These little bites are a tasty way to begin your special event. They can be anything that is a one or two bite item and one that is easily handled by guests dressed in their finery.
Serving some type of hors d'oeuvres at the start of a wedding reception is important in those situations where guest arrival may be staggered.
For example if the wedding ceremony venue is a drive from the reception area - some guests may have easy access to their cars and get right out, others may be held up in traffic or even in a parking lot. Another example is the time spent by guests waiting for the wedding party to arrive - unless you have arranged to have all your wedding photos done prior to the ceremony, most families (and photographers) like a selection of staged wedding and family photos to be done prior to going to the reception.
Having some set stations with simple items that can be attractively displayed - such as crudites, cheese and fresh fruit w/ accompaniments - is a nice touch along with perhaps prepared thirst quencher beverages (for example; flavored ice teas, lemonades, cool fizzies) set out or handed to each guests as they arrive. It is a simple, refreshing touch that you guests will appreciate.
Having self-serve station gives your guests something to do while they wait for the full reception to begin and keeps those stomach from growling! After all, how many people really have time to eat before a wedding? Everyone is usually too busy running around. It also allows you to save those special individual hors d'oeuvres you have selected to serve after the majority of your guests have arrived. This way no one feels left out or that they missed some special items that earlier guests got! Of course, if it fits your budget, you may serve individual hors d'oeuvres (butler-passed and on station) right from the start.
Just remember that individual hors d'oeuvres are generally pricier and your guests will most likely eat more than the standard 3 pieces per person- depending on the length of time before going in to dinner.
Some tasty suggestions will be coming up in later posts and will be posted according to type - hot, cold, self-serve style