Do we really need to have Hors d'oeuvres? Stressed the Heck Out

posted 2 years ago in Food
Post # 2
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I am only setting out a large cheese and cracker platter next to our wine/beer bar. after that everyone can just wait the 30 more minutes until we open the Buffett. 


Your dinner options sound yummy. 

Post # 3
3017 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I would take out the chicken or fish option. The hors d’oeurvres are usually at the same time as cocktail hour and you don’t want people drinking without food!   Would it be cheaper if they were in a buffet spot for people to help themselves rather than passed?

Post # 4
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

JJSoon2bwife14:  If the hors d’oeurves are being served during cocktail hour (with alcohol) then yes, you need them.  Otherwise, people will be having a few drinks on an empty stomach…which is never a good idea.

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

JJSoon2bwife14:  A couple of comments:

If you are having a cocktail hour, you must serve hors-d’ouevres. Don’t let your guests drink on an empty stomach! If you’re going straight into dinner, hors-d’ouevres are not necessary.

Do you have any vegetarians coming? It looks like all of your hors-d’ouevres and main dishes have meat! 

Sorry to hear that your guest count grew! Don’t let anyone else invite themselves!

Post # 7
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

If your doing them during the cocktail hour, you need them. Is there a cheaper option like another bee said like a buffet? If not I would make the cuts on the menu rather than the hors doeurvea. People get bored standing around for an hour plus without food

Post # 8
4072 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

If you are not going straight from the ceremony into the reception, with dinner being served, then you have to have something for guests to eat during the gap. They will be grumpy otherwise!

That said, it doesn’t have to be divine. You can certainly choose simple, but well-liked tasty options. Talk with your caterer about maybe doing a simple cocktail hour?

Post # 11
7286 posts
Busy Beekeeper

JJSoon2bwife14:  can you cut back on other things? Centrepieces for a start if you are having them, favours, decor. 

But if you are struggling and you really don’t have the cash to spend on a wedding then you should cancel or postpone. There is no harm in calling it off and having a small intimate wedding at the courthouse wedding followed by dinner at restaurant. A party is never something you should get into financial hardship for.

Your friends and family should understand this. 

Post # 13
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Not sure if it’s the same in the USA, but here in Australia, seafood is generally more expensive. Could you swap the two shrimp hors doeuvres out for something more economical? 

Post # 14
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

JJSoon2bwife14:  If you are trying to cut back on food costs here are a few suggestions:


Serve a plated dinner.  Buffets usually cost more because they have to account for extra food for guests who taken some of everything.

Cut back on hors d’oeuvres.  The more time it takes to make something the pricier it is in most places.  You don’t have to have a ton.  Maybe a fruit tray, some type of dip/chips/pita and some cheese and crackers.

Post # 15
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I wondered the same thing and ended up coming to the conclusion that people will be grumpy if they have to wait until dinner to have anything to eat. I ended up deciding to serve fewer hors d’oeuvres. Since people will be trickling in throughout cocktail hour anyway, it won’t really be cocktail “hour” for many people. It’ll be “cocktail 55 minutes” for people who come straight from the ceremony and don’t hit much traffic and “cocktail 10 minutes” for people who stop by the hotel first. (And, of course, every duration in between.) So we’re serving enough hors d’oeuvres to feed about 2/3 of our guest list. Even if your ceremony and reception are at the same location so there won’t be any staggering-for-traffic in your guests’ arrival, you could do something similar by just making your cocktail “hour” shorter. People will eat less in a “cocktail 40 minutes,” y’know?

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