Post # 17
The last wedding I attended was a 3pm-6pm reception with heavy apps. I think it was fine because there was such a large selection…they had gumbo, coconut shrimp, cheese and fruit trays, a meat carving station, crackers & spinach/artichoke dip, spring rolls, fried catfish, crab cakes…etc…it really felt like dinner almost. I think if you have a large selection with enough for everyone it will be fine, but I’d probably have been disappointed if a heavy apps reception started at dinner time. Your guests have to get ready, drive to the wedding and sit through the ceremony before hand so by the time they get to the reception they will be hungry even if they eat a little before.
Post # 18
We are doing this too – it is more cost effective, and we wanted a more casual type reception – especially since it’s New Years Eve. Our ceremony starts at 7:30 pm.
Post # 19
We are doing this too, however, we are actually going to be spending MORE money than a typical sit down dinner. Not sure if this is because we are doing horsdoeuvres and stations or what. This is totally acceptable and I agree it makes things a little less stuffy than having to sit at a table for an hour with people that you may or may not know.
Post # 20
Ours is costing more than a sit down dinner too. So many stations and making all those little passed apps tend to up the costs. I think it really also depends on the venue and how many items you are offering.
Post # 21
In our area this is really common. I actually love hors d’oeuvres and could easily fill up on those and skip dinner. When I’ve had to put together huge events for work, shrimp usually goes first. People love meatballs, artichoke dip, crab cakes, filled pastry bundles. Fruit goes quickly too, and so do gourmet sliders & gourmet mashed potato stations.
My biggest advice is to have plenty of seating so people don’t set down roots and never mingle for fear of losing their chair.