Start time/Meal expectation

posted 9 months ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
6566 posts
Bee Keeper

I think it depends what kind of party. A NYE party? Probably expect a meal. If you mean a wedding, I’d think a start time at 8pm, which means the ‘meal’ wouldn’t be until 830-9 I’d expect appies or dessert. 

Post # 3
Member
683 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I’d expect the invitation to tell me what to expect. I often eat quite late, so the time would be my usual dinner time.

Post # 4
Member
6635 posts
Bee Keeper

I expect a weekend party starting at 7:30 to include enough appetizer/finger foods to be a meal, especially if alcohol is being served. 

Post # 5
Member
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

sharpshooter :  The best wedding I ever went to was when the reception started and 10 minutes after we found our tables and sat down dinner was served. No one wants to wait for food. No one wants to wait for food while listening to the speeches. If you feed people while the speeches are happening everyone is much more likely to listen and enjoy them instead of knowing that no one gets to eat until they are done so hurry up haha. I am in the US too. If it is buffet i suggest letting everyone get some food before starting the speeches. I would say unless there are a few hours between the ceremony and the reception you really should serve meal type food. And if you do give guests a few hours in between you should tell them in the invite that only appeitzers and desert and drinks will be served at the reception so they know to go eat in between on their own. Just make sure whatever food you serve is plentiful and somewhat filling so that the drinking doesn’t get out of hand. If you don’t have a ton of food and people get hungry they will also leave your party early. Open buffet table and open bar keeps people at the party longer, and happier imo. 

Post # 6
Member
1599 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

If this is a standalone party I would not be expecting a meal, just snacks and desserts. But if it was a wedding and the ceremony finished within an hour of that, I would kind of expect some more substantial food.

Post # 9
Member
5534 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

I would probably assume there would be food.

To be safe you should make it clear that your guests should eat before hand. You being married before/ being 39 etc wouldn’t change anything.

Post # 10
Member
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - Mountains

I would want food sooner than later at that time. Based on what you’ve said it sounds like you can have food out on tables, etc for when people arrive and then have passed food later on for those who are still hungry. People will choose to eat before if they really want to, just make it clear that you’ll have heavy apps but not a seated meal.

Post # 14
Member
6566 posts
Bee Keeper

I think including something about a cocktail reception would be perfect, and indicates heavy apps. Sounds like a fun time! 

Post # 15
Member
2104 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I think the expectation is generally that a wedding reception involves a meal, regardless of what time you start. I think the only exception to this is a cake and punch reception starting at 3 pm or something like that. You can say heavy apps on the invitation but just because you aren’t doing a sit down dinner doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t provide enough as if its a meal. If you are providing alcohol, it will start to get messy if there isn’t enough food. 

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