Don’t Eat Your Entire Budget! Cocktail Receptions


Cocktail receptions can be challenging when it comes to managing costs without affecting the overall quality.  Here are some tips to help you keep costs under control.

  1. Instead of a buffet or stations, ask the banquet staff to “butler-pass” the hors d’ oeuvres.But be careful, some hotels charge a passing fee.  (I know, it’s a goofy service fee.  But it happens.)
  1. Use smaller plates at the buffet table. This may sound obvious, but it actually works – smaller plates encourage wedding guests to eat less.
  1. Ask to be charged “per piece” instead of “per person.” If your cocktail hour is actually a cocktail reception that is less than one hour, then ask to be charged for the hors d’ oeuvres by the piece.  Your guests will probably not eat as much in less than an hour and you are paying for a lot of food that your guests may never see.
  1. Don’t “over order” hors d’ oeuvres. The typical serving for an hour-long cocktail reception that is being held prior to a lunch or dinner is 6 to 8 hors d’ oeuvre pieces per person.  If the reception is taking the place of a lunch or dinner, the “per person” serving is typically 10-12 pieces.
  1. Offer wine and non-alcoholic beverages via tray service at the front entrance, and place the bars in the back of the room. Wedding guests that start drinking wine out of convenience will most likely continue to do so instead of drinking the more expensive cocktails.

I am sure that there are more ideas out there!

If you have any ideas for trimming your cocktail reception budget, please share!

Love & Soul Always, Kay



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