Post # 1
So, I’m getting married at twelve noon. It’s a full on Catholic wedding and it will probably take 1 hour to an hour and a half. Catholic Churches don’t do evening weddings and noon was the only time available. I don’t mind much anyway because night time dance party receptions don’t appeal to me at all.
I loathe the “gap” between ceremony and reception and after negotiation our reception hall has agreed to let us start the party at 2 pm. We were thinking of maybe having an appetizer/cocktail hour and serving the meal at 3ish? MAYBE.
Background: This is a smallish wedding, socializing really tires me out, and on top of that my FI and I are waiting to be married to be intimate, so both of us will be ready to depart after a few hours of celebrating with everyone. We have the hall until 8 pm, but the party is probably not going to last a whole 6 hours.
My problem is that I’m worried about the timing of serving the meal. Is 2 or 3 pm too late to serve lunch? It’s too early for dinner right? When guests leave at 7-8ish, I imagine they’ll still want to eat another meal for the day. But will they be hungry enough by then? The situation I want to avoid is having everybody eat at my 2-3 pm reception and then by the time they get hungry again at 9 or 10 all the local restaurants are closed. So they go to bed hungry cursing the bride and her horrible planning skills… For FI and I, I can picture us ordering a pizza to our hotel room for a later-night snack. But it’s the guests whose gastrointestinal happiness I’m worried about.
So what do you girls think? Is 2/3 o’clock a crappy time to have a meal served to you? And would you do the appetizer cocktail hour or get right to the goods?
Post # 3
I would do appetizers only, actually. Lots of options, hot and cold. I think that would work best with the timeframe you’re thinking, especially if you envision your reception ending earlier than 8pm.
Post # 4
Maybe do an appy hour then serve dinner at about 4ish. This way it is closer to dinner time, people won’t be starving as they’ve had a snack.
To fill the time between appies and dinner you could do something like speaches, first dance etc.
Post # 5
I think a small meal at 2 or 3 would be fine. You don’t need appetizers before it.
I also think that since it’s a small wedding people might start leaving around 4 or 5 anyway.
Post # 6
I like this idea! It seems like you would have to do either a late lunch, an early dinner, or only apps at like 3.
Post # 7
as long as they know ahead of time what time they will be eating it will be fine.
Post # 8
I think a meal at 2 is fine. Since they’ll probably be at the church by 1145 for your noon wedding, traveling and getting ready right before that, they probably will have only eaten breakfast and will be happy to eat a meal at 2.
Post # 9
@Bubu82: this is what I wanted to do all along – actually I wanted to get married at 10 o’clock and just serve sweet little sandwiches, very elegant and English-gardeny. But unfortunately our reception venue won’t permit us to just serve appetizers, apparently they won’t make enough money off us if we do that… I am kind of stuck with the venue because they were the only affordable place still available.
Post # 10
I’d skip the appetizers and go straight to the “late lunch”. Just like pp stated, guests likely will not have eaten since breakfast and will be more than ready for lunch. As long as your guests know you are serving a late lunch they will know they are on their own for dinner. If you serve a full or heavy meal guests may not even want dinner. But, no one would expect you to serve two meals.
Post # 11
My sister is trying to calm me down about this… she says the guests are (mostly) all adults and I’m not holding them down and forcing the food down their throats. It’s a buffet so they can all take as much or as little as they like. You all are right that people coming to a noon wedding don’t usually get to eat lunch beforehand. I never thought of that – it makes me wonder what other obvious stuff I’m missing!
Post # 12
First of all, I’ve gotta give you props for not doing the gap. Your guests will thank you. Besides, a late lunch sounds awesome. I know if I ate lunch at 2, I’d be ready for dinner around 7 or 8, so I’m sure everyone will be fine.
Post # 13
As a guest I would be happiest with just appetizers. I would eat lunch before I arrived, and would probably plan on going out to dinner following the reception. I personally and not hungry enough for a full meal at 2 or 3.Save yourself the money, and skip the meal- just offer more appetizer options.
Post # 14
I think your schedule will work well as a late lunch.
If your wedding starts at noon, guests will probably be at the by 11:30. That means at the latest they could probably have eaten would be at 10 or 10:30. So none of your guests will have had lunch before the wedding, which makes a late lunch perfect for them.
Post # 15
As your guest I wouldn’t care but I just want to eat until full. And I’ll probably be really hungry as soon as the reception begins.
My vote is only appys at “stations” and enough appy’s to fill people up. I wouldn’t need a formal sit down lunch/ dinner I would just want to be fed until full.
My guess is guests will also be very hungry so long as their is food at the start of reception and weather or not a real meal comes at whatever time many guests probably wouldn’t care too much.
Note: if you do appy hour then dinner later you’ll be there much longer than you anticipate and possibly longer than you initially wanted.
Post # 16
I would go late lunch.
Would either family be willing to host an afterparty with heavy apps? That’s what my family would do (probably at the hotel in a conference room).
Or for the out of towners, maybe include carry out options for their hotel room in a “welcome packet”. A cousin did this for us and it was awesome for finding a place for lunch before the ceremony too.