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December 2010 Weddings

FOOD! (What are you doing? & at what time??)

I'm having mixed thoughts about food. My MOH/BF just had her wedding & did an appetizer wedding. I thought it was fine... and it just happens to fit into my budget too. We're having 230 and I can't imagine doing $18+ pp for a meal.

Our reception will be around 7:30 and I've read on a lot of online sources that "everyone will be so bothered/annoyed/starving if you don't serve dinner."

So I'm wondering right now because I'm doing the wording for the invites. I meet with the country club for food options sometime this week to discuss.

Thoughts? What are you doing??
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Re: FOOD! (What are you doing? & at what time??)

  • We had a similar dilemma. Our ceremony starts at 7, goes until 8, and the reception starts at 8:30. Dinner will be served around 9:15 or so, and for that 45 minutes we are serving appetizers (that's the cocktail hour type thing).

    We couldn't decide if we should even serve dinner since it would be so late, but the thing we decided on was that since our wedding will be taking up mealtime (in order for our guests to get to the ceremony site in time they will have to leave early, probably around 6-6:30 depending on where they are coming from) we are serving dinner.

    So, for your wedding I would suggest the same thing. It seems like your two choices, honestly, are to either serve seriously heavy hors d'oeuvres, or serve a full meal. Otherwise, if I were a guest at your wedding, I'd be seriously peeved and probably wouldn't stay at your reception very long. It might be prudent to try to trim your guest list some to cut costs, or cut back on decorations or something to feed your guests. Also, honestly, it's probably going to be a long day for you and your FI as well, wouldn't you want to eat yourselves?
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  • I went to a really lovely wedding where they had the ceremony in the afternoon and then had a dessert reception (with appetisers also) from 7:30pm.  They were happy to suggest restaurants or people could choose something that was within their own budget.  I thought that worked really well - I'm not sure if that's an option for you but it would really help you cut costs.
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  • Down south most all weddings serve heavy hors d'oeuvres. (table numbers and seating charts are foreign words down here!)  But its not always cheaper.  If you are having your wedding at dinner time, then people will be hungry and need substantial dinner time food. (I know I get cranky when I haven't eaten, and if you are serving alcohol you need food to soak that up!)
    My reception starts at 8pm.  We are going to have a shrimp and grits station, a carving station with rolls, jambalaya, stuffed mushrooms, chicken satays, grilled vegtables, artichoke dip, boiled shrimp and a fruit and cheese table.  And those stations will stay open for most of the night, unlike at a sit down dinner where you get your plate and that's it.  At a heavy appetizers dinner, a guest can eat as much as they like (and some men will eat alot!). 
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  • Oooo Kristin, I'm coming to your wedding! :)  DELICIOUS! 

    I would serve them dinner and cut down on your guest list.  The food/beverage is why people always say weddings are so expensive.  But if you took 10 friends to a nice restaurant, the bill would be about $50 a person with drinks.  And that's what your really doing, gathering everyone who loves you the most (that could help you determine who's in and who's out) and treating them to a good meal.  Food is not the first place I would cut.  People often do, and end up with crabby guests.

    Good luck! :)

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  • We decided to do an appetizer wedding too.  Dinner was just too expensive and because our reception isn't starting until 9pm, we thought it was too late to wait for dinner anyway.  We just got the quote from our country club and food is $12.25pp and then food/beer/service total comes to about 20.25pp for 175 people.  We're getting 5 types of appetizers: chips and queso, sweedish meatballs, antipasto skewers, Texas crab cakes and a fruit/veggie/cheese display.  I can't wait!  

    We're feeding the wedding party before the ceremony because we're doing pictures before, and on our reception card we said "Join us for dancing, drinks and hors d'oeuvres" 

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  • Kristin, my menu is very similar to yours. Our ceremony and reception are in the same location and everything starts at 7:45pm. We plan to feed the wedding party earlier as well since we want some outdoor pictures so we'll be taking those around 4.
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  • Yeah if you're going that route, I would make it heavy hors d'oeuvres/appetizers.  The point from a PP about if you're serving alcohol is a good one.  But also, I get MISERABLE when I'm hungry lol, so I would probably be unhappy if there wasn't enough to get full on.

    We're doing a buffet style dinner.  The ceremony is at 5 (reception same place), then we're doing pictures and around 6-6:30ish dinner will start.  Our wedding is NYE, so there will be LOTS of drinking going on.  So we're planning on getting more food/snacks, probably from Costco or something, to set out later in the evening because the reception doesn't end until 1am.
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  • We're getting married 12/18 at about 6pm with an anticipated 7:30pm eating time (both at my country club).  We're having a salad bar (with all the fixings), potato bar (with all the fixings), variety of hot veggies (ie. green bean casserole), breads, and two carving stations (one turkey and one beef tenderloin).  All together, including gratuity/setup/clean up, it's costing us $29pp.  Oh and it also includes our fruit/cold veggies/cheese appetizers during cocktail hour while we're taking pictures. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-club-boards_december-2010-weddings_food-doing-time?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20Club%20BoardsForum:597Discussion:9cd89fc7-afee-41ac-8c33-014011cb4079Post:9855bd11-335f-4e7b-a347-7074d6572a85">Re: FOOD! (What are you doing? & at what time??)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Down south most all weddings serve heavy hors d'oeuvres. (table numbers and seating charts are foreign words down here!)  
    Posted by wallyandkristin[/QUOTE]

    <div>This is true, so when I tell people we are assigning they are all like "Huh? Why? Why would you do that?" lol</div>
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  • We are not assigning tables and having dinner but more like the heavy stations Kristin mentioned. A dinner would go over terrible at ours! It would be like a safari with random younger people trying to loiter at the bar and the older people rationing hors d'oeurves!

    Our wedding is at 7:00 and the reception starts around 7:45 - 8:00 ish, with food stations around 8:30. there will be passed hors d'oeurves until the food stations open up.

    I'm thinking a lot of people will eat beforehand though, so during the reception it will be time for 4th meal. hahah. I definitely want to make sure everyone has something in their stomachs!
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  • I am doing the traditional sit down dinner with chicken and beef options at a very reasonable price (military!) I am going to serve appetizer things at the cocktail hour. The ceremony is at 4:30pm, the cocktail hour at 5pm, and the reception/dinner at 6pm. How can I not feed them dinner at 6pm? Anyway, thankfully it's in our budget but like I said, it was a very reasonable price.
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