Many brides- and grooms-to-be decide to host “cocktail-hors d’oeuvres receptions” in an attempt to save money. It’s not a bad idea, as long as you break the rules (a little).
1. Most caterers will suggest that seating be limited because guests at cocktail-hors d’oeuvres receptions should be up “mixing and mingling.”
Hogwash! What are guests supposed to do for FOUR hours, juggle food and drink while standing on their feet through all the wedding events-introduction, first-dance, father-daughter dance, etc.etc.etc.?
You want your guests to be dancing and having fun-but where do they put their glasses, plates, etc. when they head for the dance-floor?
BOTTOM LINE: They won’t dance and while they may stand for awhile, they’ll ultimately slip out the side door.
SIMPLE SOLUTION: Seat everyone (no matter what your caterer says). Make people happy and comfortable and they won’t exit early.
2. Take note of the caterer’s rule:
If you need a knife and fork to eat food, then you need a place to sit down and eat it! (Another good reason to seat everyone.)
3. Be sure to serve plenty of food. Keep those hors d’oeuvres coming-or guests will leave early to go to Mickey D’s because they’re hungry.
4. Serve a sumptuous wedding cake for dessert-like a carrot cake or a heavy chocolate cake with raspberry filling. Hors d’oeuvres are light fare so a heavy, rich cake will make your guests feel satisfied and happy!
THE DOWNSIDE: When hosting a cocktail-hors d’oeuvres reception, the cocktail-hour is eliminated because it would be redundant. That means that bridal party and family photos, normally taken during the cocktail-hour will need to be taken before the ceremony.