Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Are Cheese and Crackers Worth It?

Hello,

I am a total lurker on these boards and want to thank you all for all the help you have given me without your knowledge of doing so!

 

My FI and I have been trying to decide on cocktail hour apps and are having a hard time choosing the best bang for our buck, so I thought I would ask the experts here!

 

Our wedding guest list is about 115 people, for the cocktail hour we are planning on 4 different passed hors d’oeuvres (chicken wrapped in bacon, chicken tempura, vegetable spring rolls and stuffed mushroom caps) they are ordered in 100 piece increments and our selections range from $150 - $175/order.  Our venue also offers a stationary display of cheese and crackers which are priced $4.00 per person.  We are on a pretty tight budget so costs absolutely count.  The $460 for cheese and crackers fit in our budget, but my question is, are they worth it?  Which would you rather, more passed hors d’oeuvres or cheese and crackers?  

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Re: Are Cheese and Crackers Worth It?

  • Thanks for the input! I agree with you on the cheese! The cheese and cracker display is unlimited and constantly refilled which is why it is $4.00 per person. The passed apps are counted out by piece so that is why the prices are so different. I just wanted to get a feel of what people would appreciate more since I am a bad judge since I could probably eat my weight in cheese!
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  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I never get enough to eat when there are passed apps during cocktail hour.  By the time trays get to me they are empty or I am for some reason in the wrong spot where the servers are walking around with the trays.  So because of that I love when there are food displays of some sort because I know that I can just walk over and get something in my belly whenever I want.  I don't have to wait for a server to hopefully come around or me having to track down a server just to get one shrimp.

    So yes I think a cheese and cracker display is worth the money.  Every time H and I have a get together we always have a cheese and cracker/bread display and it is devoured because cheese :) 

    glitter2015weddingcactusMesmrEwepeachy13
  • glitter2015glitter2015 member
    Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited December 2014
    Awesome, thanks so much for the help, I so needed to hear that!  I think I was just getting hung up on the total price for cheese and crackers and not thinking it through enough.  Decision made: Cheese for Everyone!

    Edit - spelling
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    MesmrEwepeachy13Llikotdesserd
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited December 2014
    I think you're making a good decision!  

    ETA - I'd order more than 100 of each appetizer.  With 115 people, you will go through those quick and you'll have people who get nothing (not only because there's more people, but because some will take more than one).  And while cheese and crackers is great, I'd be disappointed if I got none of the passed apps because I wasn't in the right spot at the right time.
  • Thanks @JoanE2012 I had the same thoughts on the apps and will probably add more when the final count and menu lock down happens a week before the event.  Our venue keeps telling me that it is fine and usually people only eat 3 passed apps.  My plan is to wait to add the extra since we may have some declines so I can get a better assesment then.  :-)  

    Thanks again for everyone's help, it is much appreciated!
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  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    Thanks @JoanE2012 I had the same thoughts on the apps and will probably add more when the final count and menu lock down happens a week before the event.  Our venue keeps telling me that it is fine and usually people only eat 3 passed apps.  My plan is to wait to add the extra since we may have some declines so I can get a better assesment then.  :-)  

    Thanks again for everyone's help, it is much appreciated!
    This is also probably a know your crowd thing as well. We had fruit and veggie trays, cheese and crackers, 2 passed appetizers, and 2 more hot appetizers that were sitting out. I wanted to add shrimp cocktail. Our venue did the shrimp cocktail in orders of 50. They suggested I only get one order because we only had 35 guests and all that other stuff. I got 3 orders (150 shrimp) and every piece of it got eaten. 

    So while it's a good idea to listen to the venue's suggestions on numbers, if you think your guests are really going to enjoy the apps then I would order more.
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    glitter2015
  • esstee33esstee33 Pittsburgh member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Thanks @JoanE2012 I had the same thoughts on the apps and will probably add more when the final count and menu lock down happens a week before the event.  Our venue keeps telling me that it is fine and usually people only eat 3 passed apps.  My plan is to wait to add the extra since we may have some declines so I can get a better assesment then.  :-)  

    Thanks again for everyone's help, it is much appreciated!
    I'd always go with more food than you think you'll need, which is way better than the alternative of not enough. 

