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Food and Cakes

Popcorn Bar instead of hot appetizer

edited April 2016 in Food and Cakes
So since our wedding is fairly early and dinner will be served by 5:30 serving a full hot appetizer seemed wasteful and excessive. We opted to do a popcorn bar and ordered 125 cups of popcorn from a seller on Etsy in a wide range of flavors and colors (our wedding color pallet). Has anyone done a popcorn bar? How did the guests react? Did you use bags or something else for them to put the popcorn in? I originally bought a stack of plastic bowls because they were budget friendly and the appetizer wasn't a fully developed plan at that time haha. Now that the popcorn is a definite I'm just wondering if bags make more sense and if it would be worth it to spend the money when I already have bowls?

Thanks

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Re: Popcorn Bar instead of hot appetizer

  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I have never done or seen this, but I think it's a fun idea. It is an adjunct to dinner, not in place of it.

    I think bowls are fine. You would only need bags if you are expecting left overs and would like to allow guests to take it home. You can get small paper bags from the dollar store.
    ernursej
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    So since our wedding is fairly early and dinner will be served by 5:30 serving a full hot appetizer seemed wasteful and excessive. We opted to do a popcorn bar and ordered 125 cups of popcorn from a seller on Etsy in a wide range of flavors and colors (our wedding color pallet). Has anyone done a popcorn bar? How did the guests react? Did you use bags or something else for them to put the popcorn in? I originally bought a stack of plastic bowls because they were budget friendly and the appetizer wasn't a fully developed plan at that time haha. Now that the popcorn is a definite I'm just wondering if bags make more sense and if it would be worth it to spend the money when I already have bowls?

    Thanks
    What is the time frame between your ceremony and 5:30 dinner?  Is there a cocktail hour?  Unless your reception dinner starts within 30 minutes or so following your reception, I'm not sure I would find a bag of popcorn enough of a filler.
    PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • Ceremony is at 4pm, cocktail hour will be one hour max while we take photos and the ceremony itself will be shorter than 30 minutes. Reception and Ceremony are in the same place, so there will not be a long delay while the bridal party gets to a second location. There will be activities during cocktail hour, a photo booth, corn hole game and caricaturist so people wont need to eat out of boredom like most people do while waiting around for the reception.

  • I'm not a babysitter if grown adults can't figure out their limits that's sad for them. I've been to plenty events where the only food during cocktail hour was a candy buffet. Nobody got sick, because nobody was dumb enough to get schnockered on an empty stomach.

     We aren't doing a full bar either, so I have no doubt that the popcorn will be plenty. Many bars and breweries serve popcorn as a filler to avoid drunkenness when they don't serve food.

  • I love popcorn, but with braces on, I wouldn't be able to eat it. I'm not saying don't do popcorn, but only having one option for reception hour could leave a few people out (and me hungry). Could you have a few other 'munchie' type options of the cold variety?
    MesmrEweSTARMOON44lc07wink0erin
  • And again it's part of being a reponsible drinker, if you are a tiny person and feel the effects of one drink, don't have two drinks. Take accountability for your own life and actions and stop forcing people to hand hold you. 

    Fortunately having a small wedding allows me the certainty of knowing all of my guests eat popcorn. And no, budget wise I can't afford to double it to try to make sure everyone has a secondary option.


    Knottie1462222696
  • @marissaskisses - I don't think we are giving you the answers you were hoping for.
  • You mean answers to the  specific questions I asked? That's right, it went off on some tangent about how it wasn't enough food for people who aren't even going to be there lol

    Knottie1462222696
  • I don't really see how you think this took a tangent. You asked about your choice of food to be served during cocktail hour, PP's gave you some things to think about regarding choice of food at cocktail hour. And just because @MobKaz isn't specifically going to be a guest at your wedding doesn't make her opinion irelevant, it's giving you a POV that you may not have considered. You've been around here enough to know that. I've been to plenty of weddings and I assure you I've never eaten out of boredom during cocktail hour. Normally by that point lunch or breakfast (if I managed to have them due to time) is a distant memory. I appreciate something to snack on, I think most guests do.

    I like salted popcorn. I haven't seen it done, but my guess is that bowls would do the job just as well as bags since you have already purchased them. Seems like buying bags might be a waste of money. 
                 
    PrettyGirlLostOliveOilsMom
  • MobKaz said:
    You mean answers to the  specific questions I asked? That's right, it went off on some tangent about how it wasn't enough food for people who aren't even going to be there lol
    Please quote accurately.  I never said you did not have enough food. I stated,  "I personally do not feel that popcorn as the SOLE choice is sufficient for a cocktail hour."  I am not sure why your responses became so defensive so quickly, or why you chose to "tangent" to a soapbox regarding responsible drinking.  There is, however, an argument for responsible hosting.  If you plan on serving alcohol, then yes, I feel that as a host it is your responsibility to offer a food(s) compatible with cocktails.

