Food and Cakes

Appetizer/ Hors D'oeuvre reception

Hey everyone, looking to do a hearty hors d'oeuvre reception instead of the usual buffet, wondering if you have ever done, are planning to, or have attended a reception like this? Having a hard time deciding on budget friendly options over and above the usual sandwich platters and such that my venue could make for me...I do know I am looking at having either a taco or nacho bar later in the evening :) If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them! I have thought that maybe hamburger sliders would be a good option... thanks :)

Re: Appetizer/ Hors D'oeuvre reception

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!)
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Hey everyone, looking to do a hearty hors d'oeuvre reception instead of the usual buffet, wondering if you have ever done, are planning to, or have attended a reception like this? Having a hard time deciding on budget friendly options over and above the usual sandwich platters and such that my venue could make for me...I do know I am looking at having either a taco or nacho bar later in the evening :) If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them! I have thought that maybe hamburger sliders would be a good option... thanks :)


    Chances are, an hors d'oeuvre reception will cost you more than a buffet or sit down.  Has your venue outlined the price differences as well as the choices of apps available to you? 

    I would love a reception like this, as long as there was enough apps to constitute a full meal AND I had a place to sit down and eat.

    melbelleup
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member
    What Joan said.  I would really price every option out before deciding.  Just know that you will need a lot of apps and a lot of variations (hot and cold, heavy and light) to really pull this off.

    You could have your usual cheese and crackers, veggies and dip and fruit but then you would also need some heavy things like sliders (great idea!), maybe a pasta station, mashed potato bar (with both sweet and regular), some sort of chicken, some sort of beef, mini quiches or something similar for your vegetarian guests, etc, etc.

    You need variety and large quantities especially if you want this to be a full length reception (4-5 hours) instead of a shorter reception.  I would also have the apps and things out and passed throughout the majority of the night so that people can graze all night.

    Also, with this type of reception you still need to make sure that everyone has a place to sit and a place to put their plates/drinks down.

    melbelleup
  • I would definitely price it all out before you decide. I was interested in doing the same but at my venue it would have cost 1.5 times as much to have a heavy hor's doeuvres buffet instead of a dinner buffet.
  • We are doing sliders! We are doing a few different kinds - two beef kinds (plain beef and cheese and a more gourmet style version) and portobello sliders. 

    But as PP have said, it not necessarily cheaper to do only heavy hors d'oeuvres - check with your caterer. We were planning to do that, but with out caterer it was actually more cost effective to do a mix of hors d'oeuvres and stations. 
  • I thought about doing an appetizer and dessert party. But it looks like we're doing a brunch buffet because it is a couple dollars cheaper per person. Probably because it's a buffet and uses less labor.

    I think it would be even cheaper for the buffet except we want the amazing dessert bar and chocolate fountain.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Thanks for your input everyone! I actually have priced it out with the caterer, and by first count, the appetizer option will actually be a bit easier on the budget, as instead of buying plates or per person food at $26/person, they will monitor what is actually being eaten, and use it based on that. So in the end, if only 1/2 of the food is eaten, I will only pay for that. Especially for potentially pre packaged food like wings, sliders, meatballs, etc.  I will basically pay for what is put out..soo,,hopefully it will be better. I should hope to do the appetizer option for about 10-15 bucks per person as opposed to $26. The plan is to have a served app/hors doeuvre table, so that portions will be monitored for some things instead of a free for all... some things like salads, sandwiches and stuff of course I will have to buy straight out, but I think it may be a better way to do it. There will be munchies all night long..then maybe around 10, we'll do a nacho or taco bar or something :)
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!)
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    edited August 2013
    Thanks for your input everyone! I actually have priced it out with the caterer, and by first count, the appetizer option will actually be a bit easier on the budget, as instead of buying plates or per person food at $26/person, they will monitor what is actually being eaten, and use it based on that. So in the end, if only 1/2 of the food is eaten, I will only pay for that. Especially for potentially pre packaged food like wings, sliders, meatballs, etc.  I will basically pay for what is put out..soo,,hopefully it will be better. I should hope to do the appetizer option for about 10-15 bucks per person as opposed to $26. The plan is to have a served app/hors doeuvre table, so that portions will be monitored for some things instead of a free for all... some things like salads, sandwiches and stuff of course I will have to buy straight out, but I think it may be a better way to do it. There will be munchies all night long..then maybe around 10, we'll do a nacho or taco bar or something :)


