Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

my menu.. cake and punch reception

My wedding has been pushed back so many times now due to so many non-financial reasons that we aren't willing to push it back again for money reasons. We want to be married already. So, our budget is tiny.

We will have an afternoon outdoor ceremony in the Fall and the reception will start at 2. It's an outdoorsy, rustic camping theme. This is what we are planning on having -

trail mix buffet (this will double as the favor)
coffee bar (we are borrowing the huge carafes from our church.. we will have coffee and hot water with hot chocolate packets and hot tea bags. On the table will be sugar, sweeteners, creamers, honey, syrups, etc. if the venue lets us bring alcohol, we'll have a couple of liquor mix ins like baileys). We will also have bottled water.
dessert table with the wedding pie (no cake) (apple, peach, a couple of others, purchased from our local bakery), smores (purchased, our grocer does them in trays), cookies (homemade) and a cheesecake dip served with fresh fruit and pound cake cubes (homemade)

We can bring in our own food to our venue.

This is a very casual, short reception for about 50.  Fiance and I go back and forth on whether we need to offer non-sweets (veggie tray, cheese and crackers, etc).  Do we need to?

And what to call this on our invites so that no one is expecting a meal? We're not serving cake OR punch so I don't really want to call it that, lol.


Re: my menu.. cake and punch reception

  • I think those sounds like great options already.  I would be quite happy with the trail mix buffet, although keep in mind favors aren't necessary, so it'd be nice to get to take some home, but don't worry about it as a favor.  I think adding a non-sweet item would be nice for people who were a little hungrier or not want to eat sweets the whole time, either veggies and dip or cheese and crackers sound good to me (or both if you wanted).  

    In your social circle and family, if you got invited to a 2 pm wedding, would you expect a meal?  I know some people would always expect a meal at a wedding, and others would judge based on the time.  When does your ceremony start?  If the ceremony started at 2 pm with reception afterwards, that's definitely not a meal time, but I don't know when it starts, and you might consider moving things back a little if you are currently starting closer to lunchtime.  If you wanted to put something on the invitations, how about "light refreshments to follow" or "Please join us for light refreshments at xyz venue immediately following ceremony" (if venue is different).  
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think it sounds lovely. You can add "Dessert Reception to Follow" on your invites, but generally a 2pm ceremony is a known non meal reception.

  • As someone not into sweets I think some savory choices would be nice to add. The cheese and cracker/veggie tray is a good option. 
  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I would add some veggies or cheese/crackers.  Some people can't eat a lot of sugar (though your options sound yummy) so you need SOMETHING that they can eat.  Even some chips and dip would work.
    photo composite_14153800476219.jpg
  • Overall, I think you have a nice selection.  It might be nice to offer a veggie/cheese tray for people who aren't big into sweets.  The only other thing that came to mind is you might want to offer a gluten free pie or other dessert if anyone in your crowd is gluten intolerant.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I would add a small fruit, cheese and cracker tray for us non-sweet eaters.   Other than that your plan is good.

    chibiyui said:
    I think it sounds lovely. You can add "Dessert Reception to Follow" on your invites, but generally a 2pm ceremony is a known non meal reception.
    Actually it really depends on your social group.  I've attended a wedding with a start time as early as 10:30am and as late as 8pm and every time in between.  Every single wedding had a full meal.  So it's my expectation to have a meal unless it was noted otherwise.    

    OP  - If you are not sure about your own social group's expectations I would put "Dessert  Reception to follow" on the invites. 

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I second the suggestion of something gluten free (unless you know everyone is okay with gluten), but it looks like the cheesecake dip and fruit, and probably some of the trail mix components are already gluten free. If I were there, I would be happy with that, but I would be extra happy if there were some gluten free cookies or something. I also like the idea of some non-sweets like veggies, cheese, etc. I just really like cheese though :).
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    What you have so far sounds good.  I'd include some more sugar-free and gluten-free options in case you have any guests who need them.
  • This plan sounds lovely.  I agree that adding "light refreshments" or "dessert reception" can help to give your guests more information.  I've never been to a non-meal reception so I would appreciate this extra detail to clue me in.

    I also like the idea of a cheese and cracker tray and/or veggie tray.  I had a chocolate fountain party once and added a cheese and cracker tray and chips and dip as an after thought.  The cheese, crackers and chips were completely gone by the end of the party so I think people like a little savory with the sweet.

  • sounds nice but what about anyone who might have diabetes and cannot eat sweets not everyone is open about what restrictions they have and it would be nice to have a cheese veggie platter, for those who cant have sweets.

    every reception i have been to has been a full sit down meal or a buffet
  • All of that sounds great! I would just advise that you ask your guests about dietary restrictions and allergies, and plan your trail mix accordingly. Nut allergies can be especially severe and are sometimes airborne!
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