Post # 1
We’re doing an 8pm reception with drinks/dancing/and lots of hors’ doeuvres. We’re having bacon wrapped scallops, sushi, chicken done several different ways, spring rolls, meatballs, bruschetta, pulled pork on baguettes ect ect ect. Now I’ve been told that 15 each is enough to substitute a meal… would you all agree? I plan to inform guests that my reception is NOT a sit down dinner because I don’t want that expectation to be there, however, I don’t want my guests to eat a huge meal beforehand and then have all of these appetizers go to waste. So should I make it clear that it is all hors’ doeuvres but to come with an appetite??!
Post # 2
For me? Probably.. for my husband? Most definitely not. But if I knew there was no dinner, I’d just eat beforehand so it’d be a non issue.
Post # 3
Are the guests invited to the ceremony? If so, what time does that start? If I had to be somewhere at 8pm, I would definitely eat dinner beforehand. As far as if 15 pieces are enough, it really depends on the size of the pieces. I’ve been to two cocktail style weddings — at one there was NOT enough food and at the other, there was plenty.
Post # 4
As a vegetarian, I don’t think I’d want to eat 7 each, of two different veggie offerings.
Post # 5
mle812: I think its a good number. Even with eating a full dinner at 6 pm or so a person could easily chow down 10 bite size snacks while chatting & drinking. Making sure they’re tasty is most important.
Post # 6
luckily all of our guests are meat eaters, and there are actually 5 veggie options 🙂
The guests are invited to the ceremony at 7pm.. and I’m not sure how big the portions are.. downside from being 7,000 miles from my venue haha. But I will be finding out! \
Thanks for the input!
Post # 7
mle812: I think it is enough food, but we wouldn’t eat 15 and would get dinner first. I love cocktail receptions in theory, but it is really hard to judge what I am going to eat based on passed trays. Some cocktail receptions have plenty of good options, but the servers with the gluten free or vegetarian options never make there way around. To prevent being starving (and getting drunk super fast), Darling Husband and I would eat before. And we wouldn’t be the only one.
I am only letting you know this so you can manage your expectations. YOu will have lots of leftovers because lots of people wont make it their meal.How many? It is hard to say; but you could probably get by with 12 pieces per person.
Post # 8
Yes, that should be enough as long as most are larger than your average size appetizers. We did the same thing, and I am so glad we did not settle on something we didn’t want (plated or buffet dinner). However, there was a lot of thought that went into making sure we got it just right. I can tell you it was more expensive the way we did it, than a plated or buffet dinner would have been. So, it may not be the best option if trying to save money.
Ours were cooked on site and butler passed all evening, a few different types per hour. This ensured that they were always hot and fresh. We also made sure to have the waiters enter with each platter from different areas of the reception pavilion, and they were assigned their own sections as to avoid any one group or person monopolizing them. Each hour, half of the options were 4-bite apps and the rest regular 2-bite. We had a couple of stations also set on either side of the room, with some of the heavier selections nicely displayed… As some people can be embarrassed to keep grabbing off of the same trays, or to chase down a waiter for more food. And, of course, we had enough of a variety that anyone (regardless of allergies or diet preferences) could eat. As for seating, we had large round tables that would have accommodated 75% of our guests at any given time, and several large standing cocktail tables sprinkled throughout. Many people chose to never sit (which we had hoped for). We did have two tables reserved specifically for family, but the rest was open seating.
Most importantly, we had enough to substitute as an entire meal for each person (20pp), we still made it *very* clear on the invitations, website and word of mouth that it was not a traditional, sit-down reception. We had quite a bit leftover. Some people ate prior, so some only ate a few bites while other heartier eaters probably had 20-25 pieces. It is worth mentioning that we also had another 10-15 pieces per person in different desserts (not counting the cake), as well. Our caterer boxed the leftovers up so that nothing went to waste. They had several of our favorite selections boxed special for us (we requested well before the wedding), which we ate in the bubble bath jacuzzi after the wedding (LOL). We gave the rest of the boxes to our friends at the hotel. They were *extremely* thankful the next day, and we got some really cute pictures of them chowing down by the pool and on their long car rides home the next day.
Post # 9
PoliticallyIncorrect: to be honest we are going this route because it makes things thousands of dollars cheaper. what about yours made it more expensive then a plated dinner? was it just the fact that you had lots of food available or was it the service of having staff circulating food around all night? and do you mind me asking how many guests you had? were having a small group of about 65 and 90% of them are family.
Post # 10
Well, no, I don’t think it’s enough to substitute for a meal…but it also sounds like you don’t completely intend for it to be a meal substitute. At that time of night, I assume most people will have eaten something before they come. Put something like “heavy hors d’oeuvres” on your invitation, and explain informally on your website and through word of mouth what you intend (it sounds like…have a small dinner before, bring your appetite but don’t be starving?) People will figure it out.
Post # 11
mle812: We had ~75 people… We paid per piece, which drove the cost up based on the complexity/ingredients in the pieces we chose. While some were $1 per piece (the lighter, basic options), others were much more expensive (up to $5) and were about as big as you can get for a finger food. We figured we would need those as our “anchor” foods with at least 1-2 of the heavier options passed and displayed per hour. If we had chosen all $1 options, it would have been much cheaper. However, we were just so worried that we wouldn’t have enough food. In retrospect, had we just ordered the lower-cost items to keep the price down, I do believe that we would have either ran out -or- had just enough. People would have made due either way, we just didn’t want people leaving overly drunk and/or hungry.
Post # 12
sunflower22: you are right. I had never intended for it to be a substitute.. it was just written on the caterers website that 12-16 hors
doeurves was the equivalent to a plated meal.. but I just didnt know if that was true. I think what I will do is make it very clear to my guests to have dinner before the ceremony and then cake and a variety of appetizers will be there during the night for snacking while we drink and dance and have fun. As I said, the majority of my guests are my close family members and they know that we
A: are travelling across the country so that they can all be there and B: We are 22 and paying for a wedding ourselves. I know I won
t have to worry about what my guests think; theyll simply be happy to share the day with us.. I just want to make sure everyones comfortable!
Post # 13
When we had our reception we put on the invite that food was provided, and word of mouth told people what it was (when they RSVP’d) so that people were aware while it wasn’t a sit down meal, it was still dinner like food, (we had ours a sports bar/restaurant) so it had pizza, mac-n-cheese, salad and wings (hubby picked out the options) so people knew that they could eat something light and get a good dinner as well.
Post # 14
- Wedding: July 2012 - Muckenthaler Cultural Center
The general rule is 5 hors’ doeuvres per person per hour, so depending how long your reception is/how much people drink you might want to recalculate or keep it the same! 🙂
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