So, you want to have an amazing wedding...but, you're on a bit of a budget (aren't we all?!). It's OK to have a number and stick to it. BUT, in doing so, there will be some necessary adjustments to your wedding priorities to pull off the perfect day without busting the budget. SO, we have a proposal for you...
Host a late-night heavy appetizers-only wedding with us at The Haight, Ashbury or Gather.
This can be a unique and exciting way to celebrate your special day. Not only does it create a more relaxed atmosphere, but it also provides a number of benefits that can make your wedding truly unforgettable.
Let's talk about all of the reasons this budget-friend(lier) option could work for you!
Lower Cost For Your Wedding As A Whole
One of the biggest benefits of hosting a late-night heavy appetizers-only wedding is that it can be more budget-friendly than a traditional sit-down dinner reception. With fewer courses to serve and less staff needed to attend to guests, you can save money on catering costs and allocate your budget towards other aspects of your wedding.
More Time To Enjoy Your Wedding Festivities
With a heavy appetizers-only reception, guests can graze on a variety of bite-sized snacks and finger foods throughout the evening, giving them more time to mingle, dance, and enjoy the festivities. This creates a more relaxed atmosphere and encourages guests to socialize and have fun. BONUS: With a less structured meal plan, you won't need formal place settings, which means fewer rental items and less decor.
Unique Guest Experience
A late-night heavy appetizers-only wedding is a unique and unexpected twist on the traditional wedding reception. It can create a more memorable experience for your guests and allow you to put your own personal stamp on your special day. We recommend that you give guests a "heads up" on your wedding website by letting them know the dress code (cocktail attire) and that the reception will have light appetizers + dessert. Nobody wants to leave a wedding hungry, so if you have guests that won't eat all day so they can "save up" for the wedding meal, this is a courtesy reminder for them that they'll be fed, but not in a formal restaurant style meal!
More Timeline Flexibility
Without the constraints of a traditional dinner service, you have more flexibility when it comes to scheduling and timing. You can choose to have your ceremony later in the day (we recommend after 6pm), allowing for a more relaxed evening reception. You can also choose to have a shorter reception, which can be more accommodating for guests who may have other commitments the next day (if you're reading between the lines, that means hosting your wedding on a Thursday or a Sunday is perfectly acceptable)!
A Wider Variety of Food Options
An appetizers-only reception can offer a wider variety of food options for guests to enjoy. From mini sliders to sushi rolls to charcuterie boards, you can provide a diverse range of flavors and cuisines that cater to all tastes and preferences. Stations also encourage flow, so you may need fewer guest tables, and instead opt for some casual seating clusters. Guests also don't have to wait for dessert with this option! ;)
Hosting a heavy appetizers-only reception can also be more environmentally friendly, as it reduces the amount of food waste generated by a traditional sit-down dinner. With guests able to graze on smaller portions of food throughout the evening, there is less likelihood of leftovers going to waste. AND, again, you'll likely have fewer tables requiring decor, which is also considered more sustainable. Bonus: Ditch the idea of a traditional favor and provide guests with to-go boxes or bags for one of the food stations (such as popcorn, cookies or pizza!).
If you think this could be a fit for you, keep in mind that starting your ceremony around 7 pm and moving right into the celebration (no formal cocktail hour) with heavy appetizers passed or stationed all night long is "ideal." Hosting a late-night heavy appetizers-only wedding can provide a number of benefits that can make your special day more enjoyable, memorable, and budget-friendly. With a wider variety of food options, more time to enjoy, and a unique experience that sets your wedding apart, a heavy appetizer-only reception may be the perfect choice for you.