7 Delicious and Healthy Wedding Appetizer Ideas

Guest Blogger: Erin Vaughan

Just because it’s your wedding doesn’t mean you have to throw the whole diet out the window. After all, you’ve worked for weeks to fit into that wedding dress—so why stop now? Especially when you don’t have to choose between taste and your waistline! Here’s how to start off the next phase of your life right, with these seven healthy (and delicious!) reception appetizer recipes.

Delicious-Looking Prosciutto-Wrapped Mango Bites
This recipe manages to be elegant, fresh and healthy all at once. With its colorful appearance and delicate preparation, it’s certainly a little bit more elevated than your traditional crudités. You can even create variations by substituting pears, cantaloupes or apples for the mango. With just 29 calories a pop and plenty of vitamin A and C, these tasty little snacks make a delicious pairing with a healthy signature cocktail, like this hibiscus margarita. Perfect for an outdoor wedding on a gentle summer day.

Compact Little Flavor Bundles
Did someone say bruschetta? This twist on an old classic combines hummus and fresh sprigs of pea shoots for finger food that’s as graceful as it is good. For a healthier alternative to white bread, try substituting a whole wheat baguette or cucumber slices. Packed with protein and important minerals like manganese and copper, these tasty treats will give you and your guests the energy you need to cut a serious rug on the dance floor!

Elegant, Crunch-Creamy Concoctions
Some things just seem made for one another—you and your partner, love and marriage, cheese and fruit. Honor this most delicious marriage of sweet and savory with these tasty goat-cheese smothered pear slivers. Cut into chic slices, with a dollop of cheese and a sprinkle of cranberries and pistachios for good measure, these apps will be the belle of the ball—after yourself, of course!

Briny, Scrumptious Seasoned Oysters
If you have some adventurous gourmands to please, there’s nothing better than this simple preparation of raw oysters on the half shelf. Seasoned with pink peppercorns and tarragon leaves, these are as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the stomach. And oysters are some of the most nutritionally balanced foods available, just brimming with protein, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium and zinc. There’s nothing better than when haute cuisine meets health food.

These Savory Antipasto Skewers
Even your Italian mother-in-law will be in love with these classic antipasto bites! Served upright on skewers, with zesty low-fat sausage and a hit of fresh basil, they’ll have everyone’s mouths watering for the buffet. Paired with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and basil, they definitely hit the mark for healthy fare. 

These Paleo-Approved Poke Stacks
Is someone on your guest list eating paleo? They won’t have to pack their own food on your special day! These paleo-compatible poke stacks are made from marinated sushi-grade tuna, avocado, and tomato and served on a homemade wonton for a bite-sized punch of flavor without the calories. Even your least-healthy friend will love it!

These Mouth-Watering Gluten-Free Stuffed Grape Leaves
Going gluten can be a bummer sometimes, especially when you show up to a party where the only thing on the menu is carbs, carbs and more carbs. This delicious stuffed grape leaf recipe is as healthy as it is hearty—with zero traces of gluten in sight. That way, everyone can enjoy your special day as much as you will. Now, if only they made a healthy, great-tasting alternative to wedding cake! Oh wait, they totally do

Erin Vaughan is an avid runner and tennis player. He currently resides in Austin, Texas where he works as the president and co-founder of FitnessTrainer.com,  the leading online marketplace to find a local personal trainer that can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

slip away to tennessee for a magical wedding

Contributing Blogger: Monique Curryer

Tucked away in the majestic woods of a small-college campus at the base of the Great Smokey Mountains, you will find a cozy, inviting RT Lodge. With easy access to a major airport and interstate highways, RT Lodge is just minutes away from Knoxville. Surrounded by nature, it has that secluded feeling, almost as if you've stepped into the pages of a magical fairytale and have left the ordinary far behind you. If you're looking for an enchanting wedding venue, look no further. RT Lodge lends itself perfectly to just that. As a matter of fact, they had 110 events in just the past year alone.

Whether you want your reception and ceremony held outside in the midst of nature, or prefer something a little homier, there are many options to choose from. In fact, the staff at the lodge encourages you to explore the grounds in search of the “perfect” spot in which to say your vows. They're very supportive of everyone’s unique and individual visions and they’re open to letting you make use of any spot that you are inspired, by telling you to “go for it”. 

As Alexandra Stockton (Group Sales and Events Manager)   says, “We rarely say 'no' to anyone’s request, unless, we’ve tried it before and it’s proven to not be a good idea!” 

That being said, one of the only things not permitted during a wedding reception are fireworks as the woods are protected by Maryville College. If you'd like to add that zip, however, to your special day, feel free to whip out the sparklers! 

Although January and February are peak times, RT Lodge is perfect for year round weddings. If you opt for an outdoor venue, there are many spots on the property to choose from. There's a meadow surrounded by wild flowers, in the middle of the woods or an area used for volleyball that can be leveled out for a more rugged feel that can seat up to 400 guests. 

Or, if you prefer to have your “first look” on a windy road lined by candles, that’s do-able as well. Right outside the lodge, there's a grassy area that lends itself to a more intimate feel. With bistro lights hanging overhead and a quaint brick fire place nearby on a secluded patio with rocking chairs, it offers the perfect backdrop for that special day. 

There is also an area with a permanent, all-weather 60x60 tent with detachable clear sides. Heaters inside will warm up any chill, day or night. There's also a generator inside the tent as well as a wire which can accommodate a chandelier if you are feeling a bit sassy. Bistro lights surrounding the property at night lead to fire pits that you and your new hubby can escape to for some alone time and keep toasty in private. 

 If s’mores are more your style, take some family members and huddle around in a rocking chair underneath the stars by the giant pit. Again, the staff is incredibly flexible and eager to help you bring your vision to life and are very willing to try anything, even if it hasn’t been thought of before!

Music is allowed outside until 11pm. If you still haven’t retired your dancing shoes by then, you can bring the party inside. This is also an opportune time to switch over to a cash bar for all of your guests to continue to enjoy cocktails. 

The flexible staff is eager to help you have the wedding of your dreams and will make any accommodations - including allowing the bride to switch out any furniture (with a small fee for labor). Staff members will even shuttle guests from the main lodge to the reception/ceremony areas or even escort them with an umbrella should the rain gods decide to join the festivities.

The lodge houses 60 charming guest rooms with either a king or twin bed. On average rooms are $145 for the night, including breakfast and are available year round. The fee may change on a case by case basis. 

Any time of year, RT Lodge promises the perfect setting for a magical wedding!