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Food ideas for a New Years Eve reception...

Hi all! :)
I was hoping for some help with ideas for food for a New Years Eve reception. We plan on getting married at 6:30p and having our reception start at 8:00p. We can cater our own food and drinks and I thought I was set on just doing appetizers foods for people to snack on (meatballs etc) all evening bc the reception is later and people will be drinking BUT my wedding planner and my aunt think I should offer a  nice meal bc it is NYE and they think it should be more of a black tie event. I understand that and I think a black tie event would be really neat but are people going to want to eat a big meal that late at night and be drinking?
Thanks for any input :)

Happy Thursday all.
"I believe in the sun when its not shining, in love when I am alone, and in God when He is silent."

Re: Food ideas for a New Years Eve reception...

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    An 8pm reception is pretty typical, so yes people will definitely want a meal.  The meal can be regular sit down meal, a buffet, or heavy hors d'oeuvres.  For an hors d'oeuvres reception, if you have about 10-15 pieces per person of hearty options, that will constitute a meal.  That's what we did.  But you could definitely serve a traditional full meal at 8pm, people would expect it.
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    NYE parties and family gaterings have always been appetizers in my circle, so I wouldn't really think twice about not having a meal.


    But 6:30-midnight is going to be a LONG day, and a few little hors d'oeuvres won't cut it. So I'd either have a LOT of heavy snacks (maybe add in things like carving stations or action stations - pasta, wok, etc.) to flesh it out, or have a later ceremony so people can eat dinner beforehand.

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    I agree with the prior posters. I was thinking of the food stations or carving stations as I was reading the responses.

    In my opinion, NYE parties tend to be about "nibbles" of special foods, such as shrimp with cocktail sauce, beef tenderloin, etc. You could supply appetizers and have a meat carving station with some nice buns or rolls and condiments, plus one or two food stations. One could have fun things like "sliders" (small burgers a la White Castle), with fries & onion rings and various toppings for the burgers, another could be an ethnic one with Italian or Mexican food.

    NYE is a special night for a lot of people. You don't have to make it black tie, because people usually dress up for NYE and weddings anyway, plus it depends on your venue and theme.

    Good luck. There are so many fun things you can do with NYE weddings!
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    For alot of people, regardless of the holiday, 8pm (actually 9pm if you're having a cocktail hour before dinner) is very late to eat a full meal. You can serve anything you want though. But if you choose to serve alcohol, you do need substantial food unless you want a ton of drunk, sick guests in a matter of minutes.
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    I normally do not eat until after 8, so yes I would expect a full meal.  But that does not have to be in the form of a sit-down meal.  It could be a action stations and heavy hors d'oeuvres.  Something that is enough for a full meal.

    You can do things in shifts.   Say lighter apps in the beginning, add heavier apps in the middle, mid-night snacks later in the evening.  That way people can basicially eat all night if they want.






    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. 
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    I'm getting married on NYE and while my mom really thinks we should have a full sit-down meal, we'll just be serving heavy hor dourvres. Our ceremony is at 8:30 and the reception is immediately following it in the same building. Our venue has options like mac and cheese, quesadillas, sliders, beef skewers, seared scallops, carving stations, and shrimp cocktail and we'll probably be doing all of these and more.
     I want to make sure there is an abundance of food, but at the same time i REFUSE to serve a full meal on NYE. with our reception starting around nine there won't be enough time for a whole meal, dancing, and celebrating at midnight. of course we'll still have the cake and some other sweet goodies, too. :)

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    If you are starting at 6:30, you need to serve enough food to make a meal.  Most people will need to leave at about 5:30 to get there in plenty of time, so even if they grab a snack on the way out the door, they won't have eaten since 5:30.  Then the ceremony, then the reception.  If they only get light apps, and are drinking, they will all be trashed and sick by midnight.

    A seated dinner would be lovely, or action stations and lots of different types of apps would be really cool and unique.  But you need to serve plenty of food either way.
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