    Did they tell you how much the apps are per person?  If I went to an apps only reception, I'd definitely eat more than a traditional meal....I love to sample different things and will go back for more if I like it.    Not keen on the idea of the caterer monitoring portions.....does that mean they'll be limiting it?  

    Keep in mind, an apps reception should provide enough to constitute a full meal.   Not providing enough or monitoring it and then limiting it is not good.  As a guest, I DO expect food to be free-flowing at an apps reception.  Don't tease me bringing out a tray of whatever  and by the time I get over there's none left and no more to come.   You will have unhappy guests.

    If you have a proper apps reception, I can't see it costing less than a plated meal.  I think you're going to be in for a big surprise when you get the final bill.

    melbelleup
  • I agree with Joan. People absolutely inhaled the apps at my reception. I'm glad they were tasty, but we honestly had to order more to be made. They tend to not only taste better than a traditional meal, but they don't fill you up as fast...
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    Thanks for your input everyone! I actually have priced it out with the caterer, and by first count, the appetizer option will actually be a bit easier on the budget, as instead of buying plates or per person food at $26/person, they will monitor what is actually being eaten, and use it based on that. So in the end, if only 1/2 of the food is eaten, I will only pay for that. Especially for potentially pre packaged food like wings, sliders, meatballs, etc.  I will basically pay for what is put out..soo,,hopefully it will be better. I should hope to do the appetizer option for about 10-15 bucks per person as opposed to $26. The plan is to have a served app/hors doeuvre table, so that portions will be monitored for some things instead of a free for all... some things like salads, sandwiches and stuff of course I will have to buy straight out, but I think it may be a better way to do it. There will be munchies all night long..then maybe around 10, we'll do a nacho or taco bar or something :)
    If I did that I would get distracted when people took a plate full of apps, put it down somewhere and then went back for more.



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    melbelleup
  • If you are doing this I would highly suggest letting people know somehow. I attended a friend's wedding, and she did vegetarian apps only, as she and her hubby are vegetarians.The Ceremony started at 3, the reception started at 4PM and went until 11PM, so it was a long evening. Both of them happen to be really into beer, so there was only water and beer with high alcohol contents to drink while we waited for dinner to be served. I tried to go light on apps, anticipating a meal that never came, and we were all hungry at the end of night and had to get fast food on the way home.

    The apps were good, and I definitely wouldn't have minded making a meal out of them if only I would have known that they would be the only thing to eat.
    melbelleup
  • We are doing this but we are having the following:

    Beer and signature drinks

    Passed appitizers

    1. tomato and basil crostini

    2. mini firehouse bacon cheese burgers

    3. ancho chicken and jack cheese quesidillas with salsa verde

    Three main stations:

    Mac N' Cheese station with

    1. White cheese man with spinach and artichokes

    2. Smoked pork, green chili and Ceddar and

    3. Smoked cheddar mac n cheese with BBQ chip crust

    Slider station with

    1. prime rib with smoked ceddar, caramelized onions and bbq sauce

    2. breaded chicken parmesan with marinara

    3. Sirloin meatload with crispy onions and wild mushroom gravy

    Mashed potato bar with

    1. lobster mashed potatoes

    2.yukon gold potatoes and braised short ribs with a cabernet reduction

    3. Sweet mashed potatoes with cinnamon, brown sugar and candied pecans

     

    And it is more expensive than our seated options but it is what we wanted to do. Good luck!

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