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…



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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