Ideas For Hor D'oeuvre Only Wedding Reception.

Lounge By ButtacreamRose Updated 24 Jan 2010 , 9:13pm by ButtacreamRose

ButtacreamRose Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 9:35pm
post #1 of 17

Daughter wants hor d' oeuvre only wedding reception.Need help with time line,menu, and venue decorations. I will be having it catered and its not till Oct.I've never heard of this kind of reception.Any ideas?

16 replies
prterrell Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 10:37pm
post #2 of 17

You've NEVER heard of a finger-foods only reception?!? icon_confused.gif

That is so bizarre! I've been to exactly 2 sit-down dinner receptions, every other wedding I have been to has been finger-foods only. In fact, I'd never heard of evening weddings with sit-down receptions until I was an adult!

You must not be in the south. Here, the church-hall finger-foods/cake & punch reception is the norm.

Remember, the reception MUST NOT be at a regular meal time. If it IS held at a regular meal time, you MUST serve a meal.

As for the venue, where is the ceremony itself being held? If it is at a church, the church hall will suffice. Or you could have it in an art gallery/museum, a park or the grounds of a historical home/building, or a rented hall.

The caterers you interview will provide you with a list of food options. If there is something that the happy couple really wants that is not offered, some caters will accommodate such requests as long as a recipe is provided. The caters will know how much should be ordered per guest.

Does your daughter have any kind of food theme in mind? That could help with menu selection. For example, my wedding reception was based on the English Cream Tea and featured tea sandwiches, scones (with jam and Devon cream), and other traditional "tea" foods. To drink we had hot tea and lemonade. I did the catering for the wedding of two of our closest friends. Their reception was Italian food themed and we served paninis, meatballs in marinara, toasted ravioli, and grilled Tuscan-style vegetables. Both of these receptions were held in the church hall and honestly were the 2 best wedding receptions in my experience. In both cases, all of the guests kept talking about how wonderful the food was. In the case of the 2 sit-down dinner weddings I've been to, the food was just okay.

Oh, and has an excellent selection of appetizers and hors d'ouevres recipes. That would be a great place to go for ideas.

As for time line. I have no idea what you mean by that.


funcakes Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 11:03pm
post #3 of 17

Oooo, my favorite is coconut shrimp with pina colada sauce.

Sorry about all the spelling mistakes!

ButtacreamRose Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 11:38pm
post #4 of 17

Only receptions I've been to were sit down.She has no theme as of yet.Finger foods she wants are meatballs,wienies,chicken wings,fruit tray,cheese tray,cold meat tray,and veggie tray.Time line ..... just start eating ,groom and bride arrive,toast,dance,cut the cake etc.......Thanks for the website suggestion will check it out.

indydebi Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 6:26am
post #5 of 17

As a caterer, one of the things I had to educate brides on was that appetizers are NOT always cheaper. They may be cheaper than a fully served plated dinner, but they can be more expensive than a single or even double entree buffet.

People tend to think "oh it's just LITTLE food, so it must come with a LITTLE price tag."

Wrong-O, Chuck! Less is more .... WORK!!

Here's my blog that explains why:

She's looking at 3 meats PLUS a cold meat tray. Cheese can be pricey and fresh fruit, depending on the season, can run really expensive!

If I were quoting this food package, my price would be close to $22/person, using disposable dinnerware. Or they could have my buffet, with 2 meat dishes, 1 starch (rice/potatoe), 2 hot veggies, salad with 3 dressings, another cold side (like cole slaw or fresh fruit) for $18.75 using real glass plates and real silverware.

If she has this reception at noon or anytime after 4;30, people are going to eat like it's dinner, which means if she's expecting 100 people, she better order food for 125. (Ask me how I know! Go ahead! It's a nice LONG story!) dunce.gif

With finger foods, people feel they can go back over and over and over. With a dinner, they tend to go thru the buffet once. (Some with go twice but not many). In In my kitchen, preparing a buffet was WAY less work (read "labor cost") than preparing all of those little snacky foods.

Explore ALL the options. Don't lock onto just one because you THINK it's cheaper. Some places it will be .... some places it wont'. But have them quote both options.

ButtacreamRose Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 2:51pm
post #6 of 17

Thanks indydebi, Good to know that finger foods may cost way more than a sit down dinner.I have some time to shop around and compare.

