(Closed) Could I get away with 7pm start time for a cocktail party? 8pm too late?

posted 4 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Should the party start at 7 or 8?
    7pm is fine, don't worry about the meal time issue : (28 votes)
    80 %
    You better wait until 8, since you're not serving dinner : (7 votes)
    20 %
  • Post # 2
    583 posts
    Busy bee

    I would say the 7pm start time, and put “heavy hors d’oeurves” or something to convey that there will be food but not a meal on the invitation. That way people can make their own decisions about if they want to have a snack or meal beforehand.

    Post # 3
    1221 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    A 7pm start time is fine, especially since you’re providing a good amount of food.

    Post # 4
    3847 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    Overjoyed:  I think because you’re having “heavy hors d’oeuves” that’ll count as dinner. How has this been marketed to guests? I think 7pm is a perfect time. 

    Post # 5
    1229 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    Can you move it to 7:30pm?  The whole point of not hosting this during meals times, is so that people can eat dinner beforehand, dress, drive over.  They might not arrive starving, but by 10pm, they’ll be ready to scarf your food down.  It’s preferable to people leaving the party early to get food because they get hungry at 11pm.  

    I’m always wary when people say they have enough appetizers to make a full meal, because guests don’t always treat it like a full meal.  If you have 5 heavy appetizers, people might get tired of eating them before they get full.  Some people eat a lot, and are still hungry after 20 appetizers.  And some people are shy about returning to the dessert table multiple times, or stopping the waiter with passed appetizers too often.  

    Post # 6
    9674 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2019

    I think starting at 8 would be a good idea, just to be on the safe side. Often people have dinner around 7, so if you have it starting at 8 they would have plenty of time to have dinner beforehand.

    Post # 8
    1251 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    I’d say start at 8 so people can eat dinner beforehand. Even if you have a lot of hors d’oeurves, that won’t substitute for a meal.

    If I haven’t eaten a meal yet, then I would be wolfing down all of the hors d’oeurves like a pig and that’s not really how I want to portray myself in front of others. 

    By starting at 8 and allowing people to eat a meal beforehand, your guests will be able to munch on things here and there throughout the night as well as mingle. 

    Post # 9
    3037 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

    If I was invited, I’d want it to be 7pm. As long as I knew there would be appetizers, I would probably just eat a small snack beforehand and hope that the food was ready when or shortly after I arrived. 8 might force me to eat a full meal (depending on when i had lunch) and I wouldn’t be very hungry for appetizers at the event – nor would I have room for them in my calorie budget! It’d also make the evening really late if i didn’t live near the location.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by  amberback.
    Post # 10
    1406 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    Now that you’ve listed the menu, I have a question – do you know of any vegetarian guests?  Because there isn’t much there that doesn’t have meat or fish, so I would definitely push it later so that vegetarians have plenty of time to have dinner beforehand.  If you have no vegetarians coming, feel free to ignore me 🙂

    Post # 11
    5600 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I’m starting a heavy hor duerves cocktail party at 6pm. There will be just as much food for everyone as a plated dinner, just in a different format. As long as it’s enough apps to replace a typical meal people will be full and you can start it earlier. 

    Post # 13
    3037 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

    Overjoyed:  haha just putting it out there. even when i’m not “counting” i still feel really frustrated about wanting to eat double meals and “bad” appetizers, especially late. Maintaining a healthy weight is just a constant battle for me so it’s on my mind in these kind of situations. I know i’d have no trouble filling up on appetizers so I don’t see any point in cooking myself a “real meal” beforehand. 

    Post # 14
    1886 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I would probably base this on the guest list.  I’m in my early 30s and 8 pm is probably an okay start time for friends but family … particularly b/c my family is spread into the suburbs ignoring the meal issues I would go with 7 pm because 8 pm would be late for them for a party start time.  I would just make it clear it isn’t a dinner.  Join us for drinks and dancing!  Appetizers and cocktails!  Whatever it takes to tell them not to show up starving. 

    Post # 15
    7355 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    If you want a long party then start it later or serve dinner. Appetizers just don’t cut it. If you want people to stick around and booze it up, then they need to have a proper meal in their stomachs. 8pm start is fine. There’s really no difference between 1 am and 2 am for going home; it’s a late night either way.

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