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Food and Cakes

Wait, is my wedding at a meal time?

I was reading the boards and realized my cocktail hour starts at eight and the dinner reception starts at nine.  Is this too late to do a seated dinner?  I have a pretty heavy cocktail hour.

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Re: Wait, is my wedding at a meal time?

  • Seems a bit late but I also think it's a cultural thing.  Most of my experience has been with dinners starting between 7 and 8 but was at a Croatian wedding once where it started at 10.  By then I have to say I was pretty much too full to eat with a heavy cocktail hour before to fill up on.  I didn't get anywhere near the dessert. 
  • DaniBitesDaniBites member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited October 2014
    Yeah, I was curious if it would be better to skip the plated dinner (which sucks because they have amazing food) and put that saved money toward a couple of extra stations at the cocktail hour and more desserts.  My cocktail hour is already rather extreme:

    BUTLER STYLE PASSED HORS D'OEUVRES 
    INCLUDED ON SILVER SERVICE:
    Filet Mignon Brochettes
    Stuffed Mushroom Caps
    Franks in Blankets
    Salmon Mousse in Endive
    Vegetable Tempura
    Scallops Wrapped with Bacon
    Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel
    Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
    Baked Clams Oreganata
    Quiche Lorraine
    Mini Chicken Kabobs 

    MEDITTERANEAN ANTIPASTO TABLE:
    Sliced Displays of Imported Genoa Salami
    Soppressata
    Ham Capicola
    Pepperoni
    Imported Greek Kalamata Olives and Cracked Sicilian Olives
    Marinated Bocconcini Mozzarella
    Imported Sharp Provolone
    Pepperoncini Peppers
    Marinated Artichokes
    Gardineria
    Marinated Mushrooms
    Fresh Roasted Garlic
    Sundried Tomatoes
    Green Bean Salad
    Cold Calamari Seafood Salad
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Balsamic Vinegar
    Spices
    * Served with Pita Points and Sesame Breadsticks * 

    TRADITIONAL COLD TABLE DISPLAYS:
    Sculptured Watermelon and Sliced Fresh Fruit Display
    International Wine and Cheese Display with English Water Crackers
    Tri-Color Fusilli Pasta with Crabmeat
    Deviled Eggs with Caviar
    Fresh Vegetable Crudite Basket with Dips
    Waldorf Salad
    * Served with Seasoned Flatbreads *

    HOT CHAFING DISHES: (I still have to pick eight of these)
    Calamari and Scungilli Marinara
    Eggplant Rollatini
    Moussaka
    Shrimp Scampi
    Chicken Piccata
    Coq Au Vin
    Keilbasi and Sauerkraut
    Spicy Seafood Creole
    Petite Stuffed Cabbage
    Sausage with Peppers and Onions
    Sweet and Sour Hawaiian Chicken
    Chicken Marsala
    Honeycomb Tripe
    Pierogies
    Pepper Steak
    Mussels Marinara
    Seafood Paella
    Fried Calamari
    Beef and Broccoli Teriyaki
    Veal and Peppers
    Chicken Teriyaki
    Rice Pilaf
    Fresh Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Oil 

    ATTENDED CARVING STATION:
    Seared London Broil Au Jus
    Whole Roast Suckling Pig Flambe
     
    PASTA STATION: 
    Linguini with White Clam Sauce
    Cheese Tortellini Primavera
    Ziti Filetto di Pomodoro
    * Served with Warm Homemade Focaccia Bread *

    We're also having an oyster / clam bar.

    Given the time and how much food there is at the cocktail, could I reasonably not do a sit down dinner?  I'd probably upgrade to a full raw bar and add a sushi bar with the saved money.

    Sorry for the long food list! 

