(Closed) Do I need to serve dinner?

posted 10 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I don’t think it’s rude at all.  Probably good to let people know somehow, but the "heavy appetizer" receptions I’ve been to have been pretty substantial so it’s not like I wanted dinner afterward.

Maybe just write "Please join us for a cocktail and appetizer reception afterward." on the invite.

i suppose it could be a regional issue, but I say do what you want.  And it sounds like such a creative idea!

Post # 4
Member
778 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

You only need to serve something.  It is perfectly fine to serve cocktails.   I will say this though, please be sure the company you are using is very professional, and that they have the proper equipment or facilities at the location where the reception is being held.  The coctails should be plentiful and hot, and diverse. 

My sister had a cocktail reception, the food was tasty but by the time I got it it was usually cold and most of the dishes i never saw.  I will say this though, I was very busy greeting guests and making everyone feel welcome so I was not always aware of the food when it was around me.  Others who were drinking and hanging around were very happy with the food.  After about 1-1/2 hours of passed hors d’ouevres they set up a simple buffet with salads and quiches and lighter foods and that helped a lot!

Either way, good luck and have fun.  It’s your wedding you should do what you want.

Post # 5
Member
813 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I think hors’d can be fine, but you will definitely need to let your guests know ahead of time. If your ceremony is at 4 pm, it sounds like your reception would be RIGHT around dinner time, so if you don’t say anything, people will assume you are having dinner.

Also, if it is a financial reason (and I’m not saying it is), just double check on prices, because sometimes a heavy hors’d hour can really add up, and entrees can often be cheaper. 

Post # 6
Member
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

We’re doing this for our wedding.  Just be sure to state it on the invite…ours said "cocktail and hors d’oeurves reception to immediately follow".

Post # 7
Member
123 posts
Blushing bee

I agree with what was already said, maybe you should consider earlier or later ceremony and reception if possible, otherwise emphasize that it is hors d’oeuvres only, no dinner. One more thing to consider, in my opinion, is how many out of town guests you are having. If it’s mostly locals I guess it’s more acceptable, but if I was flying over to a wedding and wasn’t even served dinner, I would consider that kind of rude.

Post # 8
Member
148 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

My SIL did her wedding recerption the same way. It turned out great. I think a lot of people love appetizers just as much as (if not more than) a plated dinner.

Post # 9
Member
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

I think your idea sounds great. You certainly do not need to serve a plated sit down dinner but you do need to serve enough food so that people will not be hungry. As long as there are a sufficient number of appetizers to get everyone as full as they would be from dinner I think it sounds lovely.

Post # 11
Member
2640 posts
Sugar bee

It soundsl ike your reception time will likely be during prime dinner hours.  That’s not the best timing for an appetizer reception.  You need to really make sure there is plenty, plenty of food.  Your guests need to be able to eat enough as if a meal.  It would be a little embarassing if all the appetizers were gone.  (What’s the culture where you aren’t supposed to eat everything on your plate, becuase it tells the host, you didn’t feed me enough??)  Well it’s kind of like that.  I would be mortified if I misjudged that and the guests were hungry.

Post # 12
Member
676 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I love your colors! That’s such a great combo!

I think the suggestion of a lighter buffet with salads/quiche etc is a great idea, in case people are still hungry they have the option of something a bit heavier. Passed apps are great though, it will give all your guests time to mingle and socialize and personally I love appetizers! Lots of little bites of different things. Yummy!

Post # 13
Member
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2008

Another option would be food stations – like a pasta bar, sushi bar, stirfry bar, etc. That way if people want a more substantial meal they can get it. The concern is always, as previously stated, that people will be hungry, and if the reception goes into the evening and people are drinking you want to make sure their bellys are full!

Post # 14
Member
248 posts
Helper bee

Keep in mind the cost, as others have said. Food stations at our venue are WAY more expensive than a plated dinner. But that may not be the case everywhere. Also, if you go with stations, I would still make sure there is plenty of seating. A friend of mind attended a food sation reception that had very little seating to encourage guests to mingle with their small plates. The result was that people got tired of standing and left early.

Post # 15
Member
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

My mother recently had a heavy hors’d reception and there was still so much food, I’m not sure people didn’t just mistake it for a dinner buffet. I plan to do the same thing, but my ceremony time isn’t until 7 pm so I’m kind of assuming people will grab a light dinner beforehand (and I’m definitely still going to mention that only hors’d will be served). I will say I think the food is mostly for the guests…it seems many brides hardly get a chance to eat!

I would go for it, considering it’s your preference and the fact that chances are no one will notice! Plus, it’s cheaper 🙂 

Post # 16
Member
5271 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

You will be fine, with 7 passed appetizers and your fruit/meat/cheese stations everyone will have enough food and there will be variety, which everyone loves! It sounds like you are having sort of a "tapas" style reception, which is very modern & lots of fun!

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