hors d'oeuvres wedding???
Hey everyone.
Just needed a quick opinion from all you wedding experts here. What time of day (er, night rather) would be best to begin an open bar/hors d'oeuvres only wedding?

We are getting no help at all with our wedding and refuse to take out any loans to pay for it, so I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be able to have the big, plated dinner, ballroom extravaganza I once wished to have. But now I'm starting to think if I EVER want to have my wedding, I'm going to need to cut back a lot. I've already cut the guest list, cut out unnecessaries like limos and favors, whatever. But I am seriously starting to consider just having an evening wedding with an open bar and some hors d'oeuvres and/or a fruit display or something.

Would you be disappointed if you went to a wedding like this? Do you think it's in poor taste to have a wedding and not feed your guests a full meal, or is it okay if it's held at the proper time?

Married: 03/17/2013
Reviews: 6
Posted On: Apr 2, 2012 at 4:09 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

9 Comments | Login or Signup to post a comment!

Married: 04/28/2012
Apr 02, 2012 at 4:12 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
That sounds wonderful! As long as it's at the right time - maybe 2pm or 8pm - I think you're good to go. Just make it clear on the reception that's it's hors d'oeuvres and dessert or something so you cover all your bases, but the time should tell most people not to expect a full meal.

I think a 2pm option will be shorter, sweeter, and cheaper. An 8pm option will probably be heavier on the bar consumption, a little more rowdy/fun and will maybe cost more. But both sound totally wonderful, just depending on what feel you want! Like a daytime garden party vs. an evening dance party.

Hayley C™
Married: 2+ years ago
Reviews: 1
Apr 02, 2012 at 4:20 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
1pm ceremony
1:30 - 5pm reception (or 6pm)

8:30 Ceremony
9 - 1am reception (or 12)
at this time it would be more of a champagne/dessert reception

People will be getting ready for the celebration and traveling, so you want to be sure that they have enough time to eat during a meal time before they head out to your wedding. Also, be sure it is Very clearly stated on the invite. Then I would know to eat before I go. I would be fine with it. As long as there is some Good Music, drinks, and cake/snacks I'd be a happy guest.

Married: 06/02/2012
Apr 02, 2012 at 4:31 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Agree with other posters, an evening wedding will insure dancing if that's what you are looking for. 2 pm would get you a mid-day rate on a venue and save some more cash. Personally I love cocktail weddings, but I love appetizers =).

http://2000dollarwedding.com/ Great for inspiration!
Edited On: Apr 02, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Married: 2+ years ago
Apr 02, 2012 at 4:34 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I love love love hors d'oeuvres receptions. I agree with the other ladies as long as you clearly state that on the invite and have the timing right its a great idea! :)

Simply Lavish Weddings & Eveents

Simply Lavish Weddings & Events
Apr 02, 2012 at 4:39 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
It is absolutely okay if that's what you want to do. Your wedding & reception should take place before 5pm from an etiquette stand point. Yes, be sure to have that stated on your invitation at bottom so your guest won't arrive expecting a dinner therefore being disappointed.
I've experienced this with a few couples and if handled correctly it will be just fine. I recommend hor d' oeuvres stations. From my experience, passed hor d'oeuvres are not favorable at all by guest, b/c they find themselves chasing down waiters.
~Few menu items ideas: fruit display, vegetable display, meatballs, chicken drummets, assorted cheese and assorted crackers, deviled eggs, mini reuben sandwiches, mini quiche, bacon wrapped scallops, chicken quesidilles, spring rolls, mac and cheese.
~Happy Planning
Apr 02, 2012 at 5:21 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I would recommend it being either a late afternoon reception or a late evening reception. It is key that you inform the guests. However, you still need to provide enough food. With hors d'oeuvres, this can mean more money. Making 1,000 little bites is way more labor intensive than say offering a grilled chicken, a salad, a veg and a starch on a buffet. Plus a buffet should require less staff at the event. Unless you get the bulk of your hds as stationary items, you need more staff to pass them.
Before you decide on 1 style vs another, ask for a price on both styles and what costs (food, equipment and staff) are needed. Offering 1 entree is not a horrible thing and can save you money.

Married: 07/31/2010
Reviews: 5
Apr 02, 2012 at 5:21 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Mid-afternoon or well after 6, as the ladies above have suggested. It might also be a good idea to put a simple statement on your invitations. Something to the effect: "Cake and appetizer reception to follow ceremony." (Others are better with wording than I am) That way your guests will know exactly what to expect. I'm older, but I would appreciate a mid-afternoon wedding with cocktail and appetizer reception. This could lead into dinner out with my DH. You may wish to have a special dinner later with a small number of guests/family.

I did attend one wedding where the couple only did appetizers, which would have been okay - if they hadn't had their wedding at 5pm, and the appetizers were limited. It was inexpensive, yes, and an evening wedding. But it's never pleasurable to have to run through a fast food restaurant when leaving a wedding!
Apr 02, 2012 at 6:15 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Make sure you guests know the deal; "Join us for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres immediately following the wedding. Schedule it for mid afternoon or later at night. Crickets is spot on though; sometimes a buffet dinner is more cost effective than lots of apps.

Married: 06/09/2012
Reviews: 1
Apr 08, 2012 at 11:23 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
I'm in the same boat and I'm doing the same thing! My ceremony's at 3:00 and hors d'oeuvres will be served immediately after that, so at around 3:30 (my time couldn't be that flexible because of the venue).

I think that as long as you notify people of what to expect, it's a great reception idea. Don't worry about people being disappointed -- if they're your friends and family, they should understand (or they should, IMO). Good luck!
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