    ETA: I think my cocktail package also comes with a cheese and wine pairing station.

    image

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  • DaniBites said:
    Yeah, I was curious if it would be better to skip the plated dinner (which sucks because they have amazing food) and put that saved money toward a couple of extra stations at the cocktail hour and more desserts.  My cocktail hour is already rather extreme:

    BUTLER STYLE PASSED HORS D'OEUVRES 
    INCLUDED ON SILVER SERVICE:
    Filet Mignon Brochettes
    Stuffed Mushroom Caps
    Franks in Blankets
    Salmon Mousse in Endive
    Vegetable Tempura
    Scallops Wrapped with Bacon
    Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel
    Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
    Baked Clams Oreganata
    Quiche Lorraine
    Mini Chicken Kabobs 

    MEDITTERANEAN ANTIPASTO TABLE:
    Sliced Displays of Imported Genoa Salami
    Soppressata
    Ham Capicola
    Pepperoni
    Imported Greek Kalamata Olives and Cracked Sicilian Olives
    Marinated Bocconcini Mozzarella
    Imported Sharp Provolone
    Pepperoncini Peppers
    Marinated Artichokes
    Gardineria
    Marinated Mushrooms
    Fresh Roasted Garlic
    Sundried Tomatoes
    Green Bean Salad
    Cold Calamari Seafood Salad
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Balsamic Vinegar
    Spices
    * Served with Pita Points and Sesame Breadsticks * 

    TRADITIONAL COLD TABLE DISPLAYS:
    Sculptured Watermelon and Sliced Fresh Fruit Display
    International Wine and Cheese Display with English Water Crackers
    Tri-Color Fusilli Pasta with Crabmeat
    Deviled Eggs with Caviar
    Fresh Vegetable Crudite Basket with Dips
    Waldorf Salad
    * Served with Seasoned Flatbreads *

    HOT CHAFING DISHES: (I still have to pick eight of these)
    Calamari and Scungilli Marinara
    Eggplant Rollatini
    Moussaka
    Shrimp Scampi
    Chicken Piccata
    Coq Au Vin
    Keilbasi and Sauerkraut
    Spicy Seafood Creole
    Petite Stuffed Cabbage
    Sausage with Peppers and Onions
    Sweet and Sour Hawaiian Chicken
    Chicken Marsala
    Honeycomb Tripe
    Pierogies
    Pepper Steak
    Mussels Marinara
    Seafood Paella
    Fried Calamari
    Beef and Broccoli Teriyaki
    Veal and Peppers
    Chicken Teriyaki
    Rice Pilaf
    Fresh Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Oil 

    ATTENDED CARVING STATION:
    Seared London Broil Au Jus
    Whole Roast Suckling Pig Flambe
     
    PASTA STATION: 
    Linguini with White Clam Sauce
    Cheese Tortellini Primavera
    Ziti Filetto di Pomodoro
    * Served with Warm Homemade Focaccia Bread *

    We're also having an oyster / clam bar.

    Given the time and how much food there is at the cocktail, could I reasonably not do a sit down dinner?  I'd probably upgrade to a full raw bar and add a sushi bar with the saved money.

    Sorry for the long food list! 

    ETA: I think my cocktail package also comes with a cheese and wine pairing station.
    I don't know. It's a late dinner but I'd still expect to be fed. A cocktail hour isn't going to be enough. You can have all the food in the world but in the end it's still only an hour. People will be grazing and mingling, not likely to be eating so much to hold them up for the rest of the night. Plus they'll be drinking for the next 4+ hours. If you can do a cocktail reception, that'd probably be a good compromise in this situation. But limiting food to 1 hr of appetizers at a 5+ hour party presumably with an open bar is a big risk.
    Llikotdesserd
  • That's a shit load of food. Are those all the options available or are you actually having all that?

    Personally, I think that's plenty of food. You have entree-like options (e.g. pasta, steak, chicken) so if someone hasn't eaten dinner, they can certainly make a meal out of this and all your other options. I don't think you need the raw bar.

    Your event doesn't start until 8pm, correct? If so, I do not think you need to have a seated dinner.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
  • Southern Belle- yes that's what will be at the cocktail hour (except for the chafing dishes, I pick eight of those).  My timeline is:

    7:30 ceremony
    8:00 cocktail hour
    9:00 reception, which will go to 1am

    I'm not sure about the timing of the dinner in the reception, I remember the last wedding I went to the seated dinner was about an hour into the reception.  If that's the norm, by dinner would be at 10pm.  I just think that's way late for a seated dinner especially given the amount of food at the cocktail hour.  We also have a lot of dessert, the cake, Italian pasteries, an espresso and cordial bar, and a three foot cherry pie (FI wants it...it's a flambe they light on fire.  I just feel I have to explain why there will be a three foot cherry pie.)

