The Great (dessert only) Debate

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TheLuckiest Posts : 357 Registered: 1/7/07
The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 13, 2009 4:29 PM

It's been brought up before, but I (well, we) still can't decide. Any input would be appreciated.
Our wedding will be in August, on a Sunday night, at my mom and dad's home. We're inviting about 200 guests, mostly family from no more than an hour away. Reception would start around 8 pm. "Dessert" at this point consists of wedding mini-cupcake tree, mini cheesecakes, pasteries and/or tarts, brownies (like tuxedo brownies, mint brownies, etc) lemon bars, homemade pies (since that is FH and I's specialty), fruit kebabs, pretzels (choc covered and regular), nuts, and a gourmet cheese and cracker display. I was thinking either the "salty" foods could be part of the centerpieces or we could do candy centerpieces. Or maybe make Edible Arrangement-type fruit displays for centerpieces and no seperate fruit kebabs. Ugh it's making me crazy! So here's what we've come up with...
Pros for dessert only reception:
-The reception "events" can move along more quickly without people eating a full meal and people can leave earlier (to get rested for work the next morning) without missing stuff
-We don't really have room to safely store food for about 150 people in our tiny kitchen
-Cheaper, obviously
-The one bakery already doing our cake can do nearly everything, reducing number of vendors to deal with since we can do the fruit, pretzels, nuts, cheese and crackers, etc.
-The alternatives I see would be appetizers only or the good ol' family potluck, both tacky in my opinion (we're NOT paying for a full meal, that late at night, for that many people)
-This is what we want!
Cons:
-We want to serve beer and wine for the few that will expect it
-We don't people to get hungry, even when we "warn" them to eat ahead of time by designating "dessert reception immediately following"
-Obviously, we don't want to look cheap

I don't think I've ever been so stressed about anything in my life! So, again, opinions? Thanks!

.:Katie:.



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Bride2008 Posts : 3,058 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 13, 2009 4:36 PM Go to message in response to: TheLuckiest

I say to go for it. Simply put "dessert reception" on the invitation so people won't expect to receive a full meal. I would only serve wine, since some wine goes very nicely with dessert. I don't think it will look cheap. If you just gave people a cookie, it'd look cheap. But that is one hell of a dessert buffett.

 

 

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 13, 2009 4:57 PM Go to message in response to: TheLuckiest

The dessert buffet sounds great - but I'd think twice about having my wedding on a Sunday evening. Could you do the same thing earlier in the day?

I'd feel pretty rushed attending a Sunday evening wedding, unless I was traveling and had planned to take the next day off. If the reception starts at 8, I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving before 10 - so if I had to drive an hour, like some of your guests, the earliest time I'd be able to get home is 11. That's pretty late when you have the work the next day (at least for me). A Sunday afternoon wedding would be much more convenient. Just my thoughts.

Anyway, I think the dessert buffet sounds great, and I agree with Bride2008 that you can skip the beer and just serve wine. Wine goes much better with desserts, cheeses, etc than beer does.

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TheLuckiest Posts : 357 Registered: 1/7/07
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 13, 2009 5:05 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

If it's looking like we're going to have a cool August here in Oregon (ha!) around the time I order invites, we might change it and do it in the afternoon.
We're keeping beer on the menu because we know our guests and we love them and we want them to be happy (well, a few in particular, in any case). This means beer no matter what. Same with the wine, though I do agree it belongs on a dessert menu more than beer does.
Oh yeah, and the Sunday is sticking because having 8-8 as our date is non-negotiable. It'd be 8-8 even if it fell on a weekday :)

.:Katie:.





Edited by: TheLuckiest on Jul 13, 2009 2:05 PM

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 13, 2009 6:02 PM Go to message in response to: TheLuckiest

Hi K....

I think your idea of a dessert reception is wonderful, and it sounds like you have a wonderful array of dessert type things to offer. I have a few suggestions/comments to help make this work better.

