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Audra
VIP June 2012

Dessert Only Wedding Reception

Audra, on May 14, 2012 at 7:11 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 20
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Okay WW ladies, I have just sent my invitations Wednesday for our Sunday June 24th wedding. We are having 120 guests. The ceremony is at 2:30-7:00 pm and the reception is at 3:00 pm . On the reception card I wrote Cocktail Reception to indicate 'Lite Fare'.

For the bar, we are offering tea, lemonade, water, 1 keg of beer, and a signature drink complimentary. All else is Cash Bar. We have spread the news via word of mouth and have gotten good feedback. (Cash Bar is the norm in my area.)

For food we are doing appetizers. We are in the process of talking it over with our venue about our catering options. IF we go with the venue we get linens AND dishware at no extra cost. It's something to consider.

I was thinking about it more today and thought, "Well we are having a cake and candy bar. Why not just make it a dessert reception?"

Does cocktail reception wording expand to Dessert only?

As a guest, would you be mad?

Here are some pics we are thinking of:




20 Comments

Latest activity by Shannon, on May 14, 2012 at 8:45 PM
  • Labake
    Master June 2012
    Labake ·
    • Flag

    No! Yum. Very few people don't like desserts.

    • Reply
  • Carrie
    Master December 2011
    Carrie ·
    • Flag

    I would try to have a few non-sweet items. For example I had a guest who could eat fruit but has to pair it with something else to help control her sugar.

    • Reply
  • Audra
    VIP June 2012
    Audra ·
    • Flag

    I was looking into yogurt with granola and mixed fruit. Hmm... how about offering some sugar-free options?

    Thanks Labake that's what i was thinking!

    • Reply
  • J
    Devoted December 2012
    Janet ·
    • Flag

    Crackers and cheese, deli meats. would be good..people need protein to be able to "hang' in there or else they crash, you dont want people fainting or leaving early.

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Master July 2012
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    You need to have something besides dessert. Even if its just crackers, cheese, and smoked meats, some people don't care for sweets or can't have too many of them. I can see people fainting, getting sick, etc.

    I love the idea of having a ton of different desserts though. I would be one of the guests who is all about that!

    • Reply
  • Soon to be Keels
    Expert October 2012
    Soon to be Keels ·
    • Flag

    I agree with Janet, if you said lite fare at reception, I would have some actual appetizers on hand.

    • Reply
  • Audra
    VIP June 2012
    Audra ·
    • Flag

    I figured by 6pm or 7pm people would leave early to eat anyways. I was thinking lemon squares, yogurt with granola, cheesecake bars, brownies, cookies, fruit kabobs, and etc.,

    Janet - I don't think they'd faint unless they didn't eat prior (which is why word of mouth we are telling people to eat before the ceremony).

    • Reply
  • Carole M (a.k.a "old tart")
    Master October 2011
    Carole M (a.k.a "old tart") ·
    • Flag

    I think a dessert only reception is a wonderful idea. My only concern is the timing of the event. Since guests will arrive at 2:30, they will get hungry around 6:00. If you could throw in some stationary appies: cheese tray; anti-pasto tray; things like that, it might go along way in socking up some of the comp booze.

    • Reply
  • Audra
    VIP June 2012
    Audra ·
    • Flag

    I definitely don't want people fainting. Our venue has an appetizer list and it's not amazing. I was hoping that the dessert buffet would be my unique amazing thing. I don't know about having a deli, cheese, or cracker try. I do know too much sugar is a bad thing but hoped that people would take it easy or have eaten prior.

    This might have been a bad idea.

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Master July 2012
    Amanda ·
    • Flag

    Btw, I saw a bride do this on an episode of Four Weddings. I know those girls can be a bit dramatic on that show, but they actually ordered a pizza and ate it in the parking lot. They were getting sick from all the sugar and were starving by the middle of the reception.

    Plus, alcohol and sugar = upset tummies. I think as long as you provide something besides a dessert, you will be okay. You reception isn't during meal times, so you will just need something to hold people over. Plus, as Carole M. said, you need something to soak up the booze.

