Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Evening Reception - Supper? Appetizers? Help!!

My mother and I have been arguing over catering options all week, and I figured it was time to call in the Knottie advice!! 

The details:
- Friday evening event.  The ceremony begins around 7:30. Reception dinner begins around 9:00. 
- Takes place in the middle of (very cold) winter. 
- Needs to be as cost-effective as possible while still being "unique".

The problem: 
I'm debating between doing a full supper (ex. roast beef, bun, salad, choice of potato) or appetizers (mini quiche, sausage rolls, etc.). 

I am concerned that the guests won't be in the mood for a large 'supper' style meal if they have already eaten supper. But on the flip side - will they have had enough time to eat a proper supper before coming to the ceremony if they had to work, since the wedding is on a Friday? 

Another option is to have sandwiches with deli meat, cheeses, etc.  Or there's other things entirely, like tomato soup shots and small wedges of grilled cheese! My FI is from Texas, and is half Mexican, so I was thinking of incorporating Southern or Mexican food choices in the menu as well.  

There's so many options.. help!!

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Re: Evening Reception - Supper? Appetizers? Help!!

  • edited December 2011
    I voted for the full supper, but I would make the suggestion to incorporate a Mexican flare to the meal instead of roast beef.  The meal should represent the two of you.  A fajita bar would be fun!!  It sounds like you are not Mexican or from the south, so if would not have to be all mexican.  

    My FH and I both have small local businesses in Michigan so we have decided to to have all our food and drinks represent products from Michigan.  I am also Italian, so after dinner we are going to have a coffee table with italian cookies.  

    I agree with you that because the wedding is on Friday, folks would be rushed to have a full dinner before coming to the wedding.  On the other hand, if the decision is really based on financial resources then heavy apps would also do the trick.  I would try to give folks the heads up through you website (if you have one), word of mouth, etc. if you choose to go this route.  Either way, I would encourage you to incorporate foods that you enjoy.  I hope this helps.  I am my no means a professional.
  • jess9802jess9802 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    What are you doing for your guests in the gap between the ceremony and the reception? 7:00 on a Friday night means your guests will be arriving at the ceremony site sometime between 6:30 and 6:45, I'd imagine, and if they're getting off work at 5 or so, that doesn't leave a lot of time for going home to change and grabbing a bite to eat before leaving for the wedding.

    I would probably have light refreshments available immediately after the ceremony, cut your gap as much as possible, and then serve a full dinner as soon as you can. Unique is nice, but being a gracious hostess is nicer.
  • edited December 2011
    I think that you do need a full meal, whether it's in the form of a regular plated/buffet dinner or heavy appetizers.  As others have pointed out, it will be tough for people to fit in a meal before your ceremony.

    Are you hosting anything between the ceremony and the meal?  Our timeline was similar, where dinner was served very late, but there was a ton of food at cocktail hour, which started at 7:45ish, so people weren't starving.  If you weren't planning on having any kind of food until 9:00, I would either include some fruit/veggie trays and/or a cheese platter, or move your schedule around to make dinner happen earlier. 
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  • edited December 2011
    We are planning on having a hot chocolate bar, cookies, and other light finger-food options for the cocktail hour between the ceremony and the beginning of the reception.  During that time, the bar will be open and guests will be invited to mingle and find their seats and everything.  We are having a photo booth, and our photographer has suggested having people get semi-formal photos of themselves (no props) if they wish.  This will also give us time to do the massive family photos, but not the regular wedding formal photos. 

    Basically, the venue opens around 7, ceremony starts at 7:30, hopefully end around 8, and then the reception will begin at 9.  I want something that they will eat off a plate as a sit-down kind of thing, but not something as necessarily heavy as a full meal.  Thanks for the input!! 
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  • Ashes_3Ashes_3 member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    I think serving supper at nine pm is very late. I said serve appetizers and maybe have a deli bar set up! That'd be cute!
  • edited December 2011
    Personally I wouldn't be in the mood for a full meal at 9 pm. Especially not after eating cookies and hot chocolate, etc. beforehand. I voted for heavy appetizers. 
  • edited December 2011
    I'd do apps, but do enough to constitute dinner if people haven't eaten.
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  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2011

    I wouldn't want cookies and hot chocolate as an appetizer before dinner.  That's dessert.  Plus, by that time I'd be HUNGRY, and I wouldn't want to have to fill up on cookies.  I don't think most people will have time to eat a regular meal before your ceremony, so I would say eliminate or close the gap, or offer very heavy appetizers during the cocktail hour.  If you want hot chocolate and cookies, put them on the dessert table where they belong. 

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