I agree with Artbride that you should start your reception a bit earlier if the Sunday date is nonnegotiable for you. Even if its a 7pm -10pm reception, thats still a lot better than 8-11pm. I think with a dessert reception, the earliest you can get away with for start time would be 6 or 6:30pm. This way, youre not holding your reception during a dinner hour. Definately put "Dessert Reception" on your invitations. Also, if its at your parents house and youre not having a sit down dinner, you dont need a full 5hour reception which normally includes an hour for dinner, and another hour for cocktail hour. I think 3 hours is fine for a dessert reception, or 3.5 at most.

The foods you have listed are great; but there is a lot of chocolate elements to the buffet of desserts. I think you should add a couple of non-chocolate options and maybe something fun like a root beer float station or ice cream sundaes if possible. Other things that arent totally chocolate might include: a cookie tray with macaroons, italian cookies, lemon cookies, etc etc. Along with the wine and beer I would do maybe a fun punch ... a good one thats very easy to make and replenish that I make all the time for parties is called Pink Punch. Its basically a giant ice cube in the middle of the bowl, and then half rainbow sherbet ice cream, fill bowl with sprite or 7up. you could also consider a coffee bar which goes great with dessert. Also maybe a few breads like banana bread, zucchini bread, or even muffins. For a favor or centerpice you could go with a fun candy like cotton candy put into vases or bowls, or you could fill bowls with a different candy at each table so people can run around and mingle, grabbing candy from the different tables. (fill onebowl with m&ms, another with mike n ikes, another with Sweet tarts,etc). Cream puffs, (they sell them at Costco and they are delicious!!!), canoli, and plenty of fruits like a huge fruit bowl with dipping sauces or a giant carved out waermelon filled with fruit salad. Just some ideas.

I dont know what the set up is like at your parents place, but if its possible, I would set up places to sit outside as well as inside, and maybe have something special out there during one part of the evening. I coordinated an outdoor reception last summer, and we put pillows, blankets, and footstools outside in the grass for people to sit on, and we did roasted marshmallows campfire style toward the end of the night. Lots of lamps and twinkling white lights can act as your decor.

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TheLuckiest Posts : 357 Registered: 1/7/07
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 13, 2009 6:34 PM Go to message in response to: kelleyiskelley

Oops, I was planning on cream puffs, I forgot to write that. I was toying with the idea of an ice cream bar, too, that would be pretty darn easy to add. For our "punch" I was going to do this lavender drink my friend had at her wedding. Then we're doing assorted Izze bottles, bottled waters, and milk :) in addition to beer, wine, and champagne toast. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of cotton candy in apothecary jars, oh my god it would be perfect. My colors are Tiffany blue and purples so that would look amazing. I love you Kelley! I was hoping some of my weight loss buddies would chime in :)
Oh, and I only counted 3 chocolate elements in the sea of non-chocolate treats: some of the cupcakes, the brownies, and some pretzels... lol Kelley are you high on chocolate??

.:Katie:.





Edited by: TheLuckiest on Jul 13, 2009 3:35 PM

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kelleyiskelley Posts : 11,590 Registered: 7/2/06
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 13, 2009 7:00 PM Go to message in response to: TheLuckiest

I must be high on chocolate LOL. Either that, or I really need some. I dont know. Your buffet sounds awesome though, and I wanna come!!! lol. So glad you like the cotton candy idea. Yay!!!


Check out the Wedding Planner Buzz and My Blog @ www.myaislerunner.com  

See our funny Wedding Wed-isode @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OokYNI91ztU&NR=1

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for standup comedy clips,sketches,and more @ www.youtube.com/kelleyfunnylady

 

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 13, 2009 7:37 PM Go to message in response to: TheLuckiest

Dear TL,

Just reading your message made me want to figure out a way to get invited. It really sounds great.

I'd say do exactly what you have planned.

Let's address your "cons".