LaBellaFlor Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 6:52pm
post #7 of 17

Why can't you be here?!?!? I STILL haven't found a caterer.

prterrell Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 6:56pm
post #8 of 17

With the foods mentioned, sounds like she's wanting a very casual reception. Or is it that those are the only finger-foods she knows of? One thing to consider, is that all three of those meat choices are extremely messy. I, personally, did not want anything that had a sauce on it at my wedding for fear it would get on my dress. icon_cool.gif But I konw not every bride is worried about that (and not every bride eats at her reception, either).

As for when to do all those activities, do them when you want. Very few wedding receptions around here have dancing. Probably because most are in the church hall and most of the churches don't allow dancing (or alcohol) in the hall.

Absolutely listen to Debi. It's the truth! The caterer who did my wedding told us the same thing. But...we wanted the kind of reception we had (I'd always dreamed of having a "tea" reception, I'm a bit of an Anglophile and a Victorianphile icon_biggrin.gif and I'd always pictured that kind of reception as being the "peferfect" one).

indydebi Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 6:57pm
post #9 of 17
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Why can't you be here?!?!? I STILL haven't found a caterer.

My son is getting married in October. Do you know how HARD it is to have to give him referrals to OTHER caterers instead of 'ole MOM, here, doing the food for them! icon_cry.gif

prterrell Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 7:22pm
post #10 of 17
Originally Posted by indydebi

Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Why can't you be here?!?!? I STILL haven't found a caterer.

My son is getting married in October. Do you know how HARD it is to have to give him referrals to OTHER caterers instead of 'ole MOM, here, doing the food for them! icon_cry.gif

At least you'll be able to enjoy the wedding day that way, without having to worry about the food.

indydebi Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 7:34pm
post #11 of 17
Originally Posted by prterrell

Originally Posted by indydebi

Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Why can't you be here?!?!? I STILL haven't found a caterer.

My son is getting married in October. Do you know how HARD it is to have to give him referrals to OTHER caterers instead of 'ole MOM, here, doing the food for them! icon_cry.gif

At least you'll be able to enjoy the wedding day that way, without having to worry about the food.

Enjoy the wedding? Absolutely. Not worry about the food? You're kidding, right? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif You KNOW I'll be over there making sure they're doing it 'right'! icon_lol.gif

I've given him the names of caterers that I absolutely trust, so I'm joking here, (well ...... KINDA!)

Nah ... no control issues HERE!!!

prterrell Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 7:46pm
post #12 of 17

Here are some menu ideas to help you get started:

phyllo purses stuffed with roasted veggies (zucchini, red bell pepper, onion, fennel) sundried tomato paste, cream cheese, and parmigiano-reggiano
quail eggs roasted in pancetta cups
sausage cheese balls
Thai spring rolls
Shrimp and crab claw meat cocktails
Scotch eggs
Mini quiches: Lorraine (ham, bacon, gruyere and havarti), mushroom and fontina, southwestern (salsa, green chiles, corn, shredded Mexican cheese mix)
Mini 5-cheese mac n cheese blanco (made with white cheddar, fontina, gruyere, havarti and parmigiano-reggiano) -- bake in mini muffin tin
Smoked salmon canapés (pumpernickel round, garlic-herb Aloutte, smoked salmon, top with minced red onion and snipped chives, cucumber twist and parsley leaf, capers and lemon zest)
Mini crab cakes with aioli
Cheese soufflé stuffed cherry tomatoes
Crostini topped with fresh mozzarella, basil or arugula, tomato, and olive tapenade
Acorn and butternut squash filled pierogi w/ creme fraiche
Latkes with sour cream and applesauce
Makizushi (tuna, yellowtail, red snapper, salmon, California Roll, Philly roll) with wasabi, soy sauce, and nari
lamb meatballs with mint-yogurt sauce
loaded potato skins (cheddar cheese, bacon crumbles, sour cream, chives)
seafood dip (salmon, crab, shrimp, scallops) with crostini
spinach artichoke dip with parmigiano-reggiano flatbread
queso, salsa, and guacamole OR layered Mexican dip with tortilla chips
hummus, baba ganouj, and muhammara with pita bread
bacon-wrapped shrimp and scallops glazed with balsamic honey-mustard bbq sauce
chicken sates with peanut sauce
mini country ham biscuits
pancetta-wrapped asparagus
stuffed mushrooms (sausage, crab, cheese souffle, mushroom, mixed aliums, risotto)
sesame green beans
relish tray: assorted olives, included stuffed varieties, and pickled vegetables
Crab Ragoon
Egg Rolls
Sweet potato fritters
Rosemary and fresh cracked black pepper redskin potato chips
fancy fried shrimp (coconut with pina colada sauce or mango chutney or tamarind sauce or sweet chili-lime sauce, almond-crusted with lemon aioli, lime and coconut with red curry sauce, panko crusted with peanut sauce or chipotle aioli or cayenne aioli or lemon aioli)
chilled soup shots (gazpacho, cucumber, carrot-orange, watermelon)

