Hors d’Oeuvres Reception for 40 People – Ideas and Tips

This week at Backyard Huppah, we’re all about hors d’oeuvres receptions, a great option for small weddings. We start with these ideas and tips, and all week we’ll be posting hors d’oeuvre recipes for a 40-person reception. The menu will be kosher, and meaty (with vegetarian options), with make-ahead options for those self-catering their reception.

See the Hors d’Oeuvres Reception Menu

An hors d’oeuvres reception is a great option for a small wedding. It’s a relatively new option on the wedding scene, something more than a traditional champagne and dessert reception and less than a meal. You can easily create a festive atmosphere where everyone gets to socialize, and you can serve creative, tasty tidbits for less than the cost of a full meal. If you are catering your wedding yourself, or if preparing the food is a communal effort, an hors d’oeuvres menu is fun and easy to tackle.

Unlike a cocktail reception, which requires a well-stocked bar, the alcohol at an hors d’oeurves reception is usually limited to a champagne cocktail.

An hors d’oeuvres reception generally lasts 2-3 hours, at a time of day when guests would not be expecting a full meal, so they are most appropriate after a wedding that takes place at about two o’clock in the afternoon or in the evening.

Let your guests know not to expect a full meal. Include a note or line with your invitation. Appropriate wording would be: “Hors d’oeuvres reception to follow at ______(insert time)”

Serve heavy hors d’oeuvres, not just vegetables and dip, since people will also be drinking alcohol.

Hors d’oeuvres can be served from a buffet or passed on trays, or a combination of both. Having at least some of the food passed on trays helps set the tone that this is a special event and ensures that your guests don’t spend a lot of time hovering around the buffet table.

Although an hors d’oeuvres reception isn’t as labor intensive as a serving a full meal, you will want some people on hand to help with food and beverage service. If you are using a caterer, their experienced staff can be very helpful. If a professional caterer isn’t in your budget, hire some responsible young people and hire an on-site coordinator. You’ll want someone with food service experience so that they can instruct your servers.

Have a cake-cutting ceremony half-way through the reception. Make a moment of it, with one or two short toasts that bring everyone in the room together.

Tomorrow’s post: The first of the hors d’oeuvre recipes, Individual Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef…

See the full Hors d’Oeuvres Reception Menu…

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11 Comments

Filed under Catering, Wedding Reception

11 responses to “Hors d’Oeuvres Reception for 40 People – Ideas and Tips

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  11. Pingback: Individual Yorkshire Pudding with Roast Beef Hors d’Oeuvre Recipe (Meat / Fleishig) | Backyard Huppah

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