Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Would you sideeye no "real" meat?

We are finalizing the choices for our late evening reception - just hors d' ouevres (that information is included on the wedding website and has been passed by word of mouth).
Our definite choices are: (1) mini grilled pimiento cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, (2) shrimp and grits, (3) deviled eggs (bit strange, I know; this venue has great deviled eggs and everyone who has been to a wedding there previously was like "BUT ARE YOU HAVING THE DEVLIED EGGS???"), and (4) chili panisse with avocado relish.
There will also be a cheese "cake" because the groom's honor attendant runs a creamery, so four cheeses with accompaniments. (And a normal wedding cake; we're not monsters, however much we prefer savory to sweet ; ).)
Our numbers have come in such that we can add a fifth option. We had originally planned to add a crispy ox-rib, since otherwise we don't have any meat, and we wanted to make sure everyone felt properly hosted. Our other possible addition was fried green tomatoes - which we had planned to add as a sixth if numbers got that low, but I don't think they will.
But now I'm torn - we both love fried green tomatoes, and I like how well they fit with the rest of our pretty Southern menu. I like how seasonal they are, too - they feel very appropriate to our June wedding. I also found the rib a little messy to eat, though my fiancé didn't have the same trouble. And my family, who was a big part of my feeling that we needed a meat option, has largely declined - 26 to 31 are coming out of almost a hundred invitations.
(Either option costs the same - $4 per head plus 21% service charge and 10.5% tax at about 160-170 guests - so about $850 per additional option.)
What say ye? Will guests feel robbed if they don't have any meat? Will they even notice? 
(Relevant, probably: we (FI and I)are not vegetarians or pescetarians. Many of our friends are, maybe as much as half, even, but so far as we know no one in either family is. Guest list of those attending or not yet RSVP'd is about a 60/40 friends/family split.)

Re: Would you sideeye no "real" meat?

  • I think your menu sounds great! I agree with @labro though, that another protein option may be a good idea, though eggs, cheese, and shrimp are conceivably enough protein. Maybe see what chicken options your caterer can offer.

    Also, what time does your reception start? My only concern is that if you are having it during a meal-time, you really should have a full meal. Also, will you have seats for everyone? 
    BabyFruit Ticker
    rebecca+m
  • We will indeed have seats for everyone, plus some extra seating on the patio.
    The reception will begin at 8:30 PM after a half hour cocktail...hour? A cocktail half hour? during which the cheese plate will be cut and offered along with beer, wine, tea, lemonade, water, and a spritzer mocktail. The ceremony is at 7:30 PM. Most of our guests eat dinner at the (to me, early) range of 5-6 normally; we know this from years of coordinating meals, family gatherings, dinner parties, etc. where FI and I end up eating two to three hours earlier than we normally would, since we tip towards late. I actually can't think of anyone else on our guest list who would normally eat any later than 6:30 at the outside. And we have made very sure that every one knows it is hors d'oeuvres - website, face-to-face, when following up about hotels for welcome bags, etc. We are also including, in welcome bags, a list of recommended restaurants in the area.
    The general advice I have seen is reception after 8 is assumed to be after the dinner hour; we are keeping the ceremony short to help avoid people getting there at, say, 6 and then us being like "oh, no, sorry, late reception, so no dinner!" We're feeding the bridal party before pictures. 
    The venue has a chicken with risotto little...spoon...thing? We didn't really feel like it fit with everything else, and the mushroom risotto felt heavy for June. And they have sliders, but we were trying to keep things pretty GF - one of our attendants has Celiac's, and we wanted to really, really avoid cross contamination, as she is also pregnant. (The other options are all GF - incidentally, GF bread makes a pretty excellent grilled cheese - it stands up to the grease better than normal bread! We were v. impressed.) The sliders were also maybe messier than the rib, actually?
    madamerwinOurWildKingdomSP29
  • I think the current menu sounds very filling! Personally I think the fried green tomatoes sound great. I would prefer that to the messy rib which does sound hard to eat. It also goes with your over food better. 

    Since people know it's hors devours, people will have eaten dinner if they're concerned. No one's expecting a filet. 

    Personally, if I knew you were serving hors devours I would have a slightly late lunch and wouldn't eat dinner and that would certainly be enough food for me. I also eat dinner at around 7:30pm at the earliest People here are constantly worried about being hungry at weddings? I'm always always super full after heavy apps I can rarely eat dinner (and the apps are almost always the best part!)

