Post # 1
We’ve made the decision to have an outdoor cocktail reception instead of a traditional sit-down reception. Our wedding is taking place this December in Miami, FL. The current plan is to time the distribution of 8-10 heavy hors d’oeuvres through the four hour reception. I would love your input/insight/advice.
We’ll have a dance floor and outdoor seating available but seating will be limited as it’s intended to be a less formal reception.
Have anyone been to a reception like this?
Has anyone done this before for their own wedding?
I appreciate any feedback.
Post # 3
What time is your wedding? I’m assuming evening since you’re talking cocktails and dancing. If you’re starting any earlier than 7:00, you really need to provide a full meal. Heavy hors d’oeuvres can work if the hors d’oeuvres are actually heavy and there are plenty of them. I would also suggest having a couple of stationary displays (e.g. antipasto, cheese/fruit/crackers) in addition to the passed apps so everyone doesn’t hover around where the servers are emerging and mob them before they get a chance to circulate – seen it happen).
As for the limited seating, for a cocktail reception this can work if you choose foods that can be picked up and eaten with one hand (people will have a drink in the other!) and if you have an “up and around” party crowd (if you have lots of older people or families with kids, they may root themselves to a table and never get up for fear that they will lose their seats). With the right crowd and the right food, this can be fun!
Post # 4
I LOOOOOOVE these types of receptions! They are the best of both worlds in my opinion and very popular in my area. Great food and so many options!! Plus the crowd is usually more prone to mingle and hop around to see what food is where. No one will be sitting at the exact same time so you should be fine on seating.
Post # 5
I love this idea, way more fun than sit down dinners! We are doing this too, however, to ensure people don’t go hungry we allotted about 15 pieces/person… especially if the food is delicious, I know I’d eat more than 10 pieces over 4 hours. But I guess it also depends on your crowd.
Post # 6
We just attended this sort of reception two weekends ago. There were 3 fails:
* Reception started at 6 pm. Hors d’oeuvres were NOT enough food and I was left extremely hungry by 8 p.m. I would make sure you allow your guests time to eat before they come – have the reception start after 7 p.m.
* Passed hors d’oeuvres were served and everyone waited by the kitchen door for the waiters to come out. I don’t think ANY of the tables near the back got any food, which caused most of the guests to stand up and wait near the entrance of the kitchen. I like the idea above about having stations as well as passed.
* Finally there were only chairs provided for about 1/3 of the guests. EVERYONE was complaining about having to stand and it separated most of the couples (women were sitting down – their husbands/dates were standing). Make sure you have sufficient seating.