Appetizers and Dessert Only Reception

posted 4 months ago in Reception
Post # 16
Member
363 posts
Helper bee

I wouldn’t mind an appetizer only or cocktail style event if that include hot apps. Cold apps only for an evening event with an open bar seems like a recipe for lots of drunk people.

Post # 17
Member
540 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

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the1runningwife :  Our reception began at 7:30pm and we had a cocktail style food package. It incorporated A LOT of food. Passed appetizers and then a few food stations and a dessert bar. 

To be honest I normally don’t like the plated dinners at weddings. I’m picky and like having more choices of food to eat. So the way our wedding was set up was perfect for me.

I definitely think appetizers and desserts can be great, just make sure you offer enough for people to get full. No one likes to leave a wedding hungry.

Post # 18
Member
1194 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

No, this does not sound like a good idea.  Hosting a party at dinnertime means you should plan to offer a warm meal to your guests. Like pps mentioned, your 6:30 wedding means people are arriving by 6:15, and getting ready well before then.  They’ll also be at your event for several hours. 

If the logistics require this setup, you should add “cold appetizer and cocktail reception” on your invitation/ website so that people know what to expect.  

Post # 19
Member
984 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2020

I’m sure this is regional, but I where I live (urban US), most people don’t eat until 7:30, so they would prob expect there to be a meal. However, if you have so many quality appetizers, they could basically assemble a meal, I think it’s a nice idea. What kind of appetizers were you thinking that aren’t warm? 

Post # 20
Member
1158 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey

I’m quite used to weddings with appetizers, people come to celebrate your marriage not to eat dinner in my opinion. I’d have a meal at home or somewhere else before the wedding if I was exceptionally worried of hunger games haha. 

For me life is flexible, and rules can be bent. 

Post # 21
Member
10215 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

The cold food thing would kill me. What would that look like? Sandwiches and veggie trays? 

Post # 22
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee

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betyl :  “For me life is flexible, and rules can be bent.” 

Sure… However, rules that have to do with the enjoyment and comfort of guests exist for a reason. After all, why invite guests if one is not able or willing to host?

Post # 23
Member
387 posts
Helper bee

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slomotion :  I am not sure what she was thinking, but I think you could make it work… maybe like the below:

Veggie platter

Fruit platter

Antipasto platter

Salad station

For passed items: bruschetta, ceviche shooters, sushi, deviled eggs, melon wrapped with prosciutto, caprese skewers, shrimp, etc. 

Its nothing crazy, but I think it could work.

Post # 24
Member
4971 posts
Honey bee

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LilliV :   Excellent points. OP read this post and do what she’s suggesting. 

Post # 25
Member
325 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

I think it could potentially work but I would push back the start time so people have more time to eat a dinner before arriving to the event.  Just be super clear what you are providing so people can plan ahead. 

Also, I understand you cannot have hot appetizers but it seems unbalanced to me to provide a full open bar and only cold appetizers.  I would honestly be confused why you could go all out for alcohol but were only providing cold appetizers. 

Post # 26
Member
10215 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Okay that makes me feel way better. I was trying to think of cold stuff and was drawing a blank. 

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alexam :  

Post # 27
Member
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

 

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the1runningwife :  I had a cocktail reception and loved it. I’ve also been to several weddings with cocktail receptions and loved them all.  I’ve never been a fan of the plated dinner thing.

We had our wedding during dinner time and had plenty of food for everyone to get a full meal. Contact a caterer and get their suggestions of what to serve. Also, listen to your caterer when it comes to how many seats to have. There is no time during a wedding, even weddings with plated dinners, where every single person is sitting at the exact same time. I can’t remember how many seats at a table we had, but it wasn’t enough for everyone to sit at a table at one time and there is no time where they were all filled. 

You know you and you know your guests, do what feels right to you. 

Post # 28
Member
1439 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2019 - USA

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the1runningwife :  The only wedding I’ve attended that had small bites was in the early afternoon, and definitely not at a regular meal time. They did have lots of food so we all ate very well. I definitely don’t hate this idea, but I agree with PPs that you will want to make sure your apps are enough to fill everyone up. I would not be thrilled with cheese and crackers and fruit at 7pm if I were a guest. May be more cost effective to just do a dinner buffet if you can’t have at least one hot item for dinnertime. 

Post # 29
Member
214 posts
Helper bee

I agree that plenty of nice, filling appetisers, plus slides/pizza etc. later on could be fine but that isn’t what the OP is suggesting. At that time, only doing cold appetisers and deserts is just not good hosting. People will have travelled and got ready beforehand to come and celebrate with you and will be expecting enough food to feel full and enjoy the evening. 
Either move the event to a few hours mid-afternoon or later in the evening AND let people know on the invite there will be deserts/cold appetisers only, or you need to bring in proper catering. 

Post # 30
Member
307 posts
Helper bee

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the1runningwife :  Hi bee, having many apps during this time that would equal a full meal is a great way to do wedding food. Honestly I have been to probably 50 weddings and even the most black tie one… plated dinner was still meh.. its almost impossible to make a full meal for 150+ people all come out at the same time and taste resrataunt quality… unless you hired like a chef per every 40 people or something.. the weddings I have been to with food stations (around 90-100) hands down had the best food.

The only issue with that you are suggesting is that they are cold apps, that i dont think is going to work and would leave your guests hungry and dissapointed.. end of day the reception is to host and thank your guests so it only makes sense that you do cater to them.. 

I dont know what you serve thats cold only that would make it wedding appropiate and enough food for dinner.. sandwhiches etc are for brunch and casual weddings not for dinner time events… unless you had cold seafood bar included but that would cost you more than plated dinner

I think you should do food stations through your venue catering it would still be considerbly less than plated, delicious and perfect for the kind of event your planning where not everyone has seatings/not assigned seating and an open bar

I can hold my alchol well and definately like to party but even I think i would be woozy if only being served cold apps with an open bar

 

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