    Your wedding sounds awesome! I'm super duper early in planning but cocktails and hors devours sounds like my kind of reception as well!
    rebecca+mKnottie1452098987scrunchythief
  • @KahluaKoala thank you! I am very much a small plates person myself. We sort of picked the time to go with the menu we wanted? The weddings I have been to that did dinner were all really lovely! But if I can instead have cheese and several small plates? Yes, please; sign me up for that. But I want to also be respectful of the fact that other people will feel differently, and I felt this was the latest we could have it and even pretend to be welcoming children (who are invited, but I'm realistic about the fact that that's too late for most of them anyway - I checked with my VIPs with kids and then let the chips fall where they might). I think that our friends will be delighted with the food and that certain members of my family would have grumbled over anything other than an all-you-can eat buffet loaded with meat, which was just never an option for several reasons. But I do want to make everyone feel as well-hosted as possible, which is my meat v. tomato dilemma.
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2016
    I am a pescetarian with a rather large appetite, and I think your menu sounds fantastic! I will say to be careful with cross-contamination with the shrimp, maybe have some grits separate from the rest.

    ETA: I may have to crash your wedding.  :p
    madamerwinernursejrebecca+m
  • I definitely wouldn't side eye it, but having another protein would be a good idea. Either way it sounds amazing. 

    I will say though a 7:30pm ceremony people may be expecting a full meal. An 8pm ceremony I think you're out of meal time, but 7:30 IMO is cutting it close. With travel time, time to get dressed and ready you're not exactly giving people a ton of typical meal time to eat before hand. That was always the cutoff I've seen; 8pm ceremony is ok to do heavy apps, but any earlier you're not giving people much time to eat before hand. And just because you're good with heavy apps for a meal doesn't mean everyone is. 
    STARMOON44rebecca+mDrillSergeantCat
  • I definitely wouldn't side eye it, but having another protein would be a good idea. Either way it sounds amazing. 

    I will say though a 7:30pm ceremony people may be expecting a full meal. An 8pm ceremony I think you're out of meal time, but 7:30 IMO is cutting it close. With travel time, time to get dressed and ready you're not exactly giving people a ton of typical meal time to eat before hand. That was always the cutoff I've seen; 8pm ceremony is ok to do heavy apps, but any earlier you're not giving people much time to eat before hand. And just because you're good with heavy apps for a meal doesn't mean everyone is. 

    Her guests know that it's just heavy apps. They can decide whether or not they want to have a large lunch at 3pm, a light dinner at 4:30pm, pack a granola bar, whatever.
    rebecca+mKnottie1452098987
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its

    OP, I agree with you that I'd much rather have several small plates than a regular plated meal. My H and I had super heavy apps at a meal time for our reception and loved it. But we had way too much food. It was ridiculous.

    I think you're okay with either option. I'd prefer the rib, but others would prefer the tomato. It's really up to you. Just make sure you have enough pieces of each app for people to have several, since I think you will have some people who will eat more than the general "cocktail hour" allotment.

    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    OurWildKingdomrebecca+m
  • I definitely wouldn't side eye it, but having another protein would be a good idea. Either way it sounds amazing. 

    I will say though a 7:30pm ceremony people may be expecting a full meal. An 8pm ceremony I think you're out of meal time, but 7:30 IMO is cutting it close. With travel time, time to get dressed and ready you're not exactly giving people a ton of typical meal time to eat before hand. That was always the cutoff I've seen; 8pm ceremony is ok to do heavy apps, but any earlier you're not giving people much time to eat before hand. And just because you're good with heavy apps for a meal doesn't mean everyone is. 

