Emily
Just Said Yes August 2021

All appetizer reception, enough?

Emily, on June 9, 2021 at 10:32 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 18
Saved Save
Reply
My wedding is in August and I’m worried about having enough food and options due to serving an all appetizer/light fare dinner. My ceremony starts at 4 and the reception will be outdoors under a tent. I chose this menu due to it being hot and for a more laidback feel. However, now I’m worried guests might be disappointed at the lack of a plated dinner. I’ll be serving 3 desserts, cake , tons of drinks but no alcohol due to personal reasons. Below is the menu, will it be enough?



Cheese Tray

Stilton, pear & walnut savory cheesecakes

Assorted fine domestic cheese, sliced, cubed & whole

Seasonal fruit garnish

Assorted gourmet crackers

Cilanto salsa verde, roasted corn salsa & black-bean ancho chili dip served with corn tortilla chips

Vegetable Crudite & Roasted Red Pepper hummus & garlic pita crisps

Skewered chery tomatoes with mozzarella, basil croutons and olive oil

Salmon Gravlax cured in ginger, dill, and russian vodka, red onion, dill relish and focaccia crisps

Roast beef with roasted red pepper and shallot mayonnaise on house made bread

Roasted chicken with herbs and sweet onion mustard on poppy seed rolls

Marinated flank skewers with cashew ginger dipping sauce

Greek Salad with feta, tomatoes and onions

Tortellini pasta salad with peas and proscuitto

Chicken salad croissants

Oysters

Seasoned Shrimp

Wings- buffalo & honey bbq

Chips


18 Comments

Latest activity by Michelle, on June 10, 2021 at 6:51 PM
  • Victoria
    Devoted June 2020
    Victoria ·
    • Flag
    Whoa!
    That all sounds delicious.
    It also sounds like you’re trying to appease a lot of palates. My follow up question is- how much of all of that are you getting? I think that a serving of each for everyone is going to be way too much. Maybe divide it up by type (protein, vegetable, cheese) and get only enough of each ~protein~ to have the total equal a serving per guest (not everyone will get a chicken skewer but everyone will get a protein). Or, cut back on the menu and up the quantity of each appetizer.
    • Reply
  • Hannah
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    I think it depends on how much of each thing. Since your wedding will be taking place around dinner time, you need to have enough food to equal a full meal. No problem with doing heavy apps, but depending on the size of the apps, I would just make sure there's enough so the guests aren't hungry since they won't likely eat dinner before heading out for your 4pm ceremony.
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    That seems like plenty of food, as long as there is enough to give everyone decent sized servings.
    If you want more of a “meal” but not the formality of a plated dinner, a buffet might work?
    All of this food sounds really good though!
    • Reply
  • E
    Devoted July 2021
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    Sounds like pretty hearty apps which is great! As others have stated, as long as there’s generous portions available to each guest I think it will be fine. I would just find a way to make sure guests know it will be a cocktail style reception if you haven’t already. I’d be disappointed to show up to a dinner time wedding and not realize it wasn’t a full meal. If people are aware, I think what you have is great!


    • Reply
  • JM Sunshine
    JM Sunshine ·
    • Flag
    This would be amazing for a 2:00 ceremony, but personally as a guest I would be anticipating dinner after a 4:00 ceremony. Otherwise, honestly, I would leave around 7:00 to have a meal somewhere.
    • Reply
  • Emily
    Just Said Yes August 2021
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    That’s a great idea! I like the idea of ‘grouping’ foods when considering amounts. Thank you!
    • Reply
  • mrswinteriscoming
    Rockstar December 2021
    mrswinteriscoming ·
    • Flag

    Ordinarily I would say no but providing you have plenty of those dishes on hand I am sure it will be just fine.

    • Reply
  • Monique
    Devoted June 2022
    Monique ·
    • Flag
    Hi Emily I think this more than enough food that's a amazing selection
    • Reply
  • Monique
    Devoted June 2022
    Monique ·
    • Flag
    And looking at what you have I may not have enough food we are doing a buffet style because we have alot of picky eaters so that's what we are going with
    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Master October 2019
    Meghan ·
    • Flag

    Though the food sounds great, you need to serve a sit down dinner since your reception will be during dinner time. Appetizer receptions are for the afternoon, in between meal times.

