Post # 1
I am a first time wedding planner, (Northern daughter finds southern gentleman) and I am nervous and confused. First, do southern weddings/receptions only last 4 hours? It’s a challenge to find a venue for an entire evening. Right now she is looking at a venue that is available only from 2:00 – 6:00 and they want to have their ceremony begin at 2:00. The reception would immediately follow. The happy couple is leaning towards serving hors d’oeurves, but I am apprehensive that our 150 guests will leave hungry. I have never been to a wedding that didn’t consist of either a sit down or buffet style dinner.
The tentative menu includes:
Cucumber and tomato sandwiches, Asperagus sandwiches, Fruit tray, Vegetable tray, Cheese and Cracker tray, green beans, meatballs, ham on rolls, chicken strips, banana bread with appricot filling, and cupcakes instead of wedding cake.
The stations will be continuously refilled for 1.5 hours. Do you think this is an appropriate amount of food? The catarer insists that there will be plenty of food and no one has ever left hungry.
Does the menu has enough variety? Is $21 a plate reasonable for the menu? Is it customary to have a groom’s cake?
Majority of the guests will be Out of Town guests as the wedding will be held in TN (military) and our guests will be coming from LA, WI, and MT. I am very nervous as this is my baby’s wedding and so many people will be traveling a very long distance, and I don’t want anyone to be disappointed, especially my daughter and her Fianc’e.
Any input would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2013 - The Down Town Club, Philadelphia
I think if they are only going to serve apperizers than 4 hours is a fine amount of time. I recently went to a wedding like this, and I thought we would leave hungry, but we were actually stuffed at the end!
$21 a person sounds totally reasonable to me. Will there be a bar?
Also, since your time frame is (technically) between meals, I think it’s ok not to serve a full dinner.
Post # 4
Well, I did a similar type of reception (late afternoon wedding) and I thought we had ordered plenty of food. But when my ceremony was over and I caught sight of the food being passed, I freaked out.
The pieces were so TINY. I wish I would have asked at the tasting how big, say the bruschetta was going to be because they were like one-inch squares. Lol
Also, I never saw the cheese and crackers platter after it was brought out.
Nobody was rude enough to complain but it bothers me to this day. Just ask about the actual size of food and err on the side of caution.
But it sounds like the time of day is good-you should be fine as far as that goes. And you seem to have a nice selection:)
Post # 5
I think its fine. With the time being between lunch and dinner, people will have a chance to eat lunch before arriving and dinner after leaving. I think the menu sounds yummy and people will have more then enough to eat. If you wanted to add anything I would ask about maybe a pasta salad or potato salad. You mentioned people coming in from out of town, maybe put together a sheet with a few local attractions and restaurants that they could check out if they are hungry later in the evening.
For the grooms cake- they are a tradition in the south, but it varies when you serve it. Some people serve it at the rehearsal dinner, others at the reception. Honestly if you don’t have it at all people wont be offended or think its missing.
Post # 6
@Reeniero: Yes, there will be alcohol. We will be serving beer and a signature drink.
Post # 7
I got married in New Orleans and these types of weddings are very much the norm in Louisiana. I can’t speak for the rest of the South. My wedding ceremony was at 5:30 p.m. and my reception went from 6-9 p.m. We had passed hors’ doeuvres and several stations of food: prime rib, cajun fried turkey shrimp and grits, veggie/cheese table, gumbo, salad, pasta, roast pig and a sushi bar. There was more than enough food. My friends told me that they had never seen so much food at a wedding. We also had an after party at a balcony on Bourbon with some additional food and a bar.
We did have both a wedding cake (white chocolate strawberry shortcake) and a groom’s cake (red velvet).
Honestly, I had never been to a wedding with a sit down dinner until I was an adult. I thought only really wealthy people had them or in movies. I love both styles of weddings, but prefer the more relaxed style of a reception style wedding. It also avoided the need for assigned seats and allowed us more time to mingle with all of our guests. We also cut out the long speeches, which I’ve never been a fan of.
Post # 8
I think that you should ask the caterer in front of the bride what they think. You haven’t done an afternoon wedding before but they probably have and can tell you (and her) what the best answer is.
Post # 9
I think that the food should be okay in terms of the available options, however as a previous poster mentioned, i would just get an idea of size, once the portions are big enough then I think it will be just fine
Post # 10
I think it’s kind of a weird assortment. I’d drop the cucumber and tomato and the asperagus sandwiches and add something else. Unless you have a vegetarian-heavy guest list, I don’t see those being popular. Also, green beans seem a little strange for an hors d’oeurves, reception — not really a finger food.