Appetizers and Dessert Only Reception

posted 1 year ago in Reception
Post # 46
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I’ve never been to a wedding like this, but at 7pm, I would expect a full meal too, and definitely need some hot options, plus enough appetizers to fill tummies. I think this would work only if you move the ceremony earlier (3-4pm-ish, call it a cocktail reception) or later (8pm-ish, call it a dessert reception). And yes I would want chairs to sit because I don’t want to stand on high heels, and tables too.

Post # 47
846 posts
Busy bee

If there’s enough food to be the equivalent of a meal then I wouldn’t mind. In theory I also don’t mind only cold apps but it would depend on what they all are. But I would 100% want my own seat that I can put my coat and purse on and not worry about where my spot is. I don’t want to stand at a high top, I don’t want to have to shift my stuff from area to area, I don’t want to feel like I have to jump up because grandma is looking around for somewhere to sit. I don’t care how many people I know or how much I like to mingle, I want my own seat.

ETA: I recommend app stations unless you have a lot of wait staff constantly serving. No one wants to be chasing down the 2 waiters with the food trays

Post # 48
2661 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I’d proudly come but I’d be starving (I don’t like to eat before big events – it’s too stressful) and I’d be drinking martinis. You need to have a lot of canapés and leave them on tables or have them constantly rotating. You could have seafood? Smoked salmon, fresh hearty bread, king prawns and so on. Vegetarian bits like roasted artichokes, peppers, hummus and olives. Cold cuts. You really don’t want a venue full of people drunk off their arses and hungry people are like children – they get cranky. Add alcohol…you get the picture.

I attended a wedding where the food was very limited but was supposed to last until the wee hours. We were dead on our feet. Every guest dived into every scrap of food in sight. There wasn’t even water at this one though – no cash bar, no bar at all, just BYOB so guests were leaving to get more booze (miles away through the sticks) as we didn’t realise how badly it was planned and we needed drink to get us through!

Could you have a food van as guests leave? Or parked outside so people could take a food break? My first thoughts upon leaving would be ‘where is the nearest takeaway?’ which no one really wants in their gladrags. All the best with the planning! 

Post # 49
1532 posts
Bumble bee

Cold heavy apps and dessert could work for an early/mid day event but not at dinner time. 

Also, I assume your meal prep will be limited if you are bringing in your own hence no hot foods. Please be mindful that some sushi/ceviche or raw meat items must be maintained at a certain chilled level to be safe to eat. 

Post # 50
9299 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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Daisy_Mae :  
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dobby98 :  so admittedly I had a cocktail reception – but I always wished more people did them that way! I went to one other besides my own and I loved it! I get so bored and feel stuck sitting at the same table for 2 hours waiting until I can go mingle with the other tables without getting in the waitstaff’s way. I don’t understand the needing a spot for my coat thing; every wedding I’ve ever been to has had a coat check area. Who wants to see your coat dangling off the back of your chair in a nicely decorated space anyways? 

Another big consideration I haven’t seen mentioned is VENUE. A cocktail reception in a plain rectangular hotel ballroom sounds incredibly boring. We had ours in a museum so people wanted to walk around and look at the exhibits as well as mingle (it was a smaller museum that most of our guests had never been to before which also helped). It also makes for more interesting conversations starters than “so how do you know the couple?” Botanical gardens, aquariums, art galleries would all be good venues for this particular style of wedding. 

Post # 52
6164 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

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the1runningwife :  warm pasta? Or cold? Will there be a meat side to the pasta available? 

Post # 56
8256 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

That sounds delicious! 

Post # 58
868 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I hate to be critical of what you are trying to do and the restrictions you are working under, but I honestly feel your wedding would be better if you offered your guests a bit meal. Even if it meant changing your venue. What mind if a venue insists that you serve only cold food at a wedding? If you can’t change venue or time, then do your best to provided enough food and seating for everyone, as others have said.

Post # 59
1415 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

The adjustment sounds like a great plan!

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