Cocktail hour stations

posted 3 years ago in Food
Post # 3
2189 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Honestly, what kinds of bite-sized foods need to be made in front of you? I’m assuming that’s what you mean by a station? People can make their own cheese and crackers. I agree that pasta seems too heavy for an appetizer. And the shrimp scampi could easily be passed instead of be a station. Or you could do little individual shrimp cocktails in a martini glass? I understand the appeal of stations but they seem more for dinner than cocktail hour.

Post # 4
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

@lizl524:  As a kid and as an adult, one of my favourite stations was always calamari. Not crazy expensive, filling, or messy. I always enjoyed weddings with stations set up for cocktail hour rather than passed hors d’oeuvres as you can actually find the food. Never big on cheese stations though – might just be what I have experienced personally though.

Post # 5
2264 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I should preface this by saying that I am biased because I am having stations for cocktail hour (as well as passed hors-d’oeuvres) so I really like stations.

I just think that with stations, you can grab food more easily if you’re hungry. Also, I think stations can appeal to more dietary restrictions. For example, if you know you will have vegetarians at the wedding, a pasta station (without meat) might be more appealing than waiting for meatless passed hors-d’oeuvres.

This may just be my own preferance, though.

Post # 6
14 posts

I work weddings and have for about 6 years. Stations are great if you have a place for your guests to sit down, but if not they might struggle to drink and eat at the same time (especially if they’re one of the unlucky ones who don’t have a cocktail table). I would stick with passed items and maybe open up the food stations after cocktail hour if necessary.


Post # 7
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - The Fox Hill Inn

@lizl524:  Our reception included an “international cheese station” and then passed hors d’oevres. We also added a new england seafood station. The feedback from our guests was that they loved the seafood station and they were able to enjoy it (had lobster rolls, clam chowder, calamari, etc). Our reception had a mix of low tables and standing space so we think people were able to sit as needed and perhaps that helped with the additional stations?

We didn’t have the option to have more passed hors d’oevres, but having the station worked really well for us. How will he room be setup during your cocktail hour?

Post # 8
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I would go for more passed. I don’t understand the point of all these lavish stations for cocktail hour. I don’t want pasta and mashed potatoes before dinner, you know?

Post # 9
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I like passed myself, it’s easiest when mingling and holding a drink. I wouldn’t mind having to hold a small plate with crackers and cheese on it but it might be awkward. The pasta seems like a strange HD to me. I used to work events at a golf club and we never did anything like that for HD’s. Just passed single bites.

Post # 10
11379 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

i like the idea of both.  stations might not necessarily mean full plates.  they may just be stationary food.  cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, seafood platter, antipasto platter, etc are great stationary items.

it’s nice to have both, stationary and passed, because if you want something to snack on, you don’t have to wait for the server to come around.

Post # 11
851 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@lizl524:  is there any way for a the venue to provide more tables??????

It is always a struggle at cocktail hours these days….. it is not an easy task to hold a purse, a wine glass, and a plate all at the same time………

I really do not understand why venues have not gotten the idea that more tables are needed……..


Post # 12
3735 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@lizl524:  I’d probably opt for more passed apps than stations. Unless the stations are light fare, I feel like it’s too much food.

Post # 13
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Pasta stations are overrated. I’d skip it! If you want guests to mingle, go with the passed. Plus, you’ll avoid lines at the stations, which I detest. 

Post # 14
1648 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2000

I’m a huge fan of stations, there can never be too much food!

Post # 15
59 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

The problem with only doing passed hors d’oeurvres is that the people near the wait staff entrance always gets all of the food and the people mingling further away don’t get anything. We will also be doing passed and 2 stations (an antipasto and a medditeranean station).

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