Outdoor Weddings

Wedding Time- What kind of dinner to serve?

We are having an outdoor wedding in Iowa on July 18, 2015. We are getting married at 7pm because I wanted a later wedding along the lake. What kind of meal do you think would be appropriate? We were going to do a meal with like roast beef, potatoes, etc, but I was informed that is too big of a meal to have at 7:30-8pm. Please let me know your thoughts!

Thanks!

Re: Wedding Time- What kind of dinner to serve?

  • Ask some of your VIPS their thoughts, this may be a matter of knowing your crowd. If the bulk of your guests are later dinner eaters, then it will be fine.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I normally eat dinner at that time.  As do most of my friends.   DH is a chef, his restaurant is packed at that hour.  He as worked in many restaurants in various parts of the county and islands.  Same thing at all of them.  

    Doesn't mean there are not certain groups who earlier, but IMO 7:30 is not too late.  If you are worried you could have apps BEFORE the ceremony to tie people over.






    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. 
    atlastmrsg
  • Love the apps beforehand idea if you do this.

    If I go to an evening wedding, I expect dinner.  But just moving your ceremony back a half hour or hour could make this a lot easier.  For example--a 7:00-7:30 wedding with a cocktail hour pushes your first course/salad out at around 8:30.  I know the old people at my wedding would probably have rioted by then.  My husband and I like to eat late, partially because we're always at the office, but also because I just tend to enjoy a later meal.  But think of your guests--your great aunt and grandma might not dig this plan.  An all younger crowd might be more tolerant.  

    A simple adjustment to your timeline so that first courses are going out no later than 7:30 would make people a lot happier.  This could mean a ceremony from 6-6:30, cocktail hour from 6:30-7:20.  Or the like.  Even if you really wanted a 7:00 wedding, this would be more considerate.

    The only wedding I've been to that had main courses coming out late was a clusterf.  The ceremony was at 7:00 or 7:30 on Halloween.  (Bride was into wicca or something...)  Then drove to reception hall.  I didn't get my main course until around 10:00 or 10:30.  I really am not sure why I even went to that disasterpiece.  
  • I am having the same problem, except I don't know what time to start. We are doing it totally outside and in June. We are doing more picnic style, pulled pork and chicken, salads, etc....we are having apps before hand, basic stuff like veggies, fruit and olive bar. I was thinking about strting at 6 too, as long as eating around 7:30 would be ok. I am lost about that, but I think if people know in advanced they will be fine with eating at that time or they shouldn't come :)
  • Thanks so much for the advice! I figured if we have a short ceremony and get dinner rolling around 7:30, we should be fine! Heck if the adults with kids aren't too happy about their kids eating late, eat before or don't come! They should just be happy a meal is provided haha :)
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer

    Thanks so much for the advice! I figured if we have a short ceremony and get dinner rolling around 7:30, we should be fine! Heck if the adults with kids aren't too happy about their kids eating late, eat before or don't come! They should just be happy a meal is provided haha :)

    Are you thinking that you want want to do staged group photos? It's fine if you don't want to, but it's just a lot easier to corrale everyone before dinner rather than after.
  • We are having an evening wedding also and having a cocktail reception.
  • We are having an evening wedding also and having a cocktail reception.

    But you're serving a meal, right?
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  • I usually eat dinner between 5 and 6 so I'd be hangry if I couldn't eat til 7:30! I'd probably eat before I went to a wedding that late though. That being said I think apps before the ceremony is a GREAT idea!
    mrssursely
  • augbride87augbride87 member
    Knottie Warrior 25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper
    edited January 2015
    @southernbelle0915‌ no we are only having appetizers and cake. It will be clearly stated in the invitation.
  • @southernbelle0915‌ no we are only having appetizers and cake. It will be clearly stated in the invitation.

    Unless the whole event starts after 8pm or so, its meal time and etiquette says you should serve a meal.

    I went to a wedding that did what you're planning to do - people were pissed and left early to go get dinner.

    They also didn't have enough seats for everyone because they wanted a cocktail style reception and for people to "mingle". So there were 10 of us huddled around a small cocktail table. The woman who was scheduled for knee surgery tried to stay to be polite but was in so much pain she and her H left. Others who weren't hungry but just pissed they didn't have anywhere to sit down also left early. I think out of 200 or so people, there were only about 50 by the time they cut the cake.

    Please rethink your plan.
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    [Deleted User]
  • I have thought and discussed with my FI and parents about this.  My brother had a similar time line to our wedding and most of the guests had eaten prior to coming so they had a lot of wasted food.  I have been to several cocktail receptions myself, and was not upset at all that I didn't get a full meal.  Thank you for the advice but I think as long as it is stated on the invitation people wont be expecting a full meal.  There will be plenty for them to munch on while we are celebrating.  There will also be plenty of seating inside and outside for people.  If some choose to leave early that is alright; some people choose not to stay long at receptions even if everything is "by the rules."
  • If it's on the invitation- then they don't have to come if they don't want to.  I think the way you're doing it sounds fine- I would just make sure the amount of appetizers is ample and there's a lot of options! 
    Llikotdesserd
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