Wedding Reception Q&As

Answers to your questions about toasting, timing, and traditional reception rites and rituals.

Q: My fiancé and I are planning a wedding for about 150 guests, and half of them will be from out of town. Is it appropriate to have a cocktail and dessert reception? Or should I provide a full meal? 

A: It’s perfectly fine to have a cocktails and dessert reception. And I wouldn’t worry about not having enough food to feed your guests. Believe me,I’ve been to many a wedding where the cocktail hour fare far outshone the reception dinner! It’s all about offering fabulous, abundant food at stations aswell as passed hors d’oeuvres. Think pasta bar or a Tuscan table filled with Italian breads, cheeses and olives. Offer comfort foods (a surefi re crowd pleaser)like mac ‘n cheese, French fries, miniburgers and grilled cheese sandwichesand shot glasses filled with soup. If your budget allows, you can have a made to-order sushi station or a seafood bar featuring lobster, shrimp, oysters and salmon. In fact, in a recent issue, we interviewed wedding event pro, Harriette Rose Katz of Harriette Rose Katz Events/Gourmet Advisory Services, who stated that cocktail party receptions areon the upswing not only because they are fun and elegant but they are also an affordable alternative to the traditionalsit-down dinner. So speak with your caterer about a variety of food options and be sure to indicate on your invitation that the event is for cocktails and dessert so your guests won’t expect dinner.

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