(Closed) Reception Etiquette..

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
4485 posts
Honey bee

Anyone who says it is a faux pas to not serve dinner is misinformed. Many people only serve cake and punch since that is all they can afford and no one is offended by it. Those who are have their priorities in the wrong place. Do whatever you can afford and plan accordingly. For example, don’t serve just desserts at the dinner hour or a full meal in the middle of the afternoon when people are still stuffed from lunch and not even expecting that much more food.

Since you are having an evening reception, it is ok to skip the plated/buffet dinner and serve a wide array of heavy appetizers instead as long as they are the equivalent of a full meal. To give comparisons of serving sizes, a plated meal is the equivalent of 5-6 heavy appetizers (aka carving stations, chicken strips, coconut shrimp, etc). When served during the dinner hour, caterers recommend at least 15-20 pieces per person of heavy appetizers. So anyone who doesn’t get filled up from that is doing it all wrong.

 

Post # 5
Member
4485 posts
Honey bee

Be careful since appetizers are not always cheaper. With some caterers they are cheaper, but with a number of them, they are actually more expensive.

Post # 6
Member
1756 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

You can totally just do heavy appetizers, or cake and champagne, or whatever you want! But if you’re not serving an actual dinner, be sure to note that somewhere (invitations, wedsite), so your guests know to not arrive too hungry!

Post # 8
Member
4485 posts
Honey bee

If you choose to serve appetizers instead of dinner at the dinner hour, you don’t have to mention that it is appetizers only as long as you have enough to be the equivalent of dinner. Actually if you do mention appetizers only, then some people feel that heavy appetizers are not filling and that all you will be feeding them is cheese and crackers, so they will eat before they arrive, and then your food you paid for goes to waste because everyone is too full to eat anything. Just call it dinner.

Post # 9
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I wouldn’t call it dinner personally incase guests thought that a sit down meal was coming after the appetisers. Maybe word it something on the invite like calling it a ‘champagne, canape and cake reception’?

Post # 10
Member
461 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Make sure you have the reception at a non-dinner time (like maybe 3PM or like 7 or 8 at night) and make note that on the invitations, otherwise, you’ll have a lot of hungry guests!

I was watching TV and there was a “wedding tip” from The Knot, saying it was not okay to serve cheap food, instead you should cut your guest list. I laughed at that! Personally, I think the people you share your wedding day with are definitely more important than the food that you eat. I have been tempted more than once to just have my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant (Calfornia Tortilla for all the DC locals) cater the wedding. Their food is so fantastic, but knowing me, my burrito would fall apart all over my dress!

Post # 11
Member
1103 posts
Bumble bee

My sister had a cocktail style reception over the dinner hour. There was PLENTY of food (I was nervous about this as I’d heard some horror stories), so much so that the last few platters to come out were barely touched. It also involved dessert platters (they didn’t do a cake). Their invitation just said “cocktails and canapes to follow” or something like that. Apart from making sure there is enough food, you also need to make sure there are enough seats available. My sister’s venue didn’t *quite* have enough (it was fine, just a few more would probably have been good).

Post # 12
Member
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

i would just make sure that the guests know that it is going to be the only food served. my parents just went to an event that was like that, and one of their friends wasn’t very hungry so she was going to skip the appitizers and just wait for the meal. the meal never came!

Post # 13
Member
1580 posts
Bumble bee

Have you actually priced out the appetizers? At my venue butlered hors d’ouevres cost at least $2 per piece! I’m sure the fact that they are butlered has something to do with it, but it’s still a lot.

That being said, I looove hors d’ouevres, so I’d love to attend a wedding with lots of them in place of a formal meal. Are you still going to have tables and chairs?

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