Questions on the Wedding Reception
To cut back on catering costs, my sister is making our canapés to accompany the drinks. I'm worried that we will get the quantities wrong or that it will look amateur… Eve, Gloucester
Like you say, quantities are very important. Guests are always hungry when they arrive at the reception, and you don't want everyone drinking on an empty tummy. Allow at least six canapés per person. Try using mirrors as serving plates and only present one type of canapé on each. Think about the colour of the ingredients and the garnish - often simplicity is the most sophisticated choice.
Related Debrett's links: Canapés
My mother wants us to have a traditional wedding cake, but my fiancé and I aren't keen. She's insistent that we should have the 'cutting of the cake' moment, but we think a cake is an added expensive that we could avoid. Lucy, Putney
While lots of couples still opt for a traditional cake, it is by no means unusual to go for a more contemporary option. Have you thought about serving cake as pudding? For example, a tower of desserts that are displayed on a tiered cakestand, but served as dessert. You could even request a larger one to be on the top tier so that you can cut it like a cake before pudding is served.
Related Debrett's links: Cake as Pudding
We are going to supply drinks for the first part of our reception. But after the sit-down meal more guests have been invited for the evening, and we will be asking guests to pay for their drinks. Do we need to explain this when we send out the invitations? Kirsty, Glasgow
Many couples who have their reception at a hired venue ask guests to pay for drinks. Some choose not to let them know in advance and rely on word of mouth on the day. If the wedding is in a marquee, then it can feel awkward asking guests to part with money in what is effectively someone's garden. If this is the case, then you could ask guests to bring along contributions for the bar. Alternatively, you could choose not to have wedding presents and ask for financial contributions towards the wedding day instead…
Related Debrett's Links: Money, Should Guests Pay for Reception Drinks?
Is it acceptable to have wedding favours for the (special) guests at the top table only? I can't afford to give them to all the female guests! Katie, Wolverhampton
If budget is tight, then wedding favours should be one of the first areas in which you can economise. At most wedding, guests forget their favours and they are left on the tables. It is, however, a nice touch to give the VIPs on the top table something if budget allows. Don't forget that it is customary to give the best man, ushers and bridesmaids a present.
Related Debrett's Links: Wedding Favours, Presents and Thank Yous