To "fancy" up crudites (veggie platter), include a larger number of veggies and 2-3 kinds of dip (ranch, bleu cheese, green goddess, hummus, tapanade). Veggies that can be used: cucumber chips, radish chips, carrots sticks, celery sticks, bell pepper stripsv(red ,orange and yellow), diakon strips, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, blanched snow peas, blanched green and wax beans, blanched asparagus, blanched zucchini, blanched yellow squash

Idea for an elegant fruit and cheese platter:
fruits - sliced apples (Granny Smith & Honeycrisp or Ambrosia), large red & green grapes, strawberries, cherries, sliced Bosc pears, orange segments, dried apricots
cheeses - Brie or St. Andre, Comte, Roquefort, Camembert, Chevre, Emmentaler, Havarti with carroway
crackers - water crackers, whole wheat crackers, sesame crackers
additional accompaniments: apricot jam, cherry jam, mixed nuts, pate/duck mousse

chicken wing flavor ideas: original Buffalo, honey barbecue, honey mustard, honey chipotle, honey balsamic, sweet and sour, sesame, lemon pepper, mango chutney, plum-chile, cherry-ancho, Thai peanut, herbs de Provence, curried yogurt

mini sandwiches
hot roast beef on potato rolls with red onion, horseradish cream or Dijon mustard
Serrano ham and Emmentaler Swiss on rye with Dijon mustard
roast turkey wrap with cranberry mustard, bleu cheese, shaved red onion, and mesclun
Jamaican jerk-pork taco with Jicama-Granny Smith apple slaw on soft corn tortilla
beef tacos with queso fresco, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole on hard corn tortilla
chicken tacos with minced onion and cilantro with lime juice and tomatilla sauce on soft flour tortilla
chicken salad -- lots of options here:
------with chopped celery, parsley, green onion and mayo on mini croissants or wheat bread with mesclun and campari tomato slices
------with capers and minced red onion in lemon aioli on mini croissants or open-face on sliced baguette with mixed sprouts (alfalfa, broccoli, and bean)
------with chopped olives in garlic and sundried tomato aioli on sourdough or Italian bread with lettuce leaf basil
------with chopped celery and red grapes in Waldorf salad dressing on mini croissants with mesclun and baby spinach

catlharper Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 8:04pm
post #13 of 17

Hi there,

We JUST had an appetizer only "cocktail" reception. We served a signature drink, champagne, juices and water and served 6 different types of appetizers. Now there are tips to doing this. One is to hold the reception in the middle of the afternoon so a full meal is not expected, another is to make sure you say on the invitaiton "cocktails and appetizers to follow" or "cocktail party to follow" so that people know that there will not be a full meal offered. Offer up plenty of seating but don't make it a sit down dinner set up. Seating groups rather than the typical set round tables with centerpieces work better in this set up and reinforce the cocktail party idea and not the full meal idea. We had 50 people and it was wonderful. Everyone had plenty to eat without filling totally up since most of them went out to dinner after the reception. We served wedding cake as well as the appetizers.

Hope this helps!


ps. where do you live? Anywhere in No. CA?

ButtacreamRose Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 8:22pm
post #14 of 17

Thanks everyone !! This is great info to know.DD wants small wedding and Big reception(party)she says people don't remember your wedding but the they do remember the reception.That said the reception will be very very casual.

ps where do you live? Anywhere in No. CA

I live in Southern IL[/url]

Mensch Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 8:50pm
post #15 of 17

*crosses the room and sits next to pterrell*

LaBellaFlor Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 9:03pm
post #16 of 17
Originally Posted by Mensch

*crosses the room and sits next to pterrell*

Scoot over...

ButtacreamRose Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 9:13pm
post #17 of 17

Make room for me! I'm starting to drool.

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