    The raw bar is something FI and I really wanted for ourselves, I'm a pescatarian and he loves raw clams :) 

    image

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    In my world it's not too late.    






    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. 
    lc07
  • Personally, I would do just the apps and no dinner.  I HATE eating that late and dinner always takes longer that you expect.  If that's the case, the "party" part of the reception wouldn't even start til after 10.  I think that's too late. 
  • Could you turn the separate cocktail hour and reception into a cocktail style reception and have the cocktail hour food available longer? That's what I would do at that hour. You have enough heavy apps to make a meal. You could have food available from 8 to 10 (or whatever time you expect dinner to run through), then maybe a few passed apps throughout the night to keep people full and absorb the alcohol as the night goes on.
    southernbelle0915
  • Could you turn the separate cocktail hour and reception into a cocktail style reception and have the cocktail hour food available longer? That's what I would do at that hour. You have enough heavy apps to make a meal. You could have food available from 8 to 10 (or whatever time you expect dinner to run through), then maybe a few passed apps throughout the night to keep people full and absorb the alcohol as the night goes on.

    SIB:
    This would be perfect IMO
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think the cocktail food is perfect....definitely plenty.  I'd just make sure to extend it throughout the night, not just that one hour. 
  • with all that food i thought you were also feeding me dinner with the carving stations could you do small plates for the appz and for the stuff like the carving station and pasta offer dinner size plates have the food last for a few hours into the reception and then maybe take some of the thing on the menu and ask them to be brought out at a later time like late night bites. i noticed the stuff you have listed for the chaffing dishes is more like meal food and not finger so maybe dinner plates for those

    i got married in june this was my time line ceremony started at 5 at my church lasted until 6 we left to take photos at the park down the street from 6-7  reception started at 7 we had a choice of 6 passed appz then they had a cheese and veggie table with crackers stuff olives etc  we were introduced around 8 we did our dance sat down food started to come out we had two salad courses pasta course plated with family style meatballs then dinner which ran late and did not end till like after ten. we did the father daughter dance mom/son and then cake cutting, toss, and garter we had about 2 and a half hours left to dance 



  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I would be ALL OVER that oyster bar and antipasto bar.

    I'd much rather be allowed to fill up on those than have to save myself for dinner.
  • If I were you, I would find a way to extend the cocktail hour into the reception which would allow guests to eat throughout the night- but skip the plated dinner.  Maybe do a Viennese hour also?  

    I like the idea of being able to eat if you want to eat, or dance if you want to dance. 

    One wedding I went to had an extravagant cocktail hour and guests actually thought it was the reception and were so full that they could barely eat the 5 course meal that followed.  

      
  • Thanks for the suggestions :)

    I love the idea of spreading cocktail hour, but I'm not sure I can since another wedding will be taking place the same day.  If this is something they can accommodate I think it's the best option.  Maybe have them save the passed apps until later in the night and have them passed in the reception room rather than the cocktail room? 

    image

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  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    kk111415 said:
    If I were you, I would find a way to extend the cocktail hour into the reception which would allow guests to eat throughout the night- but skip the plated dinner.  Maybe do a Viennese hour also?  

    I like the idea of being able to eat if you want to eat, or dance if you want to dance. 

    One wedding I went to had an extravagant cocktail hour and guests actually thought it was the reception and were so full that they could barely eat the 5 course meal that followed.  

      
    Oooh, yeah, with the apps she mentioned above, this would be me. I probably wouldn't even be able to move myself to a dinner table with this many delicious apps being offered. 

    I definitely don't think a plated dinner is necessary with this many filling apps. 
    image
  • DaniBites said:
    Thanks for the suggestions :)

    I love the idea of spreading cocktail hour, but I'm not sure I can since another wedding will be taking place the same day.  If this is something they can accommodate I think it's the best option.  Maybe have them save the passed apps until later in the night and have them passed in the reception room rather than the cocktail room? 
    Why don't you just move everything into the reception room? You don't need to break it up if you're going to serve the cocktail hour food for an extended period of time. Just do it all in the reception room.
    Maggie0829lc07
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