Post # 1
I just started thinking about hosting a cocktail reception in the afternoon after our ceremony. There are beautiful historic mansions for rent in our area and I think it would be a very fun event if done right! I keep picturing a piano playing the in big ballroom with tables & chairs with other comfotable chairs around the other rooms, and one room deticated to the kids who will be attending (games, etc) I think i’ve watched too many movies with dinner parties 😉
I am also set on having a candy/dessert bar, which we could potentially still do here.
We will definitely have PLENTY of food- I’m thinking various stations around the ballroom, and TONS of desserts/pastries
First of all, the ceremony is what is important to us. We want the emphasis to be on that, rather than a giant all night party after. We would like a lunchtime (1-4 or so) reception anyway, as we are not night people.
Here are a few things that may present an issue:
My FH’s family is all from around the area, but all of my family will be traveling at least 4-5 hours for the wedding and staying the night- is it rude not to feed them a sit down meal? (My dad is a big entertainer so I was thinking maybe he could host a buffet or dinner at the hotel they will all be staying at later in the evening? is this a crazy idea?)
Cost. With various stations and probably 2 bars, will it actually be any cheaper? We’re not doing this to cut cost, but would probably reconsider if it’s going to be a lot more than a sit down lunch reception.
Are caterers willing to provide this type of service? I haven’t really heard of/seen anything like this before so I’m not sure about it.
Thanks for your input, and let me know if i’m missing anything important!
Post # 3
Cocktail receptions are not uncommon these days. However, when I did my research for my wedding with caterers in our area it would have cost us more to do a cocktail reception as opposed to a dinner. Believe it or not those bite size foods add up 🙂 On average the ratio of food per person is as follows:
Outside of mealtime hours:
Hors d’ouevres: 5 – 6 choices and cater approx 1 or 2 of each piece per person
During mealtime hours:
Hors d’ouevres: 8 – 10 choices and cater approx 2 or 3 of each piece per person.
Also, since your family members will be travelling 4 -5 hrs. I think it would be nice to host a buffet style meal for them possibly at your parents home after or the hotel.
Hope this helps 🙂
Post # 4
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
Honestly– the cost can be as much as you want to spend, and it’s not a guarantee to be cheaper.
I actually like the idea of NOT doing a big sit down dinner, as that many people don’t end up liking wedding food in general; so this saves them for what almost always turns into a mediocre meal since people have such varried tastes.
Post # 5
Yes, caterers (at least in my area) are familiar with this type of set-up. I would however check with them to see how often they’ve done these types of things because I know that some of the caterers (including mine) have a lot of great ideas and options to choose from whereas some caterers sort of “wing it” and their ideas are not very interesting/unique and they may not know how many units/pieces to make for your guest list size. We’re very concerned about how the food looks too and I’ve seen ugly tapas displays and I’ve seen cute/whimsical/unique ones. I’ve seen this listed in a few different ways (e.g. club plates, cocktail party, tapas party/dinner, amuse bouche-style dinner). I highly doubt it will be cheaper food-wise but you may be able to cut down on the number of servers, especially if you have a lot of self-service stations. The tricky thing about these is estimating how much food you will need, which is the case with buffets as well. With plated, you know exactly how much food is needed whereas with buffet/station style, your caterer will have to budget in extra food “just in case”.