Appetizers and Dessert Only Reception

posted 11 months ago in Reception
Post # 31
Member
578 posts
Busy bee

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the1runningwife :  I went to a wedding just like that and I was freaking starved. Getting ready took longer than expected so I didn’t have time to eat before the ceremony. The apps were set up on a table instead of passed and I was sat at a table far from the food. When I went to get a plate after speeches all the folks nearest the food had scarfed it down. There was not enough food. I had like three pieces of cheese, some mints, and wedding cake. We left kind of early to go back to hotel and raid the vending machine. 

It sucked. 

If you want to stick with this plan please make sure you have enough food to fill people with dinner sized portions or else not everyone will get to eat. Seriously talk to a caterer or at least deli staff to get a real idea for how much you need… then add a little extra. Ugh, I’m hungry again just thinking of it.

Post # 32
Member
13889 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would expect dinner. If you aren’t serving dinner, you need enough appetizers to make up for a full meal. If you are having a full bar, you need to provide lots of food!

Post # 33
Member
915 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

We did cold apps, cupcakes, and wine/beer/coffee/punch  but our reception was from 2-4pm. And we still had plenty of food for people to eat a lunch portion (with SO much leftover) I echo pp that if you’re serving over dinner you need lots of food. Hot food would be best, but if you do like pp suggested and go for sushi, shrimp, etc it might be fine. However, you’re not going to save money if you get enough food for everyone. 

Post # 34
Member
7350 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

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the1runningwife :  What is your reason for going this route? Is it to save money? It’s most definitely NOT cheaper have “heavy apps” rather than a simple meal because they’re much more labor intensive to make than just providing a meal.

I think some people are glossing over the fact that you said you can bring your own food as long as it’s not hot. This whole thing sounds like a bad idea. When you host your wedding over a mealtime, a meal should be served. If you’re opting ot do heavy apps and dessert you need to have enough quantity and variety to EQUAL a meal. I just can’t imagine how your going to accomplish that with only cold items. Fruit tray, veggie tray, finger sandwiches? Chips & dip? That’s not a meal or enough to sustain your guests when they’re also drinking. 

 I speak from experience as a wedding vendor. The biggest disasters I see at weddings almost always revolve around food…and usually it’s because there is a lack of it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen guests leave simply because they’re hungry. 

Post # 35
Member
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey

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claroquesi :  It’s not like she’s unwilling to host her guests. Arranging wedding venues, food and all the other stuff is hard already. If this is their only option, as a guest I would be totally fine with appetizers as long as there’s a note on the invitation. Then, I’d take measures as I wish. Not that hard to imagine. 

 

Post # 36
Member
7 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2021

I went to a wedding like this once and they made sure to let us know to eat dinner before coming so I did and it was 100% fine. They did have a lot of apps and desserts though. 

Post # 37
Member
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

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the1runningwife :  what is your reason for doing this? …it sounds like you are trying to save money (which is fine) as you have already mentioned getting a bargain price on dress and getting venue at half price. Are you trying to avoid paying the venue’s catering costs by bringing in food? How would this look in terms of what food, who would bring it etc? I would also check with the venue, they probably mean cake/cupcakes or snacks not a full meal.  If you are set on doing this, as the others have said, I would move the time either much earlier or much later and do ‘dessert and champagne’ style and be 100% transparent with guests.

Post # 38
Member
7811 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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the1runningwife :  I’ve attended weddings with a strolling dinner but they featured hours of different food stations, a variety of passed apps, an abundance of choices.

Echoing PPs, cold appetizers and desserts can work if you have enough and choose a time other than dinner–8pm would be better, or mid-afternoon. In my experience it costs more to feed people a quantity of appetizers sufficient to comprise a mean than it does to just serve a meal. 

Post # 39
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

 I would suggest a later ceremony if you do this, like 8 or 9pm. If I went to a 6 o’clock wedding I would expect to be served dinner. I normally eat dinner between 7 and 9pm so I would be starving. That + a full bar leads to overly drunk people. Not worth it IMO.

Post # 40
Member
1264 posts
Bumble bee

So I recently went to a wedding like this. I was beyond annoyed. Firstly, it was the first cocktail style reception I’ve ever attended. I hated it. I don’t want to stand in heels. I don’t want to juggle my purse and plate. I don’t want to chase after my food. I don’t want to be forced to choose between getting ready all fancy and eating a meal before your wedding.

I want a full meal at dinner time with a place for my butt to sit. 

Thats just my preference. Evidently, some people like cocktail receptions. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Post # 41
Member
9101 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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dobby98 :  “Evidently, some people like cocktail receptions.” — You will notice that almost universally, people who like cocktail-style weddings fall into 2 camps: A) Had a cocktail-style wedding, B) Considering a cocktail-style wedding. Very rare for anyone else to say “yeah, loved it.”

Post # 42
Member
1264 posts
Bumble bee

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Daisy_Mae :  hmmm that’s true now that you mention it! 

Post # 43
Member
3154 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2021

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the1runningwife :  does your venue offer catering services or preferred vendors for catering service?

If so, I think you will probably be better off having a meal or food stations / hot passed appetizers. 

If not, what kind of venue is it? It seems very strange not to allow hot food in an event space. 

If you absolutely *must* do cold appetizers only, I would also sure that you are very clear in the invitation that you will be serving snacks and dessert only, no meal.

I would also caution you to consider the logistics involved. 

If you are bringing all the food yourselves, where and when are you setting it up? Are you going to put out different foods at different times to ensure there is always something out? Is there somewhere at the venue where food can be stored before it is set out? Who will be keeping the tables tidy? Clearing dishes? Replacing dinnerware and napkins? 

Post # 44
Member
2680 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’m curious as to what cold appetizers entail for you op. All I can think of is chips and dip, deli plates, veggie trays and fruit trays. 

Post # 45
Member
6168 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

Please, no. Cut down the guestlist if you can’t afford to provide a hot meal for everyone. 

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