    If you are concerned about budget, you could have chosen to opt out of items not necessary in terms of proper hosting, such as caricaturists or photo booths.  Guests will remember food and drink hosting above most everything else at a party.
    Of all the weddings I have been to I remember ZERO food, and all of the entertainment, so not everybody will only remember the food. As to my budget, the caricaturist is my uncle...so no money there and the photo booth is being supplied as a gift, so zero money coming out of the budget there.

  • Yes, @ScottishSarah. Just a few more options. A few jars of peanuts and chips/dip shouldn't break the bank and still keeps the theme of snacks going. I love All Dressed (I think that is a Canadian thing) and BBQ chips.
    OurWildKingdom
  • I don't think anyone was suggesting to double your apps budget, just to have a few options like nuts (salted and unsalted) chips and dip etc.  It wouldn't need to cost much at all and popcorn haters would really appreciate it.

    Quick poll from my house!  I love love salted popcorn!  FI said he would find it 'cheap' and side eye it.  Silly boy.
    There is nothing cheap about gourmet flavored popcorn. It's not like I'm popping crap in the  microwave and dumping it out of a bag LMAO!!!

    And fortunately, like I already said the wedding is small and I know for a fact everyone attending likes popcorn, so the need to please people who dislike popcorn isn't necessary.

  • The seller has impeccable reviews and does not make anything until the week of the event and seals it to be good for 2 weeks after shipment. I did extensive research before committing to order from her, so I'm not concerned at all about the freshness, but I can understand your point as that was part of my reasoning for reading EVERYTHING anyone ever wrote about her lol.

    And to hot food, cheese, sandwiches. The cost of those would have been way out of budget unless everyone only got one tiny finger sandwich and small piece of fruit, which would have been less filling than 2 cups of popcorn per person and it would have actually looked cheaper lol.

    Even looking at Costco the prices just didn't make sense. Popcorn was the only way people could get
    a decent portion of food without costing more than we could afford.

  • edited April 2016
    Yes, I DO find it wasteful and excessive to provide a big appetizer when a full meal will be an hour later, I am not contradicting that. A popcorn bar will look less cheap than 2 tacky trays of cheese and nuts that won't feed the entire head count without spending double what the popcorn is costing. Nothing about any of that is contradictory. I KNOW the 50 people at my wedding. If you KNOW your guests you damn well better know what they enjoy eating.

    I really don't know a single person that would skip lunch because a dinner is being served later. So saying people go to weddings hungry because they are expecting to be fed is the dumbest plan anyone can do. Again you are a grown up, I  shouldn't and won't make special plans because someone MAY not be responsible enough to eat lunch at some point before the event even starts. If a normal person eats lunch you are not starving by 5pm.

    As to the candy bar, I remember there was one, not the details of it. So nothing about remembering it and saying I don't remember the food itself is contradictory.

    I know nobody got sick because I was there shocker lol. I don't understand how you can be in such a bubble that you wouldn't know the environment around you.

    The not a full bar means a signature cocktail, a couple beer options and wine. 

    In my experience, everyone I have spoken to at weddings has not been hungry at cocktail hour and sat there and munched because of nothing going on ie boredom, this included table mates at weddings, friends at weddings, and friends who have been to weddings I was not at. So from my experience the appetizer serves as a small item for people to snack on while they wait. I did that without it looking cheap by providing a few fun popcorn varieties instead of a plate with cheese and crackers then upped the entertainment. 

    I battled my mom over appetizers for a solid week as I had zero intention on even serving one at all. The popcorn bar was the cheapest per person I could afford while also ensuring everyone actually gets to eat something. My concern was if I get 2 cheese and cracker plates someone is bound to eat 3 slices and then the 2 cheese plates wouldn't be enough. We spent an entire week doing the math on every available option. The popcorn allows everyone 2.5 cups before I run out... Verses one tacky slice of cheese on a cracker and a piece of fruit for the same cost. 

    I have people coming with nut allergies, and have zero intention on adding nuts... With my luck someone accidentally drops a nut into the popcorn containers then we send someone to the hospital all because someone on tk felt they wouldn't like just popcorn.

    Like I said, I know our guests. Only sending out 30 invites pretty much guarantees you can make sure details like this are suited for everyone. If there was even one person I thought did not like popcorn yes I would add something else, but that's not the case here. I tried explaining that but you don't seem to understand the concept of actually knowing your friends and family.

