Post # 1
We are having a cocktail style reception. However there will be a substantial amount of food (appetizers, small plates/tapas, carving station, wood-fired pizzas, cheese & charcuterie, etc.). Guests will not go hungry. My concern is that if we put “cocktail reception to follow”, people will not expect to be fed enough and will eat beforehand, but if we don’t tell them, they’ll be very confused when there are no escort cards or table settings. Any thoughts, especially from people who have dealt with this?
Post # 3
@Groominator: you could write on the card, “Cocktail reception with heavy hors d’ouvres to follow.”
and that’s my favorite kind of wedding reception!
Post # 4
Definitely warn them. You’re better off with too much food over too little.
Post # 5
You should definitely let them know; “Cocktail hour to follow the ceremony, including substantial hors d’oeuvres” or “Catered cocktail hr to follow..”
Post # 6
The way to let guests know that a full meal will not be served is by having the reception at a non meal time. After 7:00 guests will have eaten beforehand, and will not be expecting a full meal.
If you are hosting over a traditional meal time, then you must provide enough to be a meal, even if that is in bite sized pieces, and no need to warn people.
Post # 7
Our reception is at 7pm, and there is definitely enough for a full meal. There will be carving stations with 2 meats, passed small plates (more substantial than appetizers), and flatbread pizzas like you can get in a lot of trendy bars nowadays, plus your standard cocktail fare.
Post # 8
@Groominator: what time is the ceremony and when does that end? is there going to be a gap? hopefully guests don’t go and eat a full meal and not be hungry when they get to your reception. i personally would still expect to be fed at a 7pm reception.
i think “catered cocktail reception” would suffice.
Post # 9
Etiquette Snob here… lol
Having more info on the circumstances would be useful.
But in the meantime…
Traditional Etiquette states you don’t have to explain much to your Guests… “It’s Your Party, you host it as you see fit”
BUT it is fairly acceptable now to put “Adult Reception to Follow” on Invites, and if you are running over a meal hour, and there is no often-seen RSVP Reception Cards people are going to wonder
In which case I think the words… “Catered Cocktail Reception to Follow” would be acceptable
It at least gives the Guests a clue as to what to expect.
“Catered” implies that there will perhaps be passed hors d’ouevres (hot and cold, heavier than lighter)
Hope this helps,
Post # 11
We are stating that light refreshments will be served after the wedding on the invitations so no one is disappointed thinking they would be getting a meal.
Post # 12
Okay, here’s the rundown:
- Ceremony is at 4pm, won’t run past 5, and there’s a 15 min drive between ceremony and reception
- The reception will be in a hotel, and we will host what they call a hospitality (coffee & non-alc beverages) in the lobby between ceremony & reception
- Reception runs 7-11, and since it’s a cocktail reception there’s no “cocktail hour”
Rundown of the food that will be served:
- Butler passed hors d’ouvres
- Cold spread including vegetables, cheese, charcuterie, pasta
- Hot carving station with a selection of 2 meats
- Passed small plates – these are tapas that are more substantial than the hors d’ouvres (like sliders, smaller portions of risotto or pasta, tacos, chicken with noodles, shrimp and grits, etc.)
- Wood oven flatbread pizzas
- Cake, plus passed mini desserts
I don’t want our guests to think they need to eat in between because there will definitely be enough food. (I mean… the pizzas alone would be enough for most people on a normal night out.)
Post # 13
@Groominator: so there is enough food for a meal and the only issue is no table seating? then you dont need to say anything. plenty of weddings dont have escort cards/table numbers. if youre unsure pass it by word of mouth that theres a lot fo food
Post # 14
People are getting a meal, just not a sit-down meal with meat, veggies, and starch on one plate.
Post # 15
@newname_99: Yup, there are plenty of seats. There’s a very large bar with probably 30 barstools, plus lounge seating all over the venue, plus a side room which will have regular 4-top tables.
And thanks for the advice!
Post # 16
@Groominator: I would give them a heads up- I went to a wedding a couple weekends ago that had “hot and heavy hors d’oeurves.” And the bride and the groom and the caterer thought there would be PLENTY of food and no one would go hungry. They had tray-passed and a buffet with food stations… and they ran out of food! I think I only had bread and cheese, chips, and pizzas from the buffet until cake was served and I was STARVING. I guess my main question to you is- what is the down side of letting people know? Also, if you have a wedding website, that would be a good place to explain what food will be available. Good luck!