Post # 1
Our ceremony is starting at 7:30pm, which means our reception will start around 8:00pm.
Should we serve a plated dinner or heavy appetizers?
We’re having 150 guests, so if you think appetizers – how many do you feel is an appropriate amount to provide variety?
Post # 3
Dinner; that’s the timeframe you’d be having either your wedding or reception. People would be starving otherwise.
Post # 4
@amandaohh: My ceremony starts at the same time and we’re having a plated dinner. It’s going to run late (8:00 pm cocktail, 9:00pm is reception start time) but in our circles, late dinners are par for the course.
Have you attended other evening weddings? From personal experience, either option is fine as long as no one is expecting dinner and eats their last meal before they leave for your event.
What were you leaning towards?
Post # 5
@MrsLongcoatPeacoat: I completely agree.
OP: If you do go with appetizers, it needs to be enough that it fills guests the same as a meal or indicate on the invitations that it will be appetizers so they can eat an early dinner.
Post # 6
I think either way would be appropriate, but I would be sure to indicate that it is a “cocktail reception” if you choose to go the heavy hors d’oeuvres route.
Personally, I really love heavy hors d’oeuvres (you could always serve enough that each person gets a full meal portion) because I think there are a lot more creative things you can do, and you tend to give more variety this way. I also just think the “cocktail party” vibe is fun for late evening weddings.
Post # 7
If the reception started at 8pm, as a guest I would not expect a full meal. I’d grab a light meal before the 7:30pm ceremony and snack all night.
Post # 8
I think your timing is late enough that you could get away with a heavy hors d’ouevres menu, so either could work. If you decide to do the hors d’ouevres though, you need to indicate it on the invitation so people know to eat ahead of time, and definitely make sure you’ve got lots of apps passed around!
Post # 9
Thanks so much for all of your advice! We are completely torn on a plated dinner or appetizers. We’re having a lot of out of town guests, so I assumed most would eat before.
I want to get the best deal possible. Our caterer has great deals on plated meals, approximately $14/plate. The appetizers, however, are $4.95/person and up.
So, another question would be: What looks nicer/more filling: plated dinner, or 3 heavy appetizers
I’m worried that although the appetizers will be filling, there may not be enough variety or appear to not be enough food…
(i worry a lot, by the way)
Post # 10
I would go with the plated meal, with the pricing options you have. I think it will end up costing more per person to have enough food.
ETA: And I think it would be less stressful, you know people will have enough to eat.
Post # 11
I would do a plated dinner. If you go with the heavy apps, you need to have enough that people can eat a food amount equivalent to a plated meal.
Post # 12
@amandaohh: In that case, I think you should go with the catered meal. I think an apps only reception should really have more than 3 appetizers, even if they are on the more filling side.
Post # 13
Is buffet dinner an option because that will be cheaper, plus I prefer buffet that way i can choose what I want on my plate
Post # 14
@bells: We were actually quoted MORE for a buffet than a plated dinner…go figure! It seems most people on the bee have had the opposite experience, but I assumed it was because they would have to prepare more food at a buffet than a plated meal. I prefer buffet, too, so we spent the extra money.
Post # 15
As a guest I would expect a full meal for an 8pm reception. That’s prime dinner time for me and most people I know.
I think with the pricing you have you should definitely do the plated meal considering how inexpensive it is. Plus 3 appetizers is not really “heavy” or filling enough for that time frame. That’s more of cocktail hour appropriate.
Post # 16
I think a late dinner is perfecty acceptable and I would prefer that for an evening wedding.