(Closed) hors d’oeuvres only- no dinner?

posted 10 years ago in Food
Post # 3
120 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

if it’s an evening wedding, serve dinner.

Post # 4
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

Lots of bees have done this.. it’s becoming pretty popular these days!  The two things you need to keep in mind are: 1. Even though you won’t have assigned tables, still make sure there is enough seating for people to sit down and take a load off.  2.  Plan your reception so it doesn’t fall during a normal meal time.  If you have a 6pm reception people will expect dinner.  So aim for either like 3pm, or 8pm.  That way people won’t be surprised by not being fed a full meal.

Post # 5
3219 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I agree with

View original reply
@Moose1209: it’s fine to do as long as you have it after or before dinner time.

Post # 6
2588 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

It’s totally acceptable to do this, if you mention on the invitation that there will be hors d’oeuvres. We’re starting at 6:30, with the reception beginning around 7. Just ask your caterer how many pieces they’d recommend per person.

You can still do table assignments as well, if you want to. We are, because I’ve been to too many weddings without them where it was just chaos.

Post # 7
2201 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We’re doing an 8pm cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception in 2 weeks. Same as Moose1209 said – if you have it over a dinner hour, people will expect dinner. If you don’t, and make it SUPER clear in the invite, on your website, etc., then people won’t.

Our invites stated: Join us for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dancing (I think)

As for if they had enough food, I’ll let you know! They should, we ordered enough for 200 people and only have 140 coming.

Post # 8
6571 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

I usually like the hors d’oeuves better than the served meal anyway, so I try to fill up on them. I would just make sure people know. My parents once went to a wedding where their friend didn’t eat any hors d’oeuves b/c they were waiting for dinner, and it never came. So the person went hungry.

Post # 9
2738 posts
Sugar bee

View original reply
@bakerysensei: Says who? If you don’t want to serve dinner, don’t serve dinner. Just make sure that in your invitation you make mention of it, i.e., ‘Join us for our ceremony blah blah blah, heavy hors d’ouvres reception to follow at blah blah blah’ People do it all the time Cool

Post # 10
3575 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We are completely doing this and our caterer calls is Mini-Entree stations. All of the food served will not require a knife, hence sitting down.  And on our invites, we called it a Strolling Reception.  Yes, we’ll have seats but guests can sit where they want. 

Post # 11
683 posts
Busy bee

I think its a good idea, as long as you follow the guidelines above. The other option is to think outside the box with dinner- as sometimes apps are just as expensive as something more casual or more ethnic when you calculate cost pp.

Cost -effective Dinner options could be Mexican, BBQ, Thai, Medditeranean etc. to give you a few ideas.

A good quote I’ve seen concerning this: “Do only what you can afford to do- just do it well.”

Post # 13
504 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We are serving hors d’ oeuvres instead of dinner, mainly because I prefer mingling and snacking to a sit-down dinner.  It is a little more cost effective for us, which does help, but not enough to consider it a cheaper option.  We are making sure to serve a variety that when put together will equal a dinner.  Guests can choose to put everything on their plate at once and sit down with it and have their own “sit-down dinner”, lol.  I just don’t want the fancy, everybody sits down, takes an hour dinner.  I want the fun to be going on while people are eating.  This also gives them the option of picking something up to eat whenever they want, like if they get hungry later in the reception.

Post # 14
77 posts
Worker bee

I’m kick-starting this thread again to find out how the various weddings went (because we want to do this as well).  I don’t understand why so many people seem to have an issue with just eating hors d’oeuvres rather than a full meal as long as you get enough food?  Wouldn’t you RATHER nibble on ten or twelve little potentially delicious things (especially something you may have never had a chance to try before) than eat one or two big “meh” things? (that everyone has had a zillion times before?) 

Chickenfishsteakchickenfishsteakchickenfishsteakchickenfishsteak…… BORING!!!!

Post # 15
7298 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

We are doing this, but we are having an afternoon reception. Everything will be over by 5pm so it’s okay to not serve dinner. If you are having your reception during a meal time, then it’s best to serve dinner. These type of receptions are only good for afternoon or late late night, such as anytime after7pm.

Post # 16
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

We are having a cocktail reception.  We have been to a bunch of weddings over the last few years that have such over the top cocktail hours that by the time dinner was served no one really touched it.  We are having passed apps, a sushi bar, crudite station, fruit and international cheese station, pasta bar, carving stations and hot food stations followed but cake and dessert stations.  We are having it at 6pm but I really doubt anyone will really miss a served meal since there will be so many options.  We have been debating about the whole assigned tables thing.  We decided to have a bunch of regular table along with high top bar tables and a lounge seating area. We are stating “Cocktail Reception to follow” on the invitations since the ceremony and reception will take place in the same venue. 

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