    Also I'd eat 3 stuffed mushroom caps in under a second, no joke. Those are my favorites. I'd also eat ungodly amounts of cheese and crackers. I would definitely have the cheese & crackers option. 
    glitter2015
  • Thanks so much @tammym1001 & @esstee33  I agree, any party FI and I host I always order or make way too much food, so I have been constantly questioning my judgement since we are not talking about a few extra pizza's or homemade whatevers, I don't want to over spend on these things when it can go to something else, but food/booze are one of my biggest priorities so I am glad I have a bit more votes for "more really is better and worth it!"  :-) 
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    esstee33
  • Thanks so much @tammym1001 & @esstee33  I agree, any party FI and I host I always order or make way too much food, so I have been constantly questioning my judgement since we are not talking about a few extra pizza's or homemade whatevers, I don't want to over spend on these things when it can go to something else, but food/booze are one of my biggest priorities so I am glad I have a bit more votes for "more really is better and worth it!"  :-) 
    As they should be and should be the biggest percentage of your budget.  As a guest, I don't care what your flowers look like, or whether you're wearing Louboutins or flip flops on your feet I can't even see anyway, or whether the little chocolates you're giving me as a favor that I don't care that much about anyway come in a little box that matches your wedding colors.  But I sure as heck will notice and be slightly pissy if all the bacon wrapped anythings are all gone by the time the tray comes my way.  Food and booze are going to be the things people appreciate and remember most about your reception.
    esstee33glitter2015weddingcactusLlikotdesserd
  • jacques27 said:



    Thanks so much @tammym1001 & @esstee33  I agree, any party FI and I host I always order or make way too much food, so I have been constantly questioning my judgement since we are not talking about a few extra pizza's or homemade whatevers, I don't want to over spend on these things when it can go to something else, but food/booze are one of my biggest priorities so I am glad I have a bit more votes for "more really is better and worth it!"  :-) 

    As they should be and should be the biggest percentage of your budget.  As a guest, I don't care what your flowers look like, or whether you're wearing Louboutins or flip flops on your feet I can't even see anyway, or whether the little chocolates you're giving me as a favor that I don't care that much about anyway come in a little box that matches your wedding colors.  But I sure as heck will notice and be slightly pissy if all the bacon wrapped anythings are all gone by the time the tray comes my way.  Food and booze are going to be the things people appreciate and remember most about your reception.


    *******I think I am still in the box but can't tell on my phone************


    Totally agree! Food/booze is the biggest percentage of our budget for sure! It is what I always remember most at events!

    My dress was on clearance at a sample sale and the same price as one order of bacon wrapped chicken! :-) Our main focus is on what will add fun and comfort to out guests! I tried explaining to one vendor that, no our monogram in lights on the dance floor is not required to enhance the mood or whatever bullshit he was selling....we went with another vendor after that!

    We will up the amounts and do what we feel is right not what the venue is suggesting. I kind of knew I would do this anyway when we lock down the menu since it has been a worry of mine for a bit.
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  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    When I did the private dining coordination when I worked at a restaurant, I always told the people to budget for at least 2 pieces per person.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Thanks @JoanE2012 I had the same thoughts on the apps and will probably add more when the final count and menu lock down happens a week before the event.  Our venue keeps telling me that it is fine and usually people only eat 3 passed apps.  My plan is to wait to add the extra since we may have some declines so I can get a better assesment then.  :-)  

    Thanks again for everyone's help, it is much appreciated!
    I'm just curious since  you are already going to add more apps then what your venue suggests, but did your venue mean 3 pieces total?  Not 3 pieces per app?  If they meant 3 pieces total then I think your venue is delusional.  Hell, at our wedding we ordered like 300 or more mini crabcake apps just so that each guest could have at least 2.  Plus we had like 4 other options plus a cheese and bread display.  Who the hell eats just 3 pieces total?

    Llikotdesserd
  • As a guest I would appreciate the cheese & crackers because I can go to the stationary table & help myself instead of possibly having to hunt down a server who is passing a hot item or wait until a server comes with an item I like. The items you are offering sound great but my personal taste, I wouldn't eat them all. Cheese & Crackers as kind of item you know everyone will enjoy, even the pickest of eaters will usually eat cheese & crackers unless you go with nothing but fancy import cheeses.

