Appetizers for weddings can set the tone for your event while also complimenting the menu that you've already gotten planned for your entree. It can also be really important for your timeline! Offering appetizers makes it easy for you to take pictures immediately following the ceremony. Your guests won't have to worry about getting bored or feeling like they're waiting on you. It's always fun to eat, but if you have your cocktail hour in a different location than where your reception is taking place, it also means all your guests will have to relocate as well.
Moving your guests from one space to another can make a five-hour event feel like a shorter amount of time. They tend to get less bored and they'll stay longer! We know that you expect your wedding to be a raving, a good time from start to finish, but in all honesty, there are some times where the guests are sitting and waiting for everything to begin. This usually when you're taking pictures immediately following the ceremony.
There is something that you can do to make them feel less like they're waiting...by not making them wait :)
If you choose to have a first look, this makes them wait less because you don't have quite as many photos to take after the ceremony. However, if you want to keep things traditional and wait until you see each other when you walk down the aisle, that's completely okay! Just be prepared to have a full hour for your cocktail hour. Offering appetizers during cocktail hour helps keeps your guests happy and content...and also not as drunk. If you don't allow them to eat any food, but you're allowing them to drink lots of alcohol, that can be a terrible combination. In the state of Tennessee, where I plan a lot of weddings, it's state law, that if you're serving alcohol, you must serve food.
They don't care what it is, as long as you offer something your guests can consume if they choose. A bowl of goldfish, some pretzels sitting at the bar, or potato chips, as long as the food is served being served while alcohol's flowing. If you don't have a lot of money in your budget, it's okay to offer less elaborate appetizers. You can do chips and salsa! I know caterers that, do this all the time. Especially if they're trying to work with a budget, things like cheese, fruit trays, and cheese and crackers can be great options. If you want to go all out, you can talk to your caterer about planning an appetizer menu that not only compliments your dinner but can even be personalized for the two of you!
So if you're the type of couple that loves to go out on a taco Tuesday, maybe you met on Cinco de Mayo! Why not do miniature little tacos for appetizers? It's something that your guests will like and something meaningful for the two of you.
Now, let's focus on the cocktail hour! If you're not going to have alcohol, it's okay to still have a happy hour. This offers a different location for your guests to go to some food that they can eat and chat about the venue, decorations, and other amazing ways you've expressed yourself!
This gives plenty of pressure-free time to take pictures after the ceremony. Even if you do a first look! Plan on having to do a few pictures after the ceremony. There's going to be some family members that arrive late and you won't get any other opportunity to do beforehand. Immediately after we take photos, if you are going to be traditional, you're going to need that full hour to take pictures and appetizers will be welcomed by all your guests.
While you're planning your event and once you're done for the night, you should always expect a little cleanup. We have a cleanup fact sheet that can help make clean up a breeze! Even if you have a full-service venue, that's going to do everything from start to finish, there are certain items they won't be responsible for! I bet you, they're not going to take home your bottle bouquet! Who's going to be in charge of that? Who's going to pack up your gifts? Who's going to do all the returns of all of your rentals, tables, chairs, and linens? Our Clean Up Fact Sheet can help you figure out all those pesky little details!
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