Cocktail hour question

posted 7 months ago in Food
Post # 2
Member
7914 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

missmollybee :  I vote you need nibbles. Lots of people eat a light lunch or forget to eat altogether while they’re getting ready for the wedding so they will be emptier than an average day by the time dinner rolls around. Some cheese and crackers is plenty though! 

Post # 3
Member
6620 posts
Bee Keeper

I replied on your last one. Definitely check if you can bring in some snacks. While it’s unlikely anyone will get “sloshed” during cocktail hour, you likely aren’t serving food the minute people sit down for the reception, so they’ll be drinking on an empty tummy for longer than an hour.

Post # 4
Member
1018 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I’d try to get approval to bring in some food. I also don’t drink, so having something to do would be nice.

Post # 5
Member
6659 posts
Bee Keeper

You have to serve food–I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post on this topic that was split, they are always pretty unanimous that if you are serving alcohol you must serve some sort of food as well. 

Post # 6
Member
2080 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I also vote for food. Venues are usually pretty strict about bringing in outside food, as you said, unless it’s something that they don’t make on site (like your cake). It wouldn’t hurt to ask their pricing for simple cheese and cracker trays. It might be within your budget.

Post # 8
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

missmollybee :  You still have to have food for cocktail hour.  Some people may be lightweights and having no food with alcohol will get them drunk faster.  

Post # 9
Member
176 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

The venue food is super expensive so it’s a no for us to go through them

Sorry to say this, but then you should have picked a venue / guest list size you can afford. You need to properly host your guests, end of story. If you can afford to host cocktail hour, you can afford to host food with it as well. Or simply don’t host alcohol during this time if there will be no food.

FYI we had a hosted cocktail hour WITH food, but one guest still managed to get SOOOO sloshed she passed out in her cake by the end of the night. You need to serve food with alcohol or you may end up with a disaster.  

Post # 10
Member
4496 posts
Honey bee

Definitely yes to food.  I have seen people get sloshed during cocktail hours without food.  It is not pretty.

As long as you are getting the food from a licensed kitchen, I would bet they may relax their outside food rule.  While in some cases it may be about not wanting to lose the revenue if it is a service they can provide, often it is more about liability in case anyone gets sick.  So ordering cheese, veggie, and fruit platters from a grocery store deli will be more likely to get the go-ahead than asking Aunt Sally to cut up fruit in the venue kitchen for you.

Post # 12
Member
1116 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

missmollybee :  it’s more than 1 hour and 15 minutes without food. It’s from about 30 minutes before your ceremony to 15 minutes into the reception. And I, as a guest, usually eat a little less before a wedding/special event because I know yummies are coming. So yeah, I would be a bit confused and hungry if there’s no food at the cocktail hour. Just some cheese and crackers, fruit, will do! I would absolutely ask for permission to bring in some food.

Post # 13
Member
1148 posts
Bumble bee

Since you’re meeting with the venue today, just ask if there’s an option for you to bring in food. If it’s a no, you still need some nibbles. I’d ask what it would cost for your catering company/the venue to do some cheese/meat/fruit trays with crackers. 

Post # 14
Member
2080 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

“If not, what do you guys think about doing drink tickets to limit consumption?”

I really think you should go the route of providing food, rather than limiting alcohol. There is a world of difference between a no-food cocktail hour with a monitored and limited drinking program and an open bar with appetizers. To be very frank, the former is gracious and celebratory while the latter feels stingy and depressing. I would cut something else from the budget to make this work.

Post # 15
Member
2420 posts
Buzzing bee

Drink tickets for cocktail hour seems kind of odd, to me.  I wouldn’t try to limit consumption that way.  (Plus, it might give the impression to guests that they get, say, 2 drinks free and have to pay for the rest.)

If you’ve already specified cocktail hour will occur on the invitations, I think you need to provide some sort of nibbles or food.  People will be expecting it.  Depending on timing, people may arrive at the wedding and not have eaten for a few hours by the time they get there.  You could certainly ask your venue what the most budget-friendly option would be for some cocktail hour snacks (cheese/crackers, veggie trays, etc?)

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