(Closed) Opinion on holding a cocktail/hordoeurves only reception

posted 13 years ago in Reception
Post # 17
86 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Just make sure you have plenty of food! I know some brides assume that people will eat less if it’s hors d’ouevres, but many tend to eat as much or more than if it were a traditional meal!

And like others mentioned, just mention it like "Cocktails and hors d’ouevres will be served" or something 🙂 

Post # 18
943 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

I’d probably be inclined to end it before dinner time… I’d say 8PM is the latest that you could end the reception.  I think if your crowd is younger you could get away with having Hors d’oeurves only, but I’m not sure it would go over well with an older crowd. 

 Also, one thing to think about, and this is purely my own experience: as a young person I’d probably unintentionally get very very drunk if I went to a wedding with heavy hor d’oeurves and no sit down meal.  Usually if I catch up with old friends, I don’t really want to take time out to go get food… I’ll really be into talking and chatting and laughing with friends, and I’m pretty good about refilling my drink but never my food.  I’m the kind of person that gets kind of embarassed to go "grab" food, or take time out of a conversation to get food, so I’d end up drinking a lot and not eating… not an ideal wedding guest I guess.  I suspect a lot of women are the same way.  Unless the food is put in front of me I don’t like to look like a pig and go "hunt" my food from stations. So beware of people getting a little more sauced than you’d like them to be at your wedding because they are embarassed to go around and grab food for themselves.

Post # 19
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I think Mrs. Penguin’s point is really good–I am the same way!  I love the idea of food stations right now, but they can kind of be a lot of work to make sure you get enough to eat.  And if a person is having a great time, s/he may not think about getting some food until it’s too late.  Some people (particularly older guests) can get confused, too, and not realize that you can hit all the stations because they have different stuff.  

Post # 20
17 posts
  • Wedding: December 1969

i am planning to do the same thing!!!! i dont think that there is anything wrong with it!! (Obviously)

Post # 21
3952 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I’d say cocktails and heavy hors d’ouevres.

Post # 22
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2022

I looked into a "station" reception with some passed hors d’oevres and no sit down meal, but with the caterers I looked into, it would have actually been more expensive for the stations.  Cost aside, I love  this type of reception and they are very popular right now. 

Post # 23
4 posts

I think that an hors d’oevres  and cocktail recpetion is great! You’re gith though RIbride, sometimes the passing around hors d’oevres  is more costly.

If on the invitation you state hors d’oevres  and cocktails, then your guests will be expecting just that!  Here’s is a more in depth article, http://tinyurl.com/cocktailreception,  that I wrote on this kind of reception.  I hope you find it informative!  And that it helps with your confidence in hosting this kind of wedding day reception.



Post # 24
23 posts
  • Wedding: September 2009

Thanks for the link!

Post # 25
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I don’t think it’s bad, but based on the time you’ve mentioned I’d either move it back or move it forward.  I think from 5-7 guests expect dinner, because it’s dinner time.  If your reception isn’t in that time block, you’re fine.  Put "Cocktail reception to follow" on the invitations.

Post # 26
4590 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I’m doing this!! Its called a cocktail style reception, not to be confused with a cocktail reception.  If you have a wedding website, you can tell them there that its going to be hors d’oeuvres and light fare only, or even put that on your invites.  If its’ going to be a later reception, people shouldn’t expect a full meal, but I would def put it somewhere for the people who aren’t sure

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