(Closed) Appetizer-only wedding, how many pieces should we serve?

posted 4 years ago in Food
Post # 76
1476 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

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lelly7 :  I think a noodle reception would be just fine. Almost everyone likes noodles. Except people who don’t eat gluten, but you could have a gluten free option as well.

Post # 77
84 posts
Worker bee

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lelly7 :  I’m going to have to agree with 8 pieces is definitely not enough for that time frame. You also need to consider that since there are no alcholic beverages being served, people will end up eating more since they will not be filling up on drinks. Also keep in mind, If they are serving themselves and they are not passed, most people will take more, that 8 will go very fast.

I do have to disagree with most on the time frame bit – you can absolutely have your wedding at whatever time you choose, as long as you make it perfectly clear that it is an apps and cake only party. 

* I will add, my cousin had a wedding that they did not do any apps at all and did buffet style with only grilled chicken and beef patties, one salad, and mashed potatoes and one veggie for sides. That is something that might be within your price point vs having apps? 

Post # 78
202 posts
Helper bee

Noodle reception sounds fun, tasty, and filling! 🙂 

Post # 79
948 posts
Busy bee

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lelly7 :  Ummm, my husband and I usually have our supper anywhere between 7.30 and 9, depending on when and what we ate at lunch. Even when I was still living at home with my parents, having supper around 7.30 or 8p.m. wasn’t unusual. My parents both worked long hours and I had a fair few after school activities in the early evenings.

Post # 80
625 posts
Busy bee

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breatheandrelax :  Haha exactly! Why won’t we just shut up and eat a power bar while we get ready?? Doesn’t that sound like an awesome dinner?

#teampigs. Since apparently “wanting to eat dinner” = pig. Not at all sorry.

Post # 81
1988 posts
Buzzing bee

Came back to read the follow up- I love the idea of noodle fusion! I don’t know if you have a Noodles & Co near you, but they’re a whole chain dedicated to nothing but noodles- italian dishes, asian dishes, mac and cheese…yum! Plus- noodles are fairly economical from a price perspective. 

I do think, however, it could be weird if you did all asian apps and then italian dinner. By all means, do what you want, but I think it could be tricky to pull off that way.

Post # 82
1093 posts
Bumble bee

thats dinner time tho.

To be honest if I was at that wedding. I would probably have to leave super early to go eat… 

Post # 83
2848 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

I remember on another thread someone saying if you were having an app only reception and didnt want people to be dispointed, you should be paying even more than you would on a catered meal becuase you would need to go above and beyond in quality and quanitity in order to satify all your quests. Makes sense.

If I wanted to save money I would just find a cheaper caterer to do a lower cost buffet meal.

Post # 84
1701 posts
Bumble bee

I totally get not wanting to spend a fortune on a wedding, but you need to plan your wedding around your budget – even if that means giving up many/all of your dreams about how the days “should” be…

If you want an “appetizer only” wedding, it should be an afternoon reception…it doesn’t matter what you say on the invite – you can’t expect people to eat dinner at 3 or 4 PM before your event and be fine all night with a few finger foods

Post # 85
7868 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I love an hors d’oeuvres reception–there’s nothing wrong with that. You could get away with a light mid-afternoon service but 7/8pm is prime dinner time where I live and I would expect enough hors d’oeuvres to serve as a meal. When you think about it an average of five little bites per hour isn’t that much food (keep in mind while some guests may be fine with less some would still be hungry with that amount of food.) Cake doesn’t count as “food” unless you are just having an afternoon cake and punch reception. If you want your guests to stick around plan for the food to be served in waves so you don’t run out early in the evening.

Nobody should go into debt over a wedding. If you have to have an evening reception revisit your guest list. 

Post # 86
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

Oodles of noodles sounds fun! But I agree with PPs that Asian apps and Italian dinner is a bit strange.  Stick with one style or another – Italian is probably the safer option and perhaps cheaper (pasta is cost effective & filling).  Maybe do the Asian appie stuff for your wedding shower or some other related celebration? 

Post # 87
212 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

There is “the worst wedding you have been at” thread somewhere on here and if you go over and read through ypu would see a trend emerging – weddings at dinner time without plenty of food are not enjoyed by anybody… so better plan to have really enough food…

Post # 88
1270 posts
Bumble bee

Trust your caterer on the food amount. Worst case scenario is you have leftover snacks for later. If people don’t bother to read their invitations and see that it is not a dinner wedding… well, that is their problem, not yours. You tried.

You’re not a bad host when you tell people how it is gonna go down (at your wedding, for Pete’s sake) and they decline to listen. It doesn’t matter what time a wedding is hosted, if you see a meal is not provided you can easily pick up a sandwich at any McDonalds. It is not like ye olde days where there wasn’t a Papa Johns on every corner. If people travellled a long way and expected dinner even though they knew you couldn’t afford to provide it… they’re obtuse to a degree I cannot wrap my brain around.

Post # 89
877 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

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lelly7 :  We are serving 4-5 pieces a person (175 person wedding) followed by a formal 3 course sit down dinner, so your idea of 8 pieces is not close to enough and I would highly suggest listening to what the caterers say considering they do this is for a living day in and day out and know best.

If you can’t afford more pieces then you should have a smaller guest list. The ceremony is actually the portion where people come to watch/celebrate you getting married, the reception portion is the part where you thank your guests for attending and people eat/drink and celebrate, so as much as this day is about you..when you invite 180 people you need to host them.

Honest opinion, most guests attending a dry wedding (which is fine) but with such little food would leave shortly after due to the fact that they are hungry and most likely starting to get grumpy.

If you are on such tight budget then why not cook some of the food or ask for some help from your family to cook some apps.


Post # 90
1359 posts
Bumble bee

I hope that the Italian caterer works out. I think you could do pasta, salad, and bread for a reasonable price and people would be satisfied. Personally I would not do Asian apps with an Italian entree, but perhaps the Italian place has app options?

H and I eat around 7:30 nightly based on our work schedules. I’m not a “pig” in any way, but I could not subsist on 8 pieces of apps, especially with no drinks (I tend to eat less when I’m drinking alcohol, mostly because I fill up faster). Even 15-20 seems modest to me given the timeframe you’re thinking of. 

If you can’t do the Italian dinner, I would strongly suggest moving your reception to a non-meal time (perhaps 2:00 PM?). I still don’t think that 8 is enough, but I’d be more apt to eat less at a non-meal time. 

I understand that you are getting pressure from your families to invite everyone, but if they are not contributing, they don’t get a say. We had pressure from our families, but paid for our wedding ourselves — we ended up with a short brunch reception with fewer than 25 people because that is what we could afford to host to the level we wanted to host our nearest and dearest. It worked out very well for us. 

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