Post # 1
I’m getting married in 3 weeks. The wedding is at noon and reception to follow at a great seafood restaurant about 10 minutes drive away. My issue is… on the invitations I put Adult Lunchen to follow but now I want to change it to a Hors D’oeuvres Reception. Should I verbally tell my guest? I’m hoping the ones expecting a lunch (since they’ll probably leave home around 11:30 and be with us until at least 4:30) wont be too disappointed. Any suggestions. I plan on having at least 6 different types of Hors D’oeuvres, cake, and sparkling cider. We’ll be playing light music but there wont be any dancing except our first dance and then a couples dance.
Post # 3
How many people are we talking? Are they all local? If it is small and local – you probably will be able to spread the word without difficulty. You and your Fiance tell your friends – and your parents will tell your side of the family and his parents will tell his side of the family. Congrats!
Post # 4
Personally I think this will be a little too late in the game to do unless you have a super small guest list (below 50) and mostly locals. But I do think some guests might feel "downgraded." HD receptions are good but if many of them thought they were going to get lunch at a great seafood restaurant and now they are getting HDs they might feel slighted.
But also the general rule of thumb for things like hors d’oeuvre receptions, dessert receptions, etc. is that they usually take place at a time that could not possibly be lunch time/dinner time, etc. so guests know that they should feed themselves beforehand. Your wedding is taking place right in the middle of lunch time so many guests will probably be starving for lunch. I’m not sure how heavy your hors d’oeuvres will be but they should be enough that they could take the place of lunch or else I think people might feel grumpy b/c of hunger and/or leave early. Make sure you also have plenty of HDs to go around…people will probably eat twice as much if they are trying to replace their lunch.
I say all this b/c one wedding I went to was a dinner reception but there was a LOT of time b/t the beginning of the ceremony and when dinner was served. When HDs came out people were like vultures on them…the waiters made it about ten feet from the kitchen door before people swooped down and then they had to turn back. Many people were talking about how hungry they were, and kind of complaining about when dinner was going to get started. Plus some of the people I was with didn’t like some of the HD types so they were even more hungry! I’m sure if the bride had known that guests were grumbling she would have been upset and probably changed the timing around a bit.
Post # 5
Yes, that’s an awkward time to have only hors d’oeuvres available. Since it’s a restaurant, what are the odds that hungry guests will order food on their own anyway? If that happens it might come across as very tacky. Is there a middle road of food you can take between hors d’oeuvres only and a full-on lunch? That might be best.
Post # 6
Agree with all of the previous posts… however if you are doing this for sake of your budget, maybe you can have the hordouves buffet style instead of passed and ask the restruant to do a few main/side dishes to make it look more "lunchy"
but as the other bee’s have said, this may be too late to do. A luncheon will still be very nice.
Post # 7
I agree with the other posters – it is definitely too late in the game to change it from a luncheon. I think guests would expect (and maybe need?) more than just hors d’oeurves if they will be with you from 11:30 – 4:30. I agree with TallBride – could you mix it up and do at least a portion of the food as main dishes? you could still have the majority of the food be hors d’oeuvres, but it would appear more like a "luncheon" with the addition of some main dishes and side dishes. good luck!
Post # 8
Will the restaurant allow you to bring anything in? This might be kind of a long shot but what if you brought in like some salads or other additional food so that it is more bugdet friendly and your guests won’t be super hungry.
I agree with the posters above that lunch almost always happens sometime between hours from 11:30 to 4:30. And if you take the time it will take your guests to get ready to leave, lets say an hour for women and maybe 30 minutes for the men, they won’t have even had a chance to each since 10:30 or 11.
I would really try and see if you can make a lunch work or double/triple the amound of HDs you have. I like TallBride’ssuggestion having them buffet style so it might seem like lunch. You could also do what we did and have some things buffet style like veggies and cheese, etc. and some things passed, like the hot HDs and then it might also seem like more as well.
I think in the end you just really don’t want hungry guests. So, as long as you keep that in mind you should be fine. I hope it all works out. Let us know what you end up going with!
Post # 9
Thanks for the comments/posts. All very helpful. It’s about 85 pp, most local. I’ll probably just go ahead and have the sit-down. One of the big things is that the private dining room only holds 65 and the remainder would be on the patio, which is right there (there are two entrances). The restraurant coordinator and I was thinking of a contingency plan in case of rain and that when we thought of the hords reception. My fiance liked the fact of it being less formal and being can mingle. With a sit down, there really is only room to sit down. Barely room to have a first dance. The crowd is young-mid-age, 42 and under except for a few so I thought folks would enjoy the hords reception more. I wish I would have stated that from the get go.
Post # 10
If you plan to have enough food to feed people a meal, I wouldn’t worry about the change. You can serve plenty of food in hors d’oeuvre form to count as a meal so the format of the food isn’t important, but the availability definitly is. I’ve been to skimpy receptions that were supposed to include a meal and left famished and just wishing they’d warned us before hand.
Post # 11
If what you’re suggesting is just changing the setup, rather than the amount of food served, I think you’re totally fine. I agree with you — I think younger people definitely do enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktail receptions more bc by nature, it’s more social. Go for it!
Post # 12
I would be irritated to be going to a wedding at 1130 and then not get to eat until dinner time. hd’s are usually hard to get at a wedding. if they are put out, most people attack the tables, and if they are served, some never get served. I wouldn’t count on everyone staying the whole time, as they will most likely have to go out and feed themselves. But if you do change it, you will need to tell everyone.