Post # 1
Okay, I originally thought that having a cocktail hour with hor d’oeuvres was completely unnecessary. First of all I thought, if people fill up on food at the cocktail hour they won’t be hungry for the reception dinner. Secondly, I know that including a cocktail hour will up the food bill, which in my opinion is already high.
Here’s the problem: I am having my wedding ceremony and reception at the same place (Oak Hill Farm). We are planning to leave an hour to an hour and a half between the ceremony and reception for photos. What are people supposed to do during that time? The venue is kind of in the middle of nowhere and it’s not like people can run down the road to McDonalds if they are starving before the ceremony starts. In this case, having a cocktail hour really make sense. I just don’t want to break the bank.
So, how do I have an inexpensive cocktail hour that doesn’t look tacky? I recently went to a wedding that had a cocktail hour and they said that there would be “appetizers” there. However, when we arrived, we found that the appetizers were nothing more than a tray of cheese and crackers. I was thankful that my fiancé and I had made a run to Wendy’s in the 2 ½ hours between the ceremony and reception.
I want my guests to be comfortable but I don’t want to waste money on dinner because everyone is full from the cocktail hour… and go broke in the process. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated…
Green Apple Bride
Post # 3
You could hit up your local grocery store and get some trays from the deli–they’re affordable, but not TOO filling.
Post # 4
Don’t do stations that are super filling like pasta stations although they are cheap if you are worried about people filling up or any that require a chef serving that cost ore like carving stations but rather just have your basic veggies with dip, cheese/crackers and fruit AND passed trays of fancier options.
Post # 5
You have to have a cocktail hour if you’re going to be away taking pictures and the ceremony and reception are at the same venue. An hour and a half is a very long time though — I would definitely make it shorter. The longer people are at the cocktail hour, the more food you have to get and the more likely they’ll fill up. Can’t you take some pictures before or step away from the reception after the meal?
To keep appetizers cheap, I would go with some fruit and vegetable trays. Hand-passed appetizers also keep food costs low because people can’t just help themselves, and it’s less likely they’ll fill up.
Just tell your caterer that you want to keep costs very low for the cocktail hour and see what their suggestions are. Keep in mind that foods that require a lot of prep are always more expensive, so think very simple.
Post # 6
I think its a great idea. You could have a vegatable/cheese buffett. The last wedding I went too, they had cheese/cracker/vegatable buffet. They also had someone walking around with fried ravioli, spinach puffs and something else that I did not try. I would talk to the caterer and see what an inexpensive appatizer would be. I personally want a shrimp/cheese/cracker/vegatable appetizers for mine.
Post # 7
Just about every cocktail hour that I’ve been to only has a few apps that are passed. There are definitely not enough to fill up on and I’m usually starving by the time dinner comes around.
Post # 8
I agree that you must have a cocktail hour. Passed is the way to go to keep the eating to a minimum while still satisfying guests.