People will go away hungry. No, you are pre-advertising "dessert reception", so if they show up ravenous and don't get enough with all the grub you are putting out, then that's their problem. I would probably have a light dinner ahead of time, then load up on the healthier parts of your buffet: cheese, fruit, crackers, nuts.

You want to serve alcohol. Sure, why not? You need some kind of liquids to wash down all that stuff, so why not have an assortment of punch, beer, wine, sodas, water, coffee, etc.

You don't want to look cheap. Hmmm... what's the alternative? Put on a full fledged meal for the same number of people and GO INTO DEBT? Instead of looking cheap, you'll look DUMB.

It's just plain dumb to spend more than you can afford. If your budget can handle a really lovely dessert reception for the people you want to invite, then do it and hold your head high.

Again, I'm getting the munchies just re-reading your message.

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 14, 2009 11:31 AM Go to message in response to: TheLuckiest

I love desert buffets.

I second the idea of coffee -- make sure it's there! To the extent it's possible, you can also consider a few coffee liquors to have on hand -- kahlua and baileys taste so good in coffee, and it goes with the sweets theme. But, really, that depends on your budget.

No criticism here, I think you're fine. And, like AOTB, I have the munchies.


__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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firefightersbri... Posts : 49 Registered: 7/7/08
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 14, 2009 3:58 PM Go to message in response to: TheLuckiest

I think a dessert only reception would be fine. It sounds really yummy and fun to attend. Have you thought about offering different types of smoothies? I saw an article about a wedding with desserts only and they offered smoothies, mixed drinks, etc to give both the drinkers and the nondrinkers something to enjoy.

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Knoxvegas Posts : 951 Registered: 9/12/07
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 14, 2009 4:30 PM Go to message in response to: firefightersbri...

Wow.. I totally want a snack now.

That sounds so great and like a lot of fun. Kudos to you!

 

"Love is not a matter of counting the years -- it's making the years count."

-Wolfman Jack Smith

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TheLuckiest Posts : 357 Registered: 1/7/07
Re: The Great (dessert only) Debate
Posted: Jul 15, 2009 8:45 AM Go to message in response to: Knoxvegas

I'm sooo excited about this that I've now stayed up allll night researching and planning this, it's 5 am, and everyone else I know is sleeping so I thought I'd let you girls know that we're definitely going with a dessert only reception.
We'll have 2 chocolate fountains with fruit (think Edible Arrangements style), biscotti (FMIL makes a mean one!!), and pretzels to dip. 3 cupcake trees with about a few hundred of the following will sub as our "cake" but we'll have a mini cutting cake on top of one: mini cupcakes, mini cheesecakes, lemon tarts, brownies. I want to try to make a croquembouoche with cream puffs but somehow not use caramel... we'll see how that goes. Or maybe mini cream puff towers at each table. Yes! Lastly, we'll have a table set up with gourment cheeses, crackers, nuts, and not-so-dipable fruit. I decided against the cotton candy, instead we'll do blue hydrangeas in apothecary jars with votives (ugh and I was so anti-votive but FH really likes them) and now, since I literally just thought of it, cream puff tower centerpieces. Yeah, that'd save some money big time since the jars are upwards of 7 bucks each and we'll have at least 20 tables. Did I mention our guest list just swelled up to about 200 guests that we can pretty much bet on coming. Ugh. Too many people! We're going to switch to pitchers of ice water to cut down on waste (plastic bottles) and have coffee with different flavored creamers because I think with our setup an espresso bar would be a big hassle. We'd have noone to run it, either. Beer and wine in limited quantities are still on the menu, as are milk and sparkling juices. Not sure about the punch though... our drinks are going to be set up under a tree so we'd have to get a dispenser or two, which are spendy. Crap would be falling out of the tree and into the punchbowl all night otherwise. Ew.
Whew. Well thanks ladies... I feel like I just had major diarhea of the fingers since I'm so tired. But I'm so excited I just can't stop brainstorming!
Any other suggestions are still welcome.

.:Katie:.



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