What to do for Appetizers at your wedding? 10374023_10152111585392882_7554097773570398663_n blt You want to start your wedding reception off on the right foot with a memorable pre-dinner cocktail and appetizer hour. This always gets your guests in the “mood” for a fun evening.  So these should be fun, different, not too filling, and not too fussy I mean messy.  You don’t want things getting out of hand too much before dinner.   You’ll want to make sure that you have both hot and cold appetizers, and options for all the different types of “eaters” that will attend.  It’s not as difficult as it sounds – you just need to be creative and flexible.  Usually 3 of each – hot and cold will suffice.  And for a rough rule of thumb you’ll want 5-6 pieces per person per hour.  So if you have 100 people for an hour you’ll want 600 pieces of appetizer.   Here are some great ideas to get you started.      Hot Appetizers crab (Photo by: Gunawan Kartapranata -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonton#mediaviewer/File:Pangsit_Goreng_GM.jpg) – Mini Quiches – everyone loves “minis” and you can’t go wrong with a variety of bite size mini-quiches to get you started.  They work well for both meat eaters and non-meat eaters.  So go for a mix – some spinach and cheese, and some bacon and cheese. – Chicken Skewers – these are great self contained appetizers – easy to serve, flavorful and not too messy. – Crab Rangoons – for the fish eaters bring on the asian flavors with bite size crab rangoons.  With or without a dipping sauce.   Cold Appetizers cheese – Vegetables and Dip – neatly cut and sculpted vegetable varieties always are a great lite option to get started.  Go for an easy to eat dip like a spinach dip, as opposed to a salsa that will spill all over your guests clothes. – Crackers and Cheese – a beautifully displayed cheese and cracker display can be just what you’re looking for.  Make sure you put out little signs that tell them each kind of cheese.  And add some “accompaniments” – like honey, jams, figs, nuts and let your guests do the rest. – Fruit – much like veggies- fruit on toothpicks that has been creatively cut is refreshing on a hot evening after a long ceremony..   Bar & Cocktails bar The “spirits” portion of your cocktail hour can elicit many “spirited” conversations as you plan your wedding!  It’s no wonder, as this can be one of the most significant cost decisions for your wedding.   Will it be a cash bar, wine and beer only, a completely “open” bar or some combination of the two? Will it be top shelf or just whatever they have on hand?  Will it go for the entire reception or just the hour before dinner?  Or some other time frame?   Surprisingly, the length of time your bar is open and whether you have just beer and wine or the complete line up of drinks really doesn’t make a huge impact on cost.  Unless of course your wedding guests all hail from the local college’s fraternity row – where they could drink anyone out of house and home!   The real decision comes down to whether you a) want to drink at all b) serve only something for dinner c) pay for everything d) have your guests pay for their drinks other than what you have with dinner.   Beer and wine vs. the full bar really isn’t that much of a cost difference. So if you’re going to do it – go for the full bar.  Your guests will appreciate it.  Then just decide who’s going to pay!   Some ways to save money no matter what you choose are these. – Buy your own wine and pay the place just a corkage fee.  You can get some great deals these days from online distributors and not pay the large markup from party centers.  They still get something with their corkage fee. The total is often much less than the per bottle price from the facility – and what’s more – you have the opportunity to get better quality wines for less!   – Skip the champagne toast.  You can toast with anything and if you’re going to be serving wine with dinner – just pour your guests their first glass of wine and toast with that. So much champagne goes to waste anyway.  Plus who wants all those bubbles going to their brain before dinner?! – Go for the “house brand” on the spirits and skip the top shelf.  Your guests won’t know the difference after the second drink. -Another tip:  If you want to have more than just beer and wine but less than the full bar – offer 2 “bridge and groom signature” cocktails in addition to the beer and wine.   Budget chris potter (Photo by Chris Potter https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8265437941/) So what should you budget for your cocktail hour and drinks for the reception?  A lot depends on where you live and of course how big your guest list is.  But typically these costs can add up to about 10-20% of the cost of the entire wedding.   A rule of thumb is that you can plan to spend between $12 and $20 per person for a 4 hour open bar at a cocktail reception.  All the other alternatives will be cheaper.  So that’s your max.  The appetizers themselves double that cost by adding another $15 – $30 per person depending on what you choose. -For a small wedding (50 people) expect between $1500 – $2500 -For a medium size wedding (100 people) $3000 – $5000 -For a large wedding (200 people) $6000 – $10,000   Thinking about proposing soon? 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