  • I would definitely appreciate cheese and crackers and I would absolutely eat them. I'm a vegetarian so half of your apps wouldn't work for me (not sure if you actually have any vegetarian guests though) and so having cheese and crackers available would be a major bonus for me. Plus, cheese + wine = yum!! Cocktail hour with cheese and crackers would make my day. 
  • Thanks @JoanE2012 I had the same thoughts on the apps and will probably add more when the final count and menu lock down happens a week before the event.  Our venue keeps telling me that it is fine and usually people only eat 3 passed apps.  My plan is to wait to add the extra since we may have some declines so I can get a better assesment then.  :-)  

    Thanks again for everyone's help, it is much appreciated!
    I'm just curious since  you are already going to add more apps then what your venue suggests, but did your venue mean 3 pieces total?  Not 3 pieces per app?  If they meant 3 pieces total then I think your venue is delusional.  Hell, at our wedding we ordered like 300 or more mini crabcake apps just so that each guest could have at least 2.  Plus we had like 4 other options plus a cheese and bread display.  Who the hell eats just 3 pieces total?


    That is what I was thinking to, when we first put in the order I had 3 orders of each choice, but the venue coordinator acted like I was insane!  He said only a handful of people will eat each type since you can't please everyone with every selection.  He also said since we are having a full sit down plated dinner it would be too much food.  So his suggestion was to only have 3 choices of apps and only order 1 order of each, I added the 4th choice, since we have 2 vegetarians so I wanted to make sure they had more than 1 choice of passed) I appreciate his input and I do believe he has the expertise to know, but I always feel like if at the end of a party if you have only 1 left or none then there wasn't enough ordered.  I don't want to waste food, but want to make sure everyone is happy.  I am definitely going to up the orders!  
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  • Thanks so much @Erikan73  & @weddingcactus  I am now completely sold on cheese and crackers; they will be there for sure, I am so disappointed in myself for questioning the power of cheese!  :-)
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    IMO you should have 5-7 pieces  per person during cocktail hour.     However, some apps are go faster than others.   If you are having say shrimp cocktail you need 3-5 pieces per person alone.  The popular apps varies by crowd.  

     You have 2 chicken options, not a big deal, but I feel like if you are only having 4 passed apps they should vary in ingredients.     Not a deal breaker, but something to think about.


    Yes, I think the cheese and crackers are worth the cost.






    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. 
  • atlastmrsgatlastmrsg member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2014
    I do not eat things off of displays.  While I hope everyone uses tongs, the germaphobe in me doesn't want to eat off mauled fruit/cheese displays that have been touched, breathed on, etc.  Also, while displays look nice early, after they're picked over, I think they look sad.

    I had all passed appetizers at my wedding for this reason.  The servers kept them coming, and they were substantial things like mini mason jars with shrimp and grits, strawberry and brie pops, deviled eggs, mini BLTs, and caprese skewers.

    I don't think of a wedding as an "all I can eat" event, so I'm happy eating less appetizers, but ones that are passed and higher quality.

    I'd skip.

    Can you do another passed appetizer?  


  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    You're definitely making the right decision! When I am at cocktail hours I go right to the cheese and cracker display. Usually the passed stuff runs out and I get maybe one or two items from the passed trays. 
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  • we did 5 hot appz scallops wrapped in bacon, clams cassino, stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta on mini crustinis and stuffed breads, we also had a cheese cracker and veg table for our guests we also did a full sit down dinner, but the appz were included in our venues package and we didn't have to pay extra for it we had around 115 guest and our venue said that majority of people eat 5 pieces of appz 

    we paid with tax and tip 88 a person that included 5 hour reception 4 1/2 hours of open bar full sit down dinner with hot cold appz, dj centerpeices and a three tiered  cake ( we had like ten different designs to choose from buttercream with buttercream filling or chocolate mousse filling, if we wanted other flavors inside the cake or we wanted sugar flowers or fondont it was extra. 

    i would get extra hot appz because i know at weddings i over eat on appz and if i like something i will have more than one 
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