Post # 1
I’m laying out what we have planned food-wise and there are gaps where I still need to come up with what we are going to do. I know you bees are so very helpful, so I appreciate if you could weigh in with your ideas/experiences!
For referfence: ceremony is at 4pm. Outdoor ceremony with indoor reception at a lodge. Wedding is going to be pretty casual/non-traditional in a few ways (also a budget wedding), but want it to be nice and people, above all, to have a nice time and maybe be pleasantly surprised with food/drink.
Dinner 5:45-7, buffet style
fresh baked bread
Italian Tossed Salad
Spaghetti Marina + Meatballs
Wedding Cake, cut at 6:30
Late Night Snack, time?
Reception ends at 10pm
Water Infusion station
Italian Soda bar (I’m especially excited about this!)
I’m not sure what to serve at cocktail hour. I was thinking cold/cheap appetizers, not through our caterer (we are able to bring in food and drink at venue), but not sure what exactly. Looking for something easy and cheap. Just something simple for people to munch on as they drink/wait for dinner.
For late night snack, I was thinking of doing it as a favor and a surprise. I’ve had a million ideas, including pizza, french fries, donuts, ice cream, etc. I was looking into a food truck for any of those things as well (maybe an ice cream truck or fancy, popular food trucks – that can be a bit costly though). I just am not sure what to do for this, there are so many possibilities. I really really wanted to do pizza for dinner, so thought it would be perfect here. But food is already pretty Italian-heavy already. Also might be too heavy. I also liked a local ice cream place, but that’s a bit of a hassle to store and all that. Now I’m really into the donut idea, but I just can’t decide. Also not sure what time to do this since dinner/cake is until 7 and reception ends at 10. Would 8 be too early? 9 too late? I also worry people won’t even want it because I feel like we are serving so much food. Should I just nix this idea?!
Thanks for your help and ideas! 🙂
Post # 3
@Skittles131: First, I would be 100% sure that your caterer is OK with you bringing other food. I know you said your venue allowed it, but if your catering service is separate they may have an issue with it. Also, who will be placing the items out during cocktail hour? That’s going to determine what you can do, because you’re certainly not going to have time to cook frozen apps or place things around your venue.
That issue aside, maybe you can do some hoagie (or subs, heros, sandwiches or whatever they are called where you live, haha) platters, veggie platteres, cracker and cheese plates and chips and dip. I guess it also depends how fancy or casual your event is and how many people you have to feel.
Grab-and-go type foods are probably best for the late night snack so people can take some and eat them on the way home. Pizza is probably not the best choice because it has to be kept warm and isn’t the most portable unless you have small boxes for everybody. Maybe some cookies or doughnuts in wax paper envelopes.
Post # 4
@Skittles131: The one thing that i think is required for cocktail hour food is that it not require a fork and knife. A lot of times, cocktail hour is spent standing in a room with very few tables. It can become near impossible to hold a purse, a drink, a plate and food and be able to eat. So I would recommend one bite finger foods (pieces of sushi, some type of food on a small cracker, any type of meat/shrimp on a skewer, mini meat balls)
Late night snack…… more desserts??????/
Post # 5
@SarahTee: Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful response.
Good point about checking with caterer and who will serve. My FMIL really wanted to cater the WHOLE wedding which is crazy. So I thought maybe I’d let her do appetizers since it will be smaller/easier but still able to contribute some food.
Also good thoughts about pizza needing to stay warm. We have a new-ish donut stop in my area that is super popular and really cool, so I may look into them providing donuts for the event.
Post # 6
@Skittles131: If you are having an Italian oriented menu, I would stick with that for the appies and do antipasto trays.
Traditional antipasto includes cured meats, olives, peperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies,artichole hearts, various cheesessuch as provolone and mozzarella, pickled meats, and vegetables in oil or vinegar.
None of it needs refrigeration. It can be served with napkins and maybe some cocktail pics and there wil be something for everyone’s taste. You could add a veggie tray to round out the choice.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@Skittles131: we did a DIY cocktail hour food. For 165 guests, we spent maybe $400 at Costco and another $100-150 at the grocery store the day before. We did crackers, cheese, sliced meats (summer sausage etc), chips, dip, nuts, fruit, and veggies. You just have to wrap your head around buying a LOT of it (think about each person having a plateful, and then multiply by your guest count). It’s also a lot of work to prep it – thankfully we had extended family and friends who happily volunteered. It came together really well and tasted great.
Late night, people love things that are salty and fatty, if possible…
Here’s a bit of the cocktail hour food:
Post # 8
@Skittles131: I’m glad I could help 🙂 That’s so nice that your MIL wants to cater, but she should be enjoying the special day, not worrying about cooking food! I love doughnuts, so I would be ALL ABOUT having them. Now I want to have them at my wedding! FI is going to kill me 😉
Post # 9
@lolot: OMG, I LOVE your setup. It looks exactly what we want. Simple/cheap food pulled together nicely with simple/cheap decor 🙂 Yours looks nicer than I envisioned so I will use that for inspiration 🙂
@SarahTee: uh oh! Well, I look at it this way. They’re cheaper than pizza or other food you could have. Also, I like that it’s kind of dessert food but also meal food so it’s a bit of both 🙂
Post # 10
@Skittles131: how many guests are you planning? the more guests you have, the more variety you will need.
if you want to diy your cocktail hour food, i would get fruit trays, veggie trays, cheese and cracker trays, and maybe a few different dips or pates. you can get these at costco or at your local grocery store for a reasonable price.
if your dinner is going to finish at 7ish and your whole reception ends at 10, i would seriously forget about a late night meal. your guests won’t need to eat 2 hours after dinner. maybe just over coffee/tea and cake.
if you really wanted pizza, can you not add that to your buffet? it would certainly fit the menu.
have you considered incorporating your favours into your late night? maybe a candy bar or a popcorn bar?
Post # 11
Yep! We did a lot like lolot did. Cheese, sausage and crackers, a HUGE fruit tray, smoked salmon (our appetizer splurge), Swedish meatballs, cocktail weenies… We had small plates, napkins, and a bunch of pretty picks-no siverware and no fuss!
I like the anitpasto idea too. And for late night, I agree on there not being a real need for it, but if you want to make sure anyone who is hungry has something, I like the popcorn idea. Maybe you could even incorporate a munchie type of favor? It looks like you have a well-thought plan there! Have fun with your planning!
Post # 12
@Skittles131: I think the key is presentation. Placing a bunch of trays flat on the table makes for a very boring presentation.
Instead, do it like professionals do. Lay a tablecloth over the entire table, then place some sturdy boxes down the middle if you are having guests access the appies from both sides of the table, or at the back of the table if it will be against a wall. Drape more linens over these boxes, then place your trays on these elevated platforms.
You can also use things like baskets and wine crates to elevate trays of food without covering up the base at all. It contributes to the decor.
If you are offering buns, crackers or sliced bread place them in baskets or wooden boxes.
Post # 13
@julies1949: very good point/ideas about presentation. It probably won’t take that much work or money (but definitely some forethought and maybe a little bit of $), but I know it makes all the difference. I will look into this! Thanks!
Post # 14
I agree with a cheese platter, antipasto or cold cut platter, fruit/veggie platter with dip. Then maybe one or two neat items on sticks (anything on a stick is better), like a caprese stick. Or maybe soup shooters?
I would still consider at least getting a quote from your caterer to know what they offer, since you’re already paying them for their service and materials, and that way you’d have less to do yourself.