Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Buffet dinner vs. dessert bars + late night "street food"

We picked our venue for several reasons but one of the most important was the amazing food they're known for. That being said, our ceremony starts at 7:30pm on a Friday night. It'll be over after 8pm and we are thinking about skipping a "cocktail hour" to get straight to the party since the reception is scheduled to end at midnight (or 1am if available).

My fiance thinks 8-9pm is too late for people to want to wait for dinner on a Friday night so he was thinking open bar plus dessert stations they offer and cake, etc. Then closer to the end they can set up "street food" stations like tacos, burgers, dogs, chicken & waffles. 

I'd prefer a buffet dinner because their food is so good, but do you think 8 or 9pm is too late to serve dinner after a ceremony?

Re: Buffet dinner vs. dessert bars + late night "street food"

  • It isn't too late for dinner.  My last DD's wedding dinner started at 8:30 (but we had a cocktail hour prior to that).  I am not a fan of drinks, sugar, and street foods for this.
  • Thank you so much! I want it to be a formal occasion so I agree with you on that. I am glad to hear it's not too late for dinner.
  • I don't think 8pm is late for dinner at all. 
  • 8pm definitely isn't too late for dinner though if you're going to have children attending maybe have something small placed at their seats so they have something to munch on right away instead of getting antsy waiting for their meal.
  • I think dinner starting right after the ceremony would be perfect.  I don't think 8 pm is too late for dinner in any case, but on a Friday night especially, when people may be rushed to get to the wedding straight from work, it's definitely appropriate.  
  • lc07lc07 Sunny Southern California member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It's not too late for dinner. If my husband and I were attending your wedding we'd arrive shortly after 7 pm. Assuming it was 20-30 mins away from our home, we're leaving at 6:30 which means I'm showering and getting ready by 5 or 5:30. And I'm not ready for dinner before then. Assuming some people don't even get off of work until 5 pm that time frame is even tighter for them. I vote for full dinner. We'd be hungry if we were guests at your wedding and you went the late night snack route.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    8pm for dinner, immediately after the ceremony, is fine, especially on Friday night.
  • Thanks so much guys! I think we will do the dinner immediately after the ceremony and skip a cocktail hour. I am so glad I asked!
  • For my hunger levels, for a 7:30PM ceremony, since it's so late I wouldn't expect dinner. In fact I would have needed to have already eaten dinner pior to coming to your wedding to keep me a happy guest. I get very grumpy if I go too long without eating.

  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I usually don't eat dinner until 7:30 or 8 on a normal night, so I would be fine with it. Especially it being a Friday wedding, I think you should do dinner.  I've been to weddings that started at 2pm, then there was a gap, then cocktail hour started at 5:30-6:30, then we didn't get dinner until like 8pm and I was starving at that point, because I expected dinner to be earlier. If people know that they aren't going to get dinner until 8 or 8:30, they can prepare and have a snack later in the day.
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I would have already eaten dinner.  Personally, I would find a dessert bar awesome.  But if you had a buffet 'dinner' then I would pick a few things to munch on.
  • my brother had ceremony at church around 430 reception started at 630 at the venue which was cocktail hour and appz loved that i had something to munch on before dinner

    then dinner started at 730

    my reception starts at 7 with cocktail hour 8 is dinner followed by cake and dance
  • That is awesome, glad to hear there are others like me. 
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