    Her guests know that it's just heavy apps. They can decide whether or not they want to have a large lunch at 3pm, a light dinner at 4:30pm, pack a granola bar, whatever.
    Oops sorry missed that part!
    rebecca+m
  • Thank you to all responses so far! I'm still weighing the rib/tomato/?? dilemma. I sent an email earlier this week entirely about napkins, though, so I'm learning to live in this weird space of strangely consequential inconsequential minutiae.
    I do also want to add a couple of reassurances for those concerned that this is crossing into improper hosting.
    1. This venue is very generous with appetizers. I checked with others who had been to events and arranged to attend a vendor's event there before we decided on hors d'oeuvres vs. meal; I had probably eight or nine apps, and they were still serving when I left with no sign of running low. That was without any supplemental stations; our cheese addition was a sort of safety net. That doesn't replace a meal, of course; we didn't intend it to. But there will be enough food if someone forgets to eat, misjudged their schedules, etc.
    We did ask about over-ordering a bit, and they discouraged it, as they said they always error on the side of extra portions anyway. So the price isn't per app, it's per head, with cushions built in. I guess I partly trust them on this, outside from experiences, because they turned down more money?
    2. All of our guests fall into two groups: live within forty minutes of the venue (twenty-thirty for most, but I'm stretching it for a few outliers) or are OOT and staying at hotels within ten minutes of the venue. As such, my hope is that with proper forewarning - which everyone has had - they can either eat at home before leaving at 6:45ish or if OOT they can (a) eat at 5:30 and still have almost an hour to get ready or (b) get ready and then eat out anywhere near the venue around six. 
    I do see the limitation there: I just said that I myself would rather not eat at 5:30, didn't I?! But I'm not sure I can think of a ceremony and reception time or type that wouldn't shift some people's schedules one way or the other. And I did feel that a later reception would be more discourteous to those with children and to older relatives - I'll be pushing my parents' bedtime by the cake-cutting already : ) Maybe half an hour later would have sent a clearer signal and not made that much difference, but - *waves to ship as it sails away, for, lo, that ship has sailed*
    I am still listening to feedback and critiques, which I know can also be valuable to lurkers; I just want people to also know what we are doing to try to make everyone comfortable.
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • My FI has introduced me to fried green tomatoes and I'm in love so I'd be nomming the crap out of those. I could see how more carnivorous people might want a meat option though since your menu is light on meat (totally thinking of my FI and FBIL here). I might go with the rib just to have a little red meat in the mix.
    OurWildKingdomrebecca+m
  • I have kind of a boring palate and I don't eat shrimp or eggs, so I would really enjoy the addition of the rib as a protein. I would also think it was a little weird to have both tomato soup and a fried green tomato as options, but that's probably just me.

    Either way, it sounds like you're planning to host your guests well.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    OurWildKingdomrebecca+mDrillSergeantCat
  • I would add both and another station in addition to cheese. I don't think it's anywhere close to enough food. 
    OurWildKingdom
  • I would add both and another station in addition to cheese. I don't think it's anywhere close to enough food. 
    I assume you mean variety, not quantity, since there is no way to know exactly how much of each there will be, aside from the fact that OP said that the vendor is known to have more than enough.

    At our wedding, we technically had "heavy apps" at mealtime. We had six options for the main reception (a variety of meat, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.). Everyone was able to get full plates of food, and seconds and even thirds, and we STILL had leftovers that lasted for almost a week afterwards. Everyone commented on how good it was, and everyone ate as much as they wanted. 

    Yes, OP COULD have more options, but to say that she clearly doesn't have enough seems a little extreme.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    ILoveBeachMusiccharlotte989875rebecca+m
  • @drglitter
    That's a good point! I honestly hadn't even clocked the tomato/tomato thing.
    @OurWildKingdom
    Well, I'm not sure it's the same thing, but if you're ever in NW Arkansas, I have a number of places I can enthusiastically recommend for the best of all of the above!
    OurWildKingdom
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2016
    rebecca+m said:
    @drglitter
    That's a good point! I honestly hadn't even clocked the tomato/tomato thing.
    @OurWildKingdom
    Well, I'm not sure it's the same thing, but if you're ever in NW Arkansas, I have a number of places I can enthusiastically recommend for the best of all of the above!
    My FMIL lives in North Little Rock (going to visit her in two weeks). A ways from you, but maybe a side trip on the way there or the way back.
    rebecca+m
  • rebecca+m said:
    @drglitter
    That's a good point! I honestly hadn't even clocked the tomato/tomato thing.
    @OurWildKingdom
    Well, I'm not sure it's the same thing, but if you're ever in NW Arkansas, I have a number of places I can enthusiastically recommend for the best of all of the above!
    My FMIL lives in North Little Rock (going to visit her in two weeks). A ways from you, but maybe a side trip on the way there or the way back.
    Oh my goodness, it sounds like you will actually be around the weekend of our wedding, 24th-26th! What a wild internet coincidence!
    Seriously, I do recommend our venue (a 21c) which is near Crystal Bridges, for cocktails particularly; some of their event menu is on the normal menu, too. Hammontree's has locations in Rogers and Fayetteville; they are a grilled cheese restaurant, and I endorsssseee them. Cafe Rue Orleans in Fayetteville for shrimp and grits, Tusk and Trotter in Bentonville for, lawd, basically everything.
    Oh, in Little Rock surely y'all have been to a Whole Hog? That's our rehearsal dinner.
    I have many, many other yes-do-this, if that side trip ever becomes a real plan. I'll give Little Rock props for a lot of their recent measures, but I still think our little NWA enclave is a world apart : ) I'm in academia and not in a tenure-track position so my time here is limited, but we will be so sad to leave.
    OurWildKingdom
  • kvrunskvruns member
    5000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    Ribs sound messy to me for a wedding, but I support the idea of another protein option. What are the slider options? Would your WP member be offended at having one non-GF option? Since you are adding this item because you have room in the budget it isn't like it is taking away from something you had originally planned that she could have.

