Post # 1
Due to extremely low budget, we’re not serving a meal for our guests at the wedding. We will be having a late night lunch/snack thing with buns, meats, cheeses, fruit, veggies, etc, etc but no supper will be served. How do I word this on the invitations so the guests don’t come expecting supper? Our reception likely won’t be starting until around 8pm or so, do you think that the guests would put two and two together and figure that 8pm is a little late to be serving supper? At a wedding I went to last year they put “Reception 8pm, Lunch to follow” on the invites BUT the same ppl also put “monetary gifts preferred” and that’s just super tacky, I think!
Post # 3
Definitely write something! Like “hors d’oeuvres reception to follow” or whatever. R’s aunt and uncle didn’t include such wording in their invitations 20 years ago and it’s still brought up (they also ran out of the appetizers really early and people were expecting a full meal – a bunch of people got drunk because they came without eating first).
It’s not tacky to write it, I think it’s proper etiquette!
Post # 4
Is there any way you could hold your wedding earlier in the day? I just can’t imagine any way to convey to guests that they won’t be receiving a meal at an evening reception. The only time I wouldn’t expect a meal would be at a mid-afternoon reception, that is when some light snacks and nothing else might make sense. I’m afraid that by holding an 8pm reception, you’re going to have a lot of guests with very uncomfortable empty stomachs no matter how you attempt to communicate. The best I can brainstorm would be to use the phrase “dessert reception” or something, but I still don’t know that that would be enough to convince guests that they need to eat beforehand.
Post # 5
I like the “hors d’oeuvres reception to follow” that lilyfaith suggested. Or you could say something along the lines of Please join Bride and Groom afterwards for a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception. After the invites went out I would try to spread the word that the menu will be light.
Post # 6
I would maybe say something like “cocktail reception to follow”, as that would usually indicate that there’s very little food.
Are you providing drinks, or having a cash bar even? That wording probably wouldn’t work if there was no way to obtain said cocktail.
Also, what time are you planning your ceremony? I think anytime before 7, regardless of what you put, people will be expecting a meal. It would be difficult to get dinner in beforehand if I had to get dressed and ready to leave my house at like 4pm to get to a 530 ceremony.
That said, a sandwich counts as dinner at my house fairly often 🙂
Post # 7
- Wedding: March 2011 - The Viceroy
“Hors d’oeuvres reception to follow” is totally acceptable and appropriate. Just make sure to start everything late enough so your guests have time to have a meal first.
Post # 8
I definitely like the “Hors d’oeuvres reception to follow” line! Or even the cocktail reception. We will definitely be having a cash bar! Our ceremony is going to be in the afternoon. Our timeline is:
2pm (ish) – ceremony
3pm-530 (ish) – photos with photographer
530-730 (ish) – meal with family, bridal party, etc
800 – show up at the reception!
The wedding I went to last year was pretty much the same timeline and it worked really well for them. I know it seems weird that we’re not serving a meal but a lot of the weddings I’ve been to around here have been the same way. =/
Post # 9
I think it’s fine for an 8PM reception to not have dinner as long as people know that. Dinner receptions would usually begin earlier. It really seems to me that it’s only been in more recent years that wedding=full meal for guests. As long as people know, they can eat beforehand. I would put “cocktail reception to follow.” Since you are doing very light hors d’oeuvres, I would avoid saying that it’s an hors d’oeuvres reception. Cocktail reception doesn’t imply any kind of food and the small snacks will be a nice treat.
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2011 - The Viceroy
I think if you write “cocktail reception” people may assume it’s not a cash bar–at least I would. That makes it sound like the cocktails are provided by the hosts. If you have a website you could always list more detailed information about the food and drinks on there.
Post # 11
I agree with Sapphire Bride – I’ve been to weddings that were an hors d’oeuvres reception and you definitely got a full meal. I wouldn’t expect an 8pm reception to include dinner (since they normally start earlier, even though I normally eat dinner well after 8pm at home) but would probably be confused as to what exactly was going to be served. Could you make it a dessert reception instead? You could still have cheese and fruit platters since they are regular dessert items, and it would be more obvious that people should eat their meal beforehand.
Post # 12
You could also include a list of “the couple’s favorite restaurants” with your invitation on a separate sheet. Especially if you have out of town guests, that could be useful to them. And it would definitely make it clear that they should fend for themselves for a meal.
Post # 13
I like the hors d’oeuvres language, rather than the cocktail reception, because if it will be a cash bar and the guests will have to pay for their own drinks, cocktail to me implies that you will be paying for it. If the only thing you will be providing is the appetizers, then you should make that clear. I’ve heard that people often give gifts/money to cover their costs, so you just wouldn’t want the guests to expect something they wouldn’t get. I’d definitely make sure that even if there isn’t a lot of selection in the appetizers, there needs to be enough. If the wedding is in the very early afternoon and the reception is fairly late at night, guests who attend the wedding will be just hanging around the area of a number of hours while you take photos and have a meal with your family/wedding party. So just make sure you have enough. Good luck!
Post # 14
You could put something like “Dessert Reception to follow” or “Cocktail reception to follow” depending on what you decide to serve for sure. = )
Post # 15
If you’re serving fruit, cheese, veggies, and sandwich fixings I would call it “light refreshments”. “Cocktail reception” implies that the booze is hosted, and “hors d’ oeuvres reception” could imply heavier food than what you are serving (I’ve been to hors d’oeuvres receptions that were meal substitutes).
Post # 16
I went to a wedding just like this in April. The couple wrote on their invites that there would be a hors d’oeuvres reception. The couple made it a point to let everyone know it was LIGHT hors d’oeuvres. We ended up going out for dinner with a group after the wedding then going to the reception. It all worked out fine.