Receptions: Beyond the Sit-down Dinner

If nighttime isn't the right time for your reception, think creatively! Here, some top wedding planners provide inspiration and tips.

Upscale Cocktails

(late afternoon-early evening)


receptionsThe planner: Harriette Rose Katz, founder and president of Harriette Rose Katz Events/Gourmet Advisory Services, in New York City.

Cocktail Party Menu


  • Made-to-order sushi
  • Miniature soufflés or “fortune cookies”
  • Salmon four ways
  • Tuscan table featuring fruit, cheese and crackers, charcuterie, pâtés and terrines
  • Meat-carving station
  • Seafood bar with four different kindsof oysters, clams, lobster and jumbo shrimp

Passed Hors d’oeuvres:

  • Grilled cheese with or without ham
  • Miniature hamburgers and French fries
  • Caviar in blini
  • Summer rolls filled with julienne vegetables

Passed Desserts:

  • Wedding cake
  • Petits fours
  • Selection of miniature cupcakes, brownies and blondies
  • Fresh strawberries