    • Reply
  • Audra
    VIP June 2012
    Audra ·
    • Flag

    Thanks Carole, I'm glad you answered. We met with our venue last Wednesday. They finally found an event coordinator after 4 months without (they just had the golf course manager over seeing catering). We talked ot her about our options and when we talked about the lack of appies she agreed that it was limited and not 'wedding-like'. They also got a new chef but she didn't know if he wanted to try new appies or not. Basically, she just didn't know. She made a lengthy list of our questions/concerns and told us she'd email us asap. Six days later no reply. I'm just trying to look into back up options just in case she doesn't have anything new for us.

    If we went with this option we would get all the baked goods from our bakery that is doing our cake. They are impressive and extremely nice.

    Could we do a dessert only AND offer cheese cubes and fancier crackers without being weird?

    • Reply
  • Audra
    VIP June 2012
    Audra ·
    • Flag

    Very true. The complimentary drink is still a maybe but very true. Something else to consider.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    The time of day is perfect for light fare, but no one will expect only desserts, and the cost for dessert can easily equal that for appetizers. Most of the pix you posted are individually made items, and they can get quite costly.

    I'd do a pretty cheese display with dips (usually pretty cheap) like hummus, crab/artichoke dip, bruscetta, salsa with chips and crackers, maybe a platter of finger sandwiches and wraps cut really tiny, some passed hors d'oeuvres (they can be as simple as pigs in a blanket or sliders, which everyone loves) and then your dessert ideas.

    At that time of day, no one will expect a meal, but I don't think they'll expect only sweets either.

    • Reply
  • Audra
    VIP June 2012
    Audra ·
    • Flag

    I'd love to do those appetizers but I don't think my caterer can offer them. I will see though! Those are great ideas though!

    • Reply
  • Carole M (a.k.a "old tart")
    Master October 2011
    Carole M (a.k.a "old tart") ·
    • Flag

    Audra, I am glad they have a new coordinator. I think a dessert reception is awesome and unique. My only concerns are the timing and the addition of booze. If you are adding booze to the mix, you need something heartier. Even if you just keep it at beer, beer and sweets dont mix. I don't think there is a darn thing wrong with putting out some stationary appies like cheese display. You could also do like mini wraps, mini subs, etc. veggie tray, hot wings, chicken fingers, etc.

    Celia has a point about the expense of baked goods. Heck, a mini cannolli alone, at least around here, is $1.50 each.

    If you can bring in desserts, I would hit BJ's. They have lovely and tasty dessert items.

    • Reply
  • HRH Mags
    Master March 2014
    HRH Mags ·
    • Flag

    I agree with having something other then sweets available. Whiles its unique and yummy...after 2 or 3 sweets my stomach cant handle it! I dont eat sweets on a normal basis and it makes me feel blah lol. I'd hate it your guests left early just because of that. Even just a couple apps mixed in there would probably really help out. Also maybe its just me but I dont think beer and sweets are a good idea...that sounds like a recipe for an upset tummy or worse.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    If your caterer is a professional, they will have access to many pre-made products that have gotten better and better in the past years. We used to buy a frozen quacamole that was completely amazing. I know they can make it work.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    If your caterer is a professional, they will have access to many pre-made products that have gotten better and better in the past years. We used to buy a frozen quacamole that was completely amazing. I know they can make it work.

    • Reply
  • Kathy
    Master July 2010
    Kathy ·
    • Flag

    You truly need to offer items other than desserts. As Celia said, if your caterer is a professional, they can and will do appetizers.

    With the time of the event (3-7PM) people will expect appetizers. With alcohol, people will expect appetizers.

    Also, you asked about the wording for a cocktail reception and all desserts. Truly different. IF you go with desserts only, you really have to communicate that it is desserts ONLY.

    You asked if anyone would be "mad" if they arrived and found desserts only. I would be very concerned. As someone with hypoglycemia, my sugar intake must be small. Dessert only would cause me to make a fairly quick exit from the reception. Also, you mention adding yogurt and fruit. That will not double as an appetizer because both of those items are sugar.

    @Soon to be Mrs C....I have watched that Four Weddings episode a few times. So true, those ladies were quezy, starving and ordered pizza. I would have too. ;-)

    • Reply
  • Shannon
    Master August 2013
    Shannon ·
    • Flag

    I agree that you need some apps too. That is a long time to go with just dessert foods. If people are drinking you really need something else but it can be simple and inexpensive.

    • Reply

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