    • Reply
  • Kari
    Master June 2021
    Kari ·
    • Flag

    So I work at a college and whenever we host a reception (which we typically do when hosting families before or after graduation or on family weekend for example) we do a set-up similar to this, with lots of hors d'oeuvres type foods (and usually some alcohol). I find that even though there is usually plenty of food to fill up on, it never feels quite like a meal and always leaves me dissatisfied.

    I would say based on the timing of your event it would be more appropriate to have a sit down dinner. Our ceremony is at 4, cocktail hour is 4:45-5:45, and dinner service starts at 6pm. If I went to a 4pm ceremony I would expect a full dinner/meal after, not a bunch of small plates, however delicious and plentiful they may be. I do think some guests will be disappointed and thrown off by the lack of plated dinner. Also, having a light fare dinner may throw off the timing/flow of your event, but hopefully you've already considered how to incorporate this style of food service into your plan for the evening.

    I feel like this type of menu/service would be far more appropriate if you were having an afternoon event (1pm/2pm start time) but as long as you are feeding your guests it isn't wrong to do it this way. I've been to plenty of tented hot summer weddings where a full meal was served though. If I were a guest, I'd prefer a full dinner to a bunch of small plates at this time of day.

    • Reply
  • Sexypoodle
    Master October 2021
    Sexypoodle ·
    • Flag
    I think you have enough food options. But the start time is what concerns me. We recently changed all of our destination wedding plans and we’re now getting married locally on the beach and having a cocktail style reception on the hotel’s rooftop right behind the beach. We purposely chose to have a cocktail style reception to go with the rooftop vibe and ocean views. But, given that, we are starting our ceremony at 2 PM and the reception will end at 6:30 (shortly after sunset). With us serving heavy hors d’oeuvres/small plates/light fare options, I know our guest will be fed. But, I didn’t want our reception to cross into dinner time without providing a full plated meal.


    How are you setting up your seating for the reception?
    • Reply
  • Emily
    Just Said Yes August 2021
    Emily ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    We’ll be having tables more centered in our tent with food lining one side of the tent and a dance floor on another. We will also be having lawn games/giant games right outside of the tent, so my hope is people will be socializing, dancing, playing games, and eating food throughout the event. I’m locked into the time of the event now but I still have time to possibly change the menu. Your wedding sounds like it will be beautiful!
    • Reply
  • N
    Savvy November 2022
    Natalie ·
    • Flag

    Looks like a good spread! Have you sent out invitations yet? If not, I'd strongly suggest adding something like "hours devours" or "light refreshments" on the invite, so everyone knows ahead of time that there won't be a full on dinner.

    • Reply
  • Sexypoodle
    Master October 2021
    Sexypoodle ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Honestly! I think a bigger deal is made out of the whole “appetizer receptions need to end at a certain time“ concept than is needed. People are not going to have a fit about whether it was technically “dinner“ food or not… as long as they are fed. If they do have issues, then they probably shouldn’t attend. Guests are most interested in having a good time and celebrating with the couple. We probably would’ve started later. But I wanted everything to end after seeing the sunset. So that dictated our timeline. Plus, FH and need to get on the plane early the next day. So, it all works out!
    • Reply
  • JM Sunshine
    JM Sunshine ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I do think that it should be stated on invitations that it is an "appetizer only reception" so that people can eat prior or have a heavier lunch if they need to. When a reception falls during meal times, people expect just that unless noted otherwise.
    • Reply
  • Sexypoodle
    Master October 2021
    Sexypoodle ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Oh Yes! I agree. Even though our reception will only be from 2:30-6:30, we’re still listing that it’s a cocktail style reception with heavy hors d’oeuvres. Certainly.
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
    • Flag

    What you are serving is more than plentiful and substantial to make a full meal with as long as there is enough of each for each guest. Especially since you mentioned the hot weather which makes people not as hungry. An appetizer reception over a meal time needs to have minimum 15-20 pieces per person of heavy appetizers (spanakopita, egg rolls, any and all of your meats and skewers). A plated dinner is actually the equivalent of 8-10 heavy appetizers per person so you are serving more food with a heavy appetizers reception, contrary to popular belief. If anyone tells you otherwise, they have not done the math correctly. If someone goes home hungry from your extensive menu, that is on them.

    Call it dinner because it is.

    • Reply

You voted for . Add a comment 👇

×

Related articles

WeddingWire celebrates love ...and so does everyone on our site! Learn more

Groups

WeddingWire article topics