  • Yes, I DO find it wasteful and excessive to provide a big appetizer when a full meal will be an hour later, I am not contradicting that. A popcorn bar will look less cheap than 2 tacky trays of cheese and nuts that won't feed the entire head count without spending double what the popcorn is costing. Nothing about any of that is contradictory. I KNOW the 50 people at my wedding. If you KNOW your guests you damn well better know what they enjoy eating.

    I really don't know a single person that would skip lunch because a dinner is being served later. So saying people go to weddings hungry because they are expecting to be fed is the dumbest plan anyone can do. Again you are a grown up, I  shouldn't and won't make special plans because someone MAY not be responsible enough to eat lunch at some point before the event even starts. If a normal person eats lunch you are not starving by 5pm.

    As to the candy bar, I remember there was one, not the details of it. So nothing about remembering it and saying I don't remember the food itself is contradictory.

    I know nobody got sick because I was there shocker lol. I don't understand how you can be in such a bubble that you wouldn't know the environment around you.

    The not a full bar means a signature cocktail, a couple beer options and wine. 

    In my experience, everyone I have spoken to at weddings has not been hungry at cocktail hour and sat there and munched because of nothing going on ie boredom, this included table mates at weddings, friends at weddings, and friends who have been to weddings I was not at. So from my experience the appetizer serves as a small item for people to snack on while they wait. I did that without it looking cheap by providing a few fun popcorn varieties instead of a plate with cheese and crackers then upped the entertainment. 

    I battled my mom over appetizers for a solid week as I had zero intention on even serving one at all. The popcorn bar was the cheapest per person I could afford while also ensuring everyone actually gets to eat something. My concern was if I get 2 cheese and cracker plates someone is bound to eat 3 slices and then the 2 cheese plates wouldn't be enough. We spent an entire week doing the math on every available option. The popcorn allows everyone 2.5 cups before I run out... Verses one tacky slice of cheese on a cracker and a piece of fruit for the same cost. 

    I have people coming with nut allergies, and have zero intention on adding nuts... With my luck someone accidentally drops a nut into the popcorn containers then we send someone to the hospital all because someone on tk felt they wouldn't like just popcorn.

    Like I said, I know our guests. Only sending out 30 invites pretty much guarantees you can make sure details like this are suited for everyone. If there was even one person I thought did not like popcorn yes I would add something else, but that's not the case here. I tried explaining that but you don't seem to understand the concept of actually knowing your friends and family.
    When do you eat lunch? If I eat lunch at noon, as I usually do...then, yes, I am hungry by 4:30pm. Certainly my stomach is too empty to be drinking alcohol on it.

    I know my friends and family pretty well too. I don't know a single one that wouldn't be hungry at a cocktail hour. And believe it or not, all of them are adults. When one is going to eat dinner, one does not arrive full. That's basic common sense. It would not occur to me to eat a later lunch because my host will be a poor one.

    Good luck. To answer your original question...2.5 cups of popcorn out of a bowl or 2.5 cups of popcorn out of a bag makes no difference.

    ETA: Grammar
    I eat lunch at noon on most days, not hungry again until 6. And that's pretty consistent whether I drink or not. FI is the same and mom isn't hungry until 8pm normally eating lunch at 1. Everyone in my bridal party normally has dinner around 7pm and no they don't eat lunch at 3pm lol. FIs sisters family has lunch at 12:30 and dinner on the table at 6. My grand parents normally eat lunch at 1 and dinner by 6(and that's while drinking). Am I going to know everyone's schedule, no but will the popcorn tie the remaining people over? Yes.

    And as I said, if that's your pattern that you are hungry by 4:30 you would have some popcorn and the maturity to know not to guzzle 4 drinks in an hour.

  • edited April 2016
    I wasn't referring to the pps maturity level specifically, I was speaking in general. As in anyone any grown adult should know their alcohol limits and not drink to the point of getting sick,especially if you know your body well enough that you know you are hungry. 

    As to the other post, me and all of my friends like craft beer of which she was having zero, so yes I personally find her beer choice to be lacking and there was an extreme on the liquor side. If she has more friends who like liquor then that works for her. I wasn't badgering her that my way was right, merely giving her insight.

  • edited April 2016
    Again I was not speaking to your maturity level specifically, i was using your timeframe for eating as an example for any person with that same need. No need to take it personal, I don't know you I would never attempt to comment on your maturity level. As to your side eyeing, I guess it's a good thing you won't be there then huh? Lol :)

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