(Closed) Can you serve just horderves at the reception?

posted 8 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think it works in instances when 

a) your reception and wedding are at a certain time of day, say 1 pm to 5 pm. 

and/or 

b) you make sure to make a note of it on your invitation. 

R’s aunt and uncle did an hors d’oeuvres only wedding, but forgot to mention that. It really upset people, and it basically ruined their wedding. 

I would say if you are going that route, make sure to have heavy appetizers that please a wide range of people. 

Post # 4
Member
1526 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I have been to plenty of weddings and heard of plenty of people doing this. I would love to do something like this but my Future Mother-In-Law kind of wants us to have a sit down dinner and since she is shelling out the dough for the reception we agreed. Like I said I love the idea, to me its a better mingling environment and you have a more one on one time with your guests.

Post # 5
Member
1940 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

We looked into having a cocktail reception with passed and plated hors d’oeuvres but ultimately found that it was more expensive than a traditional sit-down dinner.  Due to cost considerations we decided to go with the sit-down dinner instead.  I thought a cocktail reception sounded fun though!

 

Edit: The cost is more because it is labor intensive and because people will typically eat as much food as they would for a meal (we were told an estimate I believe of 15 – 20 servings per person for a 5 hour reception – and a serving isn’t one piece – ex. if there were meatballs, 1 serving would be about 3 meatballs).  My numbers might be slightly off, but hopefully you can get the idea.

Post # 6
Member
577 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

you definitely can, but make sure you have enough seating for everyone.  I was at a wedding with “heavy hors” that were delicious – but there were only enough seats for like 1/4 of the guests.  Of course the elderly and bridal party got those, and everyone else was standing for 3 hours.  My feet hurt and I had to try eating while balancing my drink (luckily Fiance held was there to hold my clutch and coat) – it sucked.

Post # 7
Member
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Absolutely most weddings I’ve been to had an horderve reception served buffet style. If you’re DIYing it then it’s usually less, if you’re having a caterer do it- it’s usually more. For the venue we want an horderve reception is $25 a person. That’s compared to a 2entree salad, 2 side, tea, water, coffee reception at $19.50 per person. I was completely shocked when I read that it was more, and to be quite honest I have no idea why it’s more.

Post # 8
Member
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

It is perfectly acceptable to do this. However, the other posters are correct. A lot of times, but not always, it just depends on what you are serving, it can cost more than a seated dinner. The reason for this is because there is more prep time needed.

Post # 9
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2010

I had an hor devour reception. As long as you let people know it should be fine.

Post # 10
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’ve been to a nighttime wedding that had only hors d’oeuvres, actually! And it was totally fine! There weren’t tables and chairs for all of the guests (but there were benches in the area).  I agree with what some of the previous posters have said–having people pass hors d’oeuvres around the whole time can get pretty pricey, but if you just had various “stations” out that might be more cost-efficient.  That is what my friends did and I believe that it came out to only about $12 per person and was filling enough to pass as a meal.

I think, though, that when a friend is having a hors d’oeuvres only reception (or anything other than a meal), I like to have it mentioned on the invitation i.e. “hors d’oeuvres to follow”–just so I know to snack a little bit ahead of time!

Post # 11
Member
5762 posts
Bee Keeper

My daughter is having one too. Ours will be $70./person,so definitely not cheaper! I addition, we are also having a pasta station,turkey & roast pork station, and a mashed potato bar as well as a dessert bar with cake & assorted goodies. I can’t imagine anyone going hungry with all the food we’ve chosen.

Post # 12
Member
1956 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Tannery Pond at the Darrow School

I think having a passed apps menu sounds awesome, since that’s always my favorite part of the food at weddings anyways! I have heard it can actually be just as expensive, if not more, than a seated dinner but if cost isn’t why you’re considering it, then go for it!

Also, I think it’s fine to do it at night too, not just during the day!

Post # 13
Member
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

Yeah, I think I’m biased about time of day because the appetizers that get passed around are so rarely vegetarian! It’d be fine at night if you had heavy hors d’oeuvres for everyone… just, if you do have vegetarians, maybe give them a heads up as to what they can eat? Mushroom caps, etc, are sometimes made with meat, so I usually just pass appetizers as a rule at weddings. *Sadface*

Post # 14
Member
1982 posts
Buzzing bee

Heavy hors d’oeuvres reception right here! However, we’re having a TON of stuff… not so sure it’s less expensive or anything. We’re having: oysters, shrimp, scallops, cheese display, fruit display, veggie display, several dips, bruschetta, sliders, skewered teriyaki beef… gosh i don’t even know if that’s all the food.

So yeah, those kinds of things get expensive fast. Just keep that in mind.

Post # 15
Member
1105 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Absolutely it is fine to have hors d’oeuvres instead of a sit down dinner.  We did this for our reception after our 6:30 pm ceremony and everyone loved it.  We had meatballs, chips, salsa and cheese dip, fruit, veggies, pinwheels etc.  And a couple upcoming weddings that we are going to are doing the same thing!

Post # 16
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2010

we’re doing this! we’re working with a couple different people on it though – both my fiance know through his job, and one who is trying to build her resume/portfolio. so it’d definitely going to cost less than a full dinner and be less stress since we can’t afford a caterer and would be cobbling together stuff. it’s going to be all-vegetarian, with a bunch being vegan.

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