Post # 1
My wedding is going to be at 7:30 at night and I had wanted to have a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception. My caterer is insisting that we have some sort of "late night" dinner offering in addition to the 12 different types of hors d’oeuvres that we are also serving. I understand the logic, there will be alcohol and we don’t want the guests to get slobbering drunk, but at the same time I’m apprehensive and I’m not sure why.
Is anyone else doing this or been to a wedding with hors d’oerves and then a late night dinner? Any thoughts or suggestions? My caterer is suggesting an "asian bar" because my fiance and I love asian food but I think they would be open to suggestion to another type of station. Our hors d’oerves are all foods from international cuisine (samosas, spanikopita, bruschetta, sushi, etc..)
Post # 3
I recently had exactly the same situation with my caterer. I now understand her point and don’t feel like she’s just trying to get money from me. 7:30 is too early for just a cocktail reception, assuming it will go to 12:30 or 1am. She suggested that if we wanted to go strictly cocktail we needed to start at least 8pm, ideally 8:30pm, otherwise the food doesn’t adequately ofset the amount people are drinking.
We really wanted to keep costs down but in the end have expanded our cocktail reception into a strolling dinner by adding a couple of large bite stations…anything noodle, vegetarian, rice will be the cheapest…what about adding an asian noodle station to the mix?
Post # 4
I think that your caterer is probably concerned that people will be very hungry, because 7:30 is still a dinner hour for many people. I agree with Cndbride – noodles are very cheap, and you could easily do some type of stir fry that wouldn’t break the bank.
It will help if you make it clear to your guests that it is an hors d’oeuvres only reception, and get your friends to help spread the word. My only other idea would be a mashed potato bar, or some kind of pasta station with red sauce, white sauce, meatballs, sausage, etc.
Post # 5
Instead of a late night dinner, it is possible to save a few of the 12 hors d’ oeuvres you are offering and have those put out later at night, around 11 or midnight? I would think they are trying to get you to do this if there is alcohol being served the entire time and they want food available for people that are still drinking. See if you can do a few lighter pieces instead of a "late night dinner". Ive seen some really cute ideas such as a mini burger & mini milkshake, mac & cheese, etc.
Post # 6
IS the ceremony at 730 or is that the actual reception time? If the ceremony starts at 730 with reception following I would think you would be fine. I think it depends on who your guests are. If you have a lot of older people, and people with families I dont think you’d need to have a late dinner option. If you have a lot of young partyers you may want to have more food later on, just so they dont get wasted.
Another option is to have an "after party" and go out to an all night diner, or club that serves bar food. That way you can still hang out, people can eat if theyre hungry, and you wouldnt have to foot the bill.
I’ve also seen couples order burgers & fries late night from in n out burger, sonic, etc. and have it passed out for people that are hungry.
Post # 7
The ceremony will be at 7:30 but will only last about 10 minutes. Both are at the same venue, my friend’s 1920’s estate, so right after the ceremony we’ll sneak off for some pictures and the guests will start partying right away. I think the majority of the guests will be drinking the majority of the time (most of them are my parent’s college buddies who party more than my friends). So it’s starting to make sense that we’ll need a late night dinner.
Post # 8
I am having a ceremony at 5 and a cocktail reception following. We are having about 7 options from a catering company, a few sushi platters, and a taco cart. We will have the food available until about 9pm and our reception will end at about 10pm. This is at a family friends house on a Friday, so we are trying to being respectful of the neighbors. I think it really depend upon how many pieces per person the caterer is planning for you.
Post # 9
I’ve never been to a cocktail reception but I think I’d probably be hungry by the end of the night. With drinking and dancing all night, I think it would be nice to have a little something more to nosh on later.
Post # 10
It may be easier for your guests to have more food than to have to rush and squeeze in dinner before getting to a 7:30pm ceremony – better to have people be on time. 🙂
Also, if guests get hungry later in the evening after the food is done, the options are to either stay and drink more or leave. Neither is ideal. If you can swing it in the budget, it may be a good plan. Another option might be a late night snack.
Post # 11
Personally, I’ve been to a couple weddings at that hour, one with heavy hors d’oeuvres and one with a full meal. It was my experience that the one with a full meal had TONS of food leftover (it was a buffet) as no one was that hungry, whereas the hors d’oeuvres reception seemed to be plenty. I think at that hour there is nothing wrong with just doing cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. But if you do, I would note it on the invite and on the website, if applicable, so that guests can plan accordingly.