    If cross-contamination is a concern from the sliders I get it, but if there is a way to avoid that I think sliders would be a good idea.

    I also think it is important to remember that while you see a southern theme with your food no one will remember a week from your wedding if one item didn't quite fit the theme so I personally wouldn't let that factor into my decision, I'd pick what I thought would be best received.

    madamerwinILoveBeachMusicSTARMOON44
  • I'm a vote for the fried green tomatoes.  Do it.  :)

    FWIW, I think your entire menu sounds fine for heavy apps.  Also, my H is from NW Arkansas, grew up in a bunch of itty-bitty towns and now my SIL, BIL, niece, and nephew all live in Rogers.  It's pretty there! 
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think your menu sounds great. As long as there is enough quantity of food per person, I don't see heavy apps being much different than a meal. I've been to a heavy app reception and I ate more with small plates than what I would usually eat for dinner on one plate.

    As for the 5th choice, I actually think you have a lot of protein options, shrimp, eggs and cheese. Myself, I would prefer something in the vegetable category. Do you have any vegetarians or vegans attending? My husband would always say the meat option- but he would live off meat and potatoes if he could.

    I would also be concerned about the mess factor for the ribs. I'd either want something that would not make a mess of my hands when I pick something up with my fingers, or something that can be eaten with a utensil.
    madamerwin
  • I also vote for the Green Tomatoes because i LOVE them. I get that there'd be tomato and tomato soup but honestly they are two totally different flavors IMO.  I am a vegetarian but honestly that didn't really weigh into my opinion because that's still what I would have picked back when I did eat meat. I need to start growing my own tomatoes b/c green tomatoes are impossible to find in grocery stores in Maine...
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    OurWildKingdom
  • I would add both and another station in addition to cheese. I don't think it's anywhere close to enough food. 
    I assume you mean variety, not quantity, since there is no way to know exactly how much of each there will be, aside from the fact that OP said that the vendor is known to have more than enough.

    At our wedding, we technically had "heavy apps" at mealtime. We had six options for the main reception (a variety of meat, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.). Everyone was able to get full plates of food, and seconds and even thirds, and we STILL had leftovers that lasted for almost a week afterwards. Everyone commented on how good it was, and everyone ate as much as they wanted. 

    Yes, OP COULD have more options, but to say that she clearly doesn't have enough seems a little extreme.
    No I meant both. Sorry, OP, it just doesn't sound sufficient to me. That's less than your typical cocktail hour spread around here. 
  • spockforprezspockforprez Virginia member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I would add both and another station in addition to cheese. I don't think it's anywhere close to enough food. 
    I assume you mean variety, not quantity, since there is no way to know exactly how much of each there will be, aside from the fact that OP said that the vendor is known to have more than enough.

    At our wedding, we technically had "heavy apps" at mealtime. We had six options for the main reception (a variety of meat, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.). Everyone was able to get full plates of food, and seconds and even thirds, and we STILL had leftovers that lasted for almost a week afterwards. Everyone commented on how good it was, and everyone ate as much as they wanted. 

    Yes, OP COULD have more options, but to say that she clearly doesn't have enough seems a little extreme.
    No I meant both. Sorry, OP, it just doesn't sound sufficient to me. That's less than your typical cocktail hour spread around here. 
    Where is "around here?" There are some regions that are known for over the top cocktail hours that are much nicer than most full weddings where I am from. I wouldn't judge based on that alone.

    I personally would like some protein other than shrimp. Based on your menu, I'd likely be at the cheese table all night. I am a pretty picky eater and so is my husband. Just my two uncultured cents! 
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    ILoveBeachMusicKnottie1452098987
  • I would add both and another station in addition to cheese. I don't think it's anywhere close to enough food. 
    I assume you mean variety, not quantity, since there is no way to know exactly how much of each there will be, aside from the fact that OP said that the vendor is known to have more than enough.

