatest fervor? We've taken the liberty of figuring that out for you, but first some ground rules and criteria. First, the committee attempted to identify the most commonplace options that tend to repeat themselves across multiple weddings. From there, the factors weighed in ranking them, in no particular order, were: Ease of consumption, consistency of execution, ability to remain appealing in the face of cooling temperatures, and flavor. On with the rankings!
12. Caprese Skewers: These are a staggeringly common choice to appease the vegetarians in the crowd. They can be perfectly pleasant, particularly if tomatoes are in season, but no one's exactly salivating wondering when the salad on a stick guy is coming back around with his tray. Also, you're awkwardly left holding the skewer afterwards, and once you accumulate a few of them it's a dead giveaway that you're the fatty who can't lay off the free apps.
11. Chicken Skewers: Sometimes these are satay-style with some peanut sauce, and sometimes folks go teriyaki because anything with peanuts served to a large group is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Regardless, the chicken tends to dry out a bit, there's a fair amount of gnawing to do before you can go back to conversing like a normal person, and again there's the leftover skewer problem.
10. Mini Quiche: Whether standing in as another vegetarian option or mercifully studded with tiny flecks of bacon or some other pork product, these little bundles of Frenchiness leave a little something to be desired, especially if they've cooled a bit any you start getting that "scrambled eggs that have been left out a bit too long at the free hotel buffet that you weren't all that excited about but it's like, you already paid for it so whatever" taste, know what I mean?
9. Stuffed Mushrooms: These fulfill a similar space in the passed app food chain to quiche -- again, bonus points when meat products are involved in the filling. They tend to hold up a little better temp-wise, and they have the added bonus of affording hilarious dads the opportunity to joke about doing mushrooms.
8. Spanikopita: This might seem like an obscure choice, but I've seen them at an extremely high proportion of weddings and I'm not Greek or anything. It's understandable to see why they'd be popular -- convenient pastry shell, spinach to give off the appearance of healthiness, and (hopefully) enough feta to render them still pretty bad for you. A solid move for appeasing the vegetarian cabal.
7. Spring Rolls: As mentioned earlier, a convenient dough-like exterior goes a long way. These get the nod because there's usually some tasty sweet & sour dipping sauce involved that makes it feel like you're eating a really classy McNugget with a bunch of fancy people.
6. Crab Cakes: This is where things start to take a turn from the "yeah, I guess I could do one more" options to the "where is that waiter, I must have more, FIND HIM OR I'M GOING TO LOSE IT" options. These little bundles of crabby goodness only make it this far because the ones you get at weddings tend to be more filler than crab, but, hey, mediocre crab cake still beats most other things. Yeah, you heard me, chicken satay.
5. Meatballs: Swedish, Italian, nostalgia-driven camp comedy starring Bill Murray, it doesn't matter, meatballs are delicious, even when they get cold. They even pack enough flavor and ease of consumption to make up for the leftover toothpick issue.
4. Shrimp: One of the few creatures that God (or evolution, just go with the analogy and deal with the question of life's creation in the comments!) seems to have put on the planet for the sole purpose of being consumed in mass quantities at fancy gatherings, shrimp tails make for a convenient, naturally occurring handle for dipping them in cocktail sauce or whatever other condiment the host has provided. They taste good with just about anything.
3. Sliders: These require a little more time commitment to devour than most passed appetizer fare, but getting to lay a base for drinking with juicy mini burgers (or pork sandwiches, or whatever) is well worth it. I've even been to a couple of weddings where these come out late in the game when everyone has had a few more cocktails, and there is always much rejoicing. Plus science proves that couples who bring out sliders late night never get divorced. Wait, don't look that up.
2. Pigs In A Blanket: Some people might think tiny puff pastry-wrapped hot dogs aren't sufficiently highbrow for such a momentous occasion. Those people are wrong. No matter what tax bracket your wedding guests fall in, they will all be mobbing these things like they haven't had a meal in days, which again, might be true depending on how rich your friends are.
1. Bacon-Wrapped Scallops: This is it. The pinnacle. The passed app that literally makes it difficult for the poor waiter to even get out of the kitchen doorway. It's pork. It's seafood. It's all in a convenient bite-sized ball. It's the reason people get married. Other than like, you know, love and stuff.