Q: Our ceremony starts at 7:30 p.m., and the reception will follow directly at 8:00. Do we have to serve dinner?

A: In most parts of the country, eight o'clock is a reasonable dinner hour; even if it's on the late side in your region, realize that guests will have spent their normal dining period getting ready for and driving to the wedding. If cost-cutting is your motivation for skipping the meal, remember that the food doesn't have to be elaborate. Instead of pricey filet mignon or lobster, go with a less expensive chicken or pasta dish. Talk to caterers about your budget and your options. You might be pleasantly surprised.

See all questions about food and drink etiquette

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