    At our wedding, we technically had "heavy apps" at mealtime. We had six options for the main reception (a variety of meat, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.). Everyone was able to get full plates of food, and seconds and even thirds, and we STILL had leftovers that lasted for almost a week afterwards. Everyone commented on how good it was, and everyone ate as much as they wanted. 

    Yes, OP COULD have more options, but to say that she clearly doesn't have enough seems a little extreme.
    No I meant both. Sorry, OP, it just doesn't sound sufficient to me. That's less than your typical cocktail hour spread around here. 
    @STARMOON44I don't get how you're judging how much of each she is going to have... She said her caterer is known for having EXTRA food. Also it's at 8:30 PM so I feel like the guests will have had time to eat dinner beforehand and won't be starving.  I feel like there is a lot of variety. Again she isn't serving dinner it's apps and personally I'd be more thrilled with this app menu than a few of the dinner menus of weddings I've gone to...
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    madamerwinILoveBeachMusicSP29Knottie1452098987
  • I would add both and another station in addition to cheese. I don't think it's anywhere close to enough food. 
    I assume you mean variety, not quantity, since there is no way to know exactly how much of each there will be, aside from the fact that OP said that the vendor is known to have more than enough.

    At our wedding, we technically had "heavy apps" at mealtime. We had six options for the main reception (a variety of meat, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc.). Everyone was able to get full plates of food, and seconds and even thirds, and we STILL had leftovers that lasted for almost a week afterwards. Everyone commented on how good it was, and everyone ate as much as they wanted. 

    Yes, OP COULD have more options, but to say that she clearly doesn't have enough seems a little extreme.
    No I meant both. Sorry, OP, it just doesn't sound sufficient to me. That's less than your typical cocktail hour spread around here
    Around where? Maybe you live somewhere where everyone has five passed apps and a few stations for cocktail hour, but that is not a requirement as long as there is enough for everyone.

    Our cocktail hour had meat and cheese plates, bread and various dips, and crudites. There was more than enough for everyone for the entire hour, and people even commented on how much they liked the apps. Sorry if you personally think that is not enough variety, but as long as guests have a couple of choices and there is enough for everyone, then it's all good.

    Not sure how you could possibly be judging OP's food quantity considering she told us the caterer is known for providing too much food. Where are you getting that there won't be enough for everyone?

    Also, you seem to have missed the fact that this is an 8pm hors d'oeuvres reception, not a full meal. Guests are aware of this per OP, and will have eaten something beforehand (and if they have not, that's on them). Maybe this isn't your cup of tea, but ultimately, what OP serves is up to her and her FI.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    SP29Knottie1452098987slg00006
  • Hey, everybody, thanks for the support! This feedback is reassuring to hear, and I love that so many of you like our menu. It's also even reassuring that there is a lot of dissent on which option we should nail down, since it confirms that we probably won't make everyone happy, but we will make /some/ people happy, no matter what we choose! We are leaning heavily towards the fried green tomatoes, at this point, but we'll see. I don't mean to twist people's words, but it was actually all the comments about proteins that made me see how many proteins we already had! I get that people meant that term in menu terms, rather than nutritional/dietetic, but we're now wondering if the straight vegetable might not make the more diverse menu here. We have another week to make this choice, though, and it may be influenced by the last few RSVPs coming in.
    I'm only bothered by the suggestion that there won't be enough insofar as it seems like the necessary implication is that we're being bad hosts. I don't really want to outline more of the logic, because I feel like we're just arguing opinions at that point. I'm sure some people will wish it was a full pasta buffet or similar, and some relatives were already surprised we weren't just doing a dessert reception at that hour. Life is a rich tapestry! It's clear I disagree on sufficiency because if we thought this wouldn't be enough food, we would have done something different. But maybe if @STARMOON44 could mention the region, it would be helpful information for lurkers to consider? If it's the same region, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
    Also, for what it's worth, if all fifty people who have not yet RSVP'd (which at this point also means have not responded to my contacting them to check *sigh*) say no, we will add both, just because if there's room in the budget, why not? We have to meet a food and drink minimum, and the fewer people, the less of that will be drinks. But I am confident that the only reason people would be hungry is that they were vegans who hated panisse and tomatos (and we don't know of any vegans).
    Many thanks for all the feedback so far!
    madamerwin
  • Hey, you're confident and everyone else disagrees with me, so enjoy! I just figure the whole point of asking internet strangers is so you get a full range of opinions. I'm in NJ- I know our cocktail hours are ridiculous here, it just sounded a little sparse to me is all. I'm sure it will be great. 
    rebecca+m
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards