(Closed) I need help with my appetizer only wedding reception!! Suggestions are welcome.

posted 5 years ago in Food
Post # 2
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

$50 sounds about right since incorporated into that cost is labor, food, rentals, setup and take down. I’m personally a fan of crab cakes and mini sliders. I also wouldn’t say no to a grilled asparagus or something in puff pastry. 

I’d say if money is a concern you could probably do a sit down meal for even less per person if you look into restaurants with private party rooms. I’m guessing with your timing you could take advantage of a lunch menu deal. Obviously not an option if you’ve already booked a venue, but if you haven’t you might want to look into this. 

Post # 3
1773 posts
Buzzing bee

I think $50 sounds reasonable. My only question is with a 2pm reception is this considered “lunch”? What time is the ceremony? In terms of the food being “enough” that really depends on whether people have eaten prior and/or what their expectation is.

Canapes I love and that are filling are: Aracini balls, quiches, satay sticks, sushi/sashimi, little beef strips on top of mashed potato blob, mini pies, mini sandwiches. 

Omg now I feel hungry!

 The only canapé I don’t like is those warm shots of soup that seem to be cool nowadays. Eww! Who wants to do a warm shot of soup!

Post # 5
3056 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

Remember a 2pm wedding people arrive about 1:30. With a weekday wedding they maybe leaving work and coming, they may skip lunch. I would let people know you aren’t serving a meal. 

Post # 6
199 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve never been to a wedding cocktail reception, but have been to many work events that were cocktail receptions. Some of the appetizers (passed hors d’oeuvres) that were a hit are:

– Sliders (pork or chicken or beef burgers), albeit these are a bit overdone
– Mac and cheese croquettes (essentially fried mac and cheese balls with BBQ sauce)
– Chicken lollipops
– Fried ravioli with marinara dipping sauce
– crab cakes
– polenta fries
– mini tacos
– bite sized empanadas or samosas 

I love appetizers lol


Post # 7
1110 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Favorite apps:

cheese/meat/cracker set up


fried ravioli


fried coconut shrimp


Post # 8
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

The $50 is definitely reasonable – I’d caution against the $16-17 for food only as the server & rentals and set up & take down will not only add up quickly, you might be stressed about coordinating it all on the day-of.

I’d highly recommend doing a grazing station as well as passed apps.  The grazing station could be something classic & simple like crudo, antipasti and charceuterie.  It keeps people happy if there’s a lull in passed apps, makes people circulate the room, and gives the servers & kitchen a better chance of a smooth & quick service.  4-5 for each person plus grazing station, cake & punch sounds perfect for an afternoon wedding.

(BTW I’m a former professional cook, having done many a wedding, and I now also assist in organizing corporate cocktail & dinner events.  We do apps only dinner parties all the time and always have a grazing station (or several, depending on guest count).  

Can’t wait to see menu options!

Post # 9
486 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

50 a person sounds quite good.

My favorite reception apps: shrimp skewers, mozzarella & tomato, anything with pesto, spinach pie and baklava. Mmmm I’m going into a food trance at work…


Post # 10
821 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

$50 sounds reasonable, since it includes everything.

We had a cocktail reception. Ours was in the evening, so dinner time. We had more than enought food for everyone to have a “proper meal.”  No one complained.

Our caterer was a southern comfort food restaurant we had: BBQ pork sliders, crab cakes, shrimp and grits, quinoa cakes, quesadillas, tomato soup with a square of grilled cheese, bacon and cheese wrapped tater tots. Most were passed. We had the shrimp and grits at a station so people could make their own and add/not add bacon. We got tons of compliments on the food. Completely not traditional wedding food, but we were pretty non-traditional. I loved it. I wish I ate more!

Post # 13
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

View original reply
bluecutie00 :  happy to help! What kind of feel are you going for?  If it’s a backyard wedding, maybe ‘elevated picnic’? It will really depend on your caterer and how willing they are to go ‘off menu’ and customize.  Here are some suggestions though!

– Grazing Station: cheese & charceuterie platter with a variety of pickles, olives, spreads, nuts & grapes.  Veggie & dip variety platter (green goddess, hummus, ranch)

– Mini Chicken & Waffles (this can either be fried chicken in a mini waffle cone or a mini waffle with fried chicken on top with a skewer).  Some sort of dill sauce or chipotle maple syrup drizzle

– Tomato, Watermelon, Feta skewers with a reduced balsamic drizzle

– Sliders (mini burger or pulled pork)

– Mini koren bbq beef tacos

– Coconut shrimp or garlic butter shrimp

– Smashed Potato salad in a mini carton

– Goat cheese & roasted mushroom crostini with truffle honey drizzle


– whoopie pies

– mini strawberry shortcake

– smore bars

I could keep going but I’ll stop there, haha!  Feel free to share your caterers menu options and we can chime in!

Post # 15
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

View original reply
bluecutie00 :  Caprese is popular, I think that would be an easy choice. It really all sounds very good, I would just be weary of “saucy” things that could get messy.. the tacos for example – I would spill that everywhere lol, and chicken wings are delish, however sticky fingers isn’t a fun time. Just my personal opinion on those 2. 

Did they give you options for the sweet things for dessert? Or can you ask them to do what you want? Maybe just mini pastries (little cream puffs or eclairs, or bite-sized brownies?). The fruit would be great, even better if on a skewer! 

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