If budget is tight, or the couple don't want a long reception, then canapés and drinks can be a good idea. This drinks' party style format also allows the couple to circulate and speak to all the wedding guests in a short time.
As a general rule, allow at least 14 or more canapés per person for a drinks and canapés-only reception. Try to serve 50 per cent hot, 50 per cent cold, and provide approximately 30 per cent vegetarian ones.
Serve wine, champagne and beer to provide a variety for guests. The caterers should make sure that glasses are fully charged before the speeches begin.
Some seating should be provided for the elderly and for those that wish to sit during the speeches.
The toastmaster/master of ceremonies should make sure that guests know that it is a canapé-only reception.