Are you having your reception during the late afternoon or in-between meals? Are you on a very tight budget? Having a small reception? Well, a cocktail wedding reception might be the perfect solution!
First, here is the rule of a thumb on what to serve your guests before deciding on a menu. If you are having your wedding in the cooler seasons or in the evening hours, you will need to offer a large selection of heavier food. Serve a nice selection of “comfort food” hors d’oeuvres! For example, spoonfuls of macaroni and cheese topped with bread crumbs, shot glasses of hot soup, and stuffed mushroom caps. During the warmer seasons and in the early afternoon, choose simpler foods. For example, serve simple salads, vegetable and fruit trays, cheese and crackers, finger sandwiches, or cold seafood hors d’oeuvres.
There are two types of cocktail service: tray service and food stations. When a serving staff passes your hors d’oeuvres out to your guests, it is called tray service. There are many benefits to having tray service. It can help keep control on how much and when your food goes out; your guests are served, and will keep food costs down. The only downfall is that it might not feed a large hungry group fast enough! Food stations are tables set up with trays of appetizers. Positives are: people can help themselves and you will have a beautiful display of a variety of food that can please most anyone. The negatives: you will need to offer enough food so that all your guests will have something to eat. All you need is your “early birds” to show up and eat all the food before all the guests make an appearance – – especially the bride and groom! Could you have both? Of course! I suggest platters of vegetables, fruits, and cheese and crackers set on a table, servers pass around gourmet hors d’oeuvres, a cake table, and a dessert and coffee station. This will defiantly be a “crowd” pleaser!
Want to serve alcohol at your reception and worried that it will “bust the bank?” Don’t know what people will prefer to drink and how much to purchase? Then serve a unique themed cocktail! You can pick one cocktail that fits your wedding theme and colors. Why does it save you money? You only have to purchase the ingredients for that particular cocktail. Want other options? Only serve beer, wine, champagne, soda, water, tea, and coffee. If you are uncomfortable serving alcohol, serve wedding punch or lemonade, soda, water, coffee, and tea. Having your wedding in the cooler season? How about hot chocolate or hot apple cider? Don’t know how much alcohol should you purchase for your celebration? Go to “Real Simple,” at www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/weddings/wedding-wine-liquor-calculator-00000000008314/index.html. This website has a “Wedding Wine and Liquor Calculator,” that will assist you on purchasing alcohol for your reception.
And for dessert – – wedding cake of course! If you would want more dessert options, set up a dessert table with petits fours, cookies, and other goodies. Want something unique? How about the “trendy” candy station? Pick assortment of candy that fits your wedding colors and theme and display them in clear glass canisters. Want to personalize your candy station? Then, pick candy labels and bags that match your wedding stationary!
Your wedding celebration doesn’t have to have an elaborate sit down meal. If you are having a small gathering, trying to save money, or your reception is at an odd hour, then a cocktail party is a “perfect match!” If anything, it’s not all about the party – – it’s about your marriage! Bon appétit!
“Wedding Wine and Liquor Calculator: Find out how much alcohol you should stock for your party,” www.realsimple.com