Sending your wedding guests off with a sobering cup of hot coffee and a sweet taste of doughnuts has been in vogue for the past few years. Known as “Good Night Stations,” these trendy little nighttime treats are becoming a staple for most wedding receptions.

The idea behind these goodbye snacks and drinks is that your guest will have some small bites to re-energize them for their ride home. The display usually favors to-go place ware such as small plates, bowls, cups, and bags that your guests can grab. They can munch a bite at your reception and/or take it along with them as they say their final farewells.

Think about self-serving options to make it easy for everyone to pick and choose their favorite snack choices. Allow guests to fill up their portable containers themselves as they gather their belongings and start on their way home.

Recently, innovative brides and grooms have been placing different twists on the types of drinks and goodies their guests can enjoy for the last hurrah of the affair.

Edible Favors

Incorporating your wedding favor into the send-off stations is an excellent way to send your guests home smiling. For instance, you can have a candy bar station alongside special take-home candy bars sealed in personalized wrappers displaying your names and the wedding date. If a pastry buffet is more to your liking, you can place jars of gourmet jams and honey at the station, labeled with your information, and decorated in your wedding colors for a great take-along remembrance.

Always popular are bagels and cream cheese. Package two to six bagels in individualized bags with some spreadable cream cheese so your guests can enjoy a breakfast treat the following day with the two of you in mind. Substitute mini bagels for the regular-sized ones for nimble appeal.

Seasonal Stations

One hot new idea is to feature seasonal drinks and bites at end-of-the-night stations. A spring or summer reception send-off may include not only hot coffee, but iced as well. A frappe machine offering coffee and fruit juice varieties will keep your guests properly chilled. Ice-cold bottles of water, iced tea, and maybe even a slushy machine will cool off even the hottest summer evening.

Combine any of these cool drinks with a dish of soft-serve ice cream. Let your guests top it off with spoonfuls of candies, sprinkles, and nuts, and you’ll have an interactive seasonal station guests can truly enjoy. Ice cream sandwiches and popsicles may be substituted for an easy-to-handle option. Red cinnamon heart candies also can be bagged for an edible take-home favor to remind guests of your sizzling soiree.

Fall and winter receptions are best complemented by hot chocolate and hot apple cider along with freshly brewed coffee. Set out a hot water dispenser and a selection of gourmet teas or even some chicken soup for a delightfully homey feel.

Freshly baked banana, cinnamon, and chocolate breads are always delicious on a cold night. Candy or caramel apples wrapped up for guests are a seasonal favorite and a delicious wedding favor.

Salty Send-offs

After a night of drinking and dancing, some people may prefer a bit more substance than just a late-night sweet. Mini cheeseburgers, cocktail-sized hot dogs, tacos, or egg rolls are excellent for curing your guests’ tummy grumbles. Do remember this is a see-you-later station, so you don’t want your guests to think this is a second meal. Most wedding couples choose one of these items as the main feature and offer other types of salty snacks such as chips or popcorn for extra nibbling.

Daytime Wedding Stations

For couples hosting a morning or afternoon reception, a “Good Day” station may be in order. In addition to coffee, offerings of bottled water, fruit drinks, iced tea, or cool smoothies are apropos for a daytime event. Accompany these thirst quenchers by laying out a spread of heart-shaped cookies, candies, and chocolates to suit most any wedding guest’s taste. Little bags of cookies-to-go are a nice complement.

Ideas for Goodbye Stations are as varied as your tastebuds. Think about tying it in with your wedding by incorporating your colors into your offerings or having them mirror your selected theme. Thoughtful presentations also take into account the season and the time of day, ensuring they’ll offer what your guests will be craving at the end of the festivities. Since this is a joyous event, get your guests involved by giving them fun ways to create their own end-of-the-event dishes and drinks. This way they’ll be celebrating even on their way home, and maybe even days after.

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