(Closed) Late Evening Wedding – Thoughts? Food Suggestions?

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Have you looked into hiring some food trucks to show up for dinnertime? I think that would go really well with your “fun” theme and food trucks are definitely the big new thing. I wish I could do them, but it really doesn’t fit with our traditional mansion wedding venue. 

I also had a friend do a “camping” themed wedding and they are doing a pig roast through a company that brings the par-cooked pig on a spit, pulled BBQ chicken, veggie lasagna and lots and lots of sides/salads. YUM!!

Post # 3
1135 posts
Bumble bee

Can’t go wrong with stuff on sticks. Meat, veggie, and fruit kebobs. Meatballs, cheese & crackers, and a s’more station could be fun too. I wouldn’t want to eat meal type food after 7:30.

Post # 5
1323 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

7:30 is my dinner time so I’d probably be one of the people eating the food as if it were a meal. If you have plenty though, that should be fine. My main concern is with bathrooms. You don’t mention the number of guests, but how will that be handled? I love bonfires and vote to have this although maybe you could warn people via word of mouth not to wear clothes they don’t want to get smoky.

Post # 7
30393 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
mahalkita:  If I were invited to a wedding with the reception starting at 7:30 I would expect that  they were serving dinner. I think you might be surprised at the number of your guests who will think the same way, and a good percentage of them will want to eat right away.

You talked about the land you are using. If this land is rural, remember that your guests also have to get ready and drive to the venue, so making time for dinner might not happen.

I suggest you provide seating of some sort for all you guests. It can be a mix of normal tables, high tops, lounge seating etc.

Be aware that food stations can be more expensive than plated or buffet dinners becasue they require staff attedance at each station, plus guests tend to try each station so you require more food.

Even if you provide tents, you are going to need to make it clear to your guests that they need to supply their own sleeping mats and bags, bring flashlights etc.

I suggest you also need to rent some portable bathrooms. 2 bathrooms for 100 people is simply not going to cut it, plus what about those guests who need to pee in the middle of the night?

I think it will be a fun wedding, but there are a lot of logistics to work out.

Post # 8
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I agree that a 7:00pm start time would make me think a dinner was being served. Our ceremony starts at 8:00pm and we’re still doing a full sit-down dinner. More formal weddings are typically later in the evening, keep that in mind. 

Post # 9
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

View original reply
mahalkita:  We are doing a similar event (focus on the reception/party) at the end of this month with bar-b-cue. Our invitation time is 6:45, but ceremony will be at 7 and dinner (bbq buffet) will start at 7:15 pm. If I were invited to a 7 pm wedding I’d 100% assume that dinner will be served – if you’re not going to do dinner I’d make sure that it’s clear on the invitation.

I’d recommend doing heavy hors d’oeuvres, and plenty of them at minimum. We just went to a wedding in May that was not a great experience because of the food – the wedding was at 6:30 and the invitation said “Dancing and eats” to follow the ceremony. I wasn’t sure if that meant dinner or not. We grabbed a snack on the way out the door and figured they’d at minimum have some heavy hors d’oeuvres, etc. Turns out they did not have much food at all. We ran into several other couples who actually knew there wouldn’t be dinner (they were better friends with the bride and groom) but still expected heavy food because it was a night wedding with alcohol. A couple of people also said they had planned to eat before, but mismanaged time and figured there would be enough food to tide them over. A lot of people left early to go get food elsewhere. Those of us that stayed just did it because we didn’t want the bride and groom to notice all the people leaving, but we were HUNGRY.

All that to say, if you’re going to have alcohol, I’d make sure to have enough food to offset it and also so that people who misunderstood the invitation won’t be starving. I also just read that this is a rural area – is there anywhere nearby people could get food if they didn’t eat before hand? If not then I would definitely serve enough food that it could substitute for dinner if needed. 

Post # 10
3108 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Two bathrooms is not enough for 100 people, especially if it’s a rural property with a septic system. 

Post # 11
1135 posts
Bumble bee

You’ll need to get a porta potties. Normal home septic systems can’t handle that many people at once.

Post # 14
7964 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

In my region you’d have to start after 9 for anyone to consider that the reception does not include dinner. 7:30pm is the most sought after dinner reservation time where I live and later–more like 9pm–when I’m traveling on the east coast. 

That said–as long as you have enough food between passed, stations, trucks, whatever you are doing, so that everyone is able to have a good meal you will be fine. I do think a strolling dinner is a lot of fun though it’s often more expensive than a plated meal. 

Thank you for knowing you should rent a bathroom trailer (or two) to make your guests comfortable and not just porta-potties!! 

Post # 15
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

View original reply
mahalkita:   “Yes I definitely plan on having plenty of food! That is one of the most important things about receptions, I think. I just didn’t want the formal dinner thing, I want a more casual vibe with people eating and mingling and dancing. ”  THIS is my thought EXACTLY.  In my area, at 7:00 – 7:30 most people have had dinner (between 5-6:30) so I am not worried about people being hungry.

Most of your invitees are adults – so if it is clearly stated cocktail reception on the invitation and I received the invite – I will have eaten dinner before leaving (it won’t kill me to eat a little earlier if it is earlier than my dinner hour), 

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