(Closed) Cake & Hors d’oeuvres only–is it okay?

posted 8 years ago in Food
Post # 3
1103 posts
Bumble bee

Personally for a (presumably local) wedding at 6.30pm, there is no way I would eat dinner beforehand. I normally eat at 8pm or later. I finish work at 5 (I’d probably try to finish at 4 for a wedding). I’m not sure I’d have time to get home, have a proper meal, get ready, and drive to your ceremony for a 6.30 start. Have you considered other options, like say a 7pm or 7.30pm ceremony followed by dessert and champagne? I don’t think you need to serve a full meal for a wedding reception at all, but to me 6.30-11pm is a long and awkward time to not have one. Then again, I love food and eat a lot 🙂

Post # 4
1254 posts
Bumble bee

6:30pm-8:30pm is regular dinner time for me, so your schedule actually cuts into my meal time. I noticed too that the wedding is on a Friday. If people are getting off from work and driving during rush hour to make it to your wedding, they might not have time to stop and get a meal, and make it to your ceremony on time.

If you make it known well in advance that full meals willl not be served, your guests might be able to plan ahead. If not, maybe moving your ceremony even later or doing something in between lunch and dinner.

Post # 5
401 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011


what about more filling finger food? like spring rolls etc? I feel like the guests may be a little disappointed and to be honest if I was going to a wedding at that time I would not eat before because I would expect food to be there. Alsoo what does the invitation say on it? did u mention coctail reception?

Post # 6
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Sorry but veggie sticks, cheese and crackers, and mini sandwiches isn’t really enough. 6:30pm-11:00pm is not a late nor short ceremony/reception. That’s an entire friday evening after work, essentially. My whole wedding was 6:00-11:00 and you really need to serve heavier food or move it to 8:00. 6:30pm is prime dinner time. Even if you say “cocktail reception” for a 6:30pm wedding, I’ve been to enough cocktail hours to presume there will be things like samosas and toasted raviolis and other filling appetizers.

Post # 7
499 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I think the idea of appetizers and cake at a reception is absolutely fine. So there’s nothing wrong with that. But like other people, I think 6:30 on a Friday night is too early to start if you’re not serving dinner. Can you knock it back to 8 PM?

Post # 8
2083 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think if you are going to go that route then you definitely need to add more to the meal. If your ceremony starts at 6:30 on a Friday though there may not be as much time as you are thinking for people to eat dinner beforehand (most people get off of work at 5PM and may be going straight to your ceremony). If it was a Saturday, then yeah it could work but since it is a Friday I wouldn’t assume that.

On the bright side though my in laws went to a hors d’oeuvres only wedding thinking how annoying it was because it was around dinner time and they would be really hungry but it all ended up working out well. The couple provided a variety of foods that were refilled a few times through out the night and my in laws had a great time.

Post # 9
246 posts
Helper bee

I did cake and Hors’ Douervers for my reception and no on complained.  In fact, I got lots of great compliments.  However, knowing I wanted to do this, I specifically planned my wedding for 1 pm on a saturday afternoon.  Guests had plenty of time to eat lunch before they came and would leave before dinner.  I also specifically noted it on the reception wording of my invitation so they would know what to expect.  I forget how I worded it, I think it said something like cake and hors’ douervers.  Also, I tried to offer a more substantial selection.  I went to Wegman’s Catering Desk and ordered:

  1. Veggies and Dip
  2. Cheese Tray
  3. Fruit Tray
  4. Mexican Dip with Chips
  5. Sushi
  6. Steamed Shrimp
  7. Mini Pita Sandwhiches
  8. Pinwheels

I think that the above cost me about $10/head.

Post # 10
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree. The timing gives people NO time to get home, eat, get ready and make it to your wedding. If I had to be someplace by 6.30 on Friday I’d be expecting more than some veggies, cheese and sandwiches.

We’re having an hors d’oeuvres reception as well but it’s at 2.00 on a Sunday, so it’s late enough that people have eaten lunch but also not conflicting with dinner-time. Also we’re having 6-7 options so there should be more than enough food. So I think that your idea works, just not your timing.

Post # 11
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

I have to agree with PPs.  There’s nothing wrong with an appetizer/cake reception, but you’re having it at the wrong time, especially for a Friday, and not providing enough food.  8-11pm would probably be a more appropriate time frame since cocktail receptions are typically shorter since there’s no sit-down dinner taking up the bulk of the time.  Even for a shorter reception, you’ll probably still want another option or two for food.

Post # 13
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

What if you did just desserts (cake, assorted desserts, maybe an ice cream or candy bar) instead of the hors dourves and wrote “dessert reception to follow” on your invites? Because honestly I would be expecting a little more if it said cocktail reception because of the time and probably not eat that much beforehand. But dessert reception makes it obvious you need to eat your dinner first. Plus no one would really expect alcohol because i dont think most people drink and eat sweets together.

Post # 15
1079 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’ve gone to a fair number of recptions with only hors d’oeuvres – I just eat a lot of them and treat it like dinner. So, if there’s enough of everything I think this is fine. I would consider adding one more item, like a pasta dish, which can still be eaten on small plates.

Post # 16
690 posts
Busy bee

Even pushing it back to 7:30 would help the situation I think (you could make it go to 11:30 or 12 if you were worried about it being too short).  Desserts would definitely be nice, so you should talk to your venue about that.  It probably wouldn’t be too expensive either – in my experience people don’t eat TOO many desserts (unless they skipped dinner and came starving).

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