Wedding Appetizers

My daughter and I have decided to reduce the budget for her wedding reception, and with the wedding two weeks away we want to find good, elegant and FRUGAL appetizers, and serve an appetizer reception instead of a buffet. Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks!

Kim from Crawford, CO

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June 23, 20070 found this helpful

Mom,you've made a wise choice!!I once catered a wedding for well over 100 and stayed within a $250 budget. May I make a few suggestions? Meatballs and L'il Smokies slowcooked in Barbeque sauce with a jar of Grape jelly.(You can buy frozen meatballs-it goes farther to add chopped onions to hamburger-add onions-roll your own-bake-then slow cook.I also bought a nice big ham and made SMALL biscuits from flour and whipping cream--doing them small makes a LOT!I made Tuna Salad (use WHITE Tuna,relish,chopped eggs,Miracle whip and a drop of white Vinegar (to take away the FISHY taste) and I made Chicken salad.Boil chicken breasts,mix using Miracle whip AND a little Mayonaise,add chopped eggs,cut-up Grapes and pecan pieces,add a few drops of Lemon Juice to whiten the chicken) I served these on croissants from Walmart bakery(the smaller ones).I made a big crock of Mexican dip and Tortilla chips.Dill chip dip and Ranch chip Dip.Do your own fruit and Vegetable trays.You can get twice as much for half the price.Most Dollar Tree stores sell aluminum trays and covers.In fruit trays I had Oranges,Apples(green and Red)Cantelope,Watermelon,fresh cut-up Pineapple.(Be sure to soak Apples in Sprite until time to put on tray.) Vegetable trays included Celery,Brocoli florets,Cauliflour,baby Carrots and tiny Tomatoes.I had 2 trays EACH and backups left.You could do cheese trays.Cheaper if you cut your own but to save time you can buy it already cubed.PASTA SALADS go a long way. For my Daughter's wedding I did an Italian pasta salad and a RANCH pasta salad.Another suggestion,to stretch cake buying do cupcakes.Saves on a lot of wasted cake.I also did four big cheeseballs with crackers.Two were ALL Cheeses with seasoned salt and the other two were made with diced Ham,green onions,cream cheese and seasoned salt.Add a little Miracle whip to cream cheese when mixing both cheese balls. I can tell you from experience,your guests enjoy the VARIETY of foods instead of a SET menu. GOOD LUCK with your wedding!!!

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June 24, 20070 found this helpful

One important thing I failed to mention...you CANNOT do this alone when it comes to assembly.ASK 2-3 RELIABLE friends or family members for assistance.They'll be flattered you asked and it makes the load lighter--less stress on you!I did it all myself but before the reception I had help getting it together.The mother of the bride was so pleased she gave me a nice BONUS which I hadn't counted on.Wish I lived close.I'd have been glad to help.Again---Good Luck!!!

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June 25, 20070 found this helpful

I LOVE DOING THESE TYPE OF THINGS...THEY ARE SO MUCH FUN....And I agree with everything Sharon said....she has some wonderful ideas. One thing she mentioned was cup cakes....for my daughter's wedding we did a small 2 tier cake for pictues and then bought a COSTCO cake....real reasonable. Another thing that is fun is those "chocolate fountains"...you can have cut fruit to dip the chocolate in....and a fun thing to do is to mix your fruit but make your bowl out of a watermelon...just cut the top "ends: off, leaving a handle in the middle, scoop out the fruit and fill...I have done this for weddings, shower, jack and jills and it is always a hit....

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June 25, 20070 found this helpful

I used to cater and LOVE doing cocktail type things. One of the favorites was crab-stuffed deviled eggs. For each dozen eggs, discard half the yolks. Rub the remaining yokes through a mesh seive with a spoon into a bowl, add a can of rinsed, picked-over crab, mayo, a couple of drops of Tabasco. Pipe into egg white halfs with pastry bag and tip. Top each with a tiny sprig of fresh dill or flat-leaf Italian parsley.

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June 25, 20070 found this helpful

I would suggest an assortment of crackers, cheeses, cream cheese spreads, vegetable dips, fresh, raw vegetables, mild & medium salsa, red pepper jellies, and an assortment of fresh fruits & berries.

Divide your presentation platters into 5 types

Fruits & Cheeses

Veggies & Dips

Creamcheeses & fruits

Crackers & Cheeses

Crackers, Creamcheeses & Salsa

Present 1/2 of your appetizers assembled

and the remaining 1/2 unassembled for your guests to try their own combinations

Examples of Fruit & Cheese platter unassembled:

Old White Cheddar

Medium Marble

Red & Green SEEDLESS grapes

Thinly sliced cantelope

Pineapple "bites"

Cheese knife

Example of Crackers, Creamcheese & Salsa/redpepper jelly -assembled and unassembled

I like Bagel Bites and whole wheat crackers for this one

On each Bagel Bite spread a nice amount of creamcheese, then top with a little salsa or red pepper jelly - thats it.

Creamcheese & watercress on a Bagel Bite is quite a nice combination to try as well.

Fruit with a Fruit Dip Platter

For the fruit dip

blend together a jar of soft marshmellow (Kraft) with 2 blocks of plain creamcheese until very smooth.

Put the mixture into a bowl in the centre of your platter. Surround with an assortment of raspberries, strawberries, cantalope, honeydew melon & seedless grapes. Provide toothpicks.

In order to give your reception an elegant feel, make sure all your platters match- all white . Plain platters, with small simply decorated napkins make an elegant statement, and at a small cost.

(the Dollar Store is a great place for both platters and small napkins) Also, line each platter with paper doillies, they too are available from the Dollar Store. Plus they stop the food on the platter from sliding around.

Remember to use things like mint leaves, parsley, watercress to garnish your platters. Fresh edible flowers, such as violets & nastursums are a lovely addition to the fruit/cheese platters.

You will be very busy with so many things in the next few weeks, my suggestions are ones that if you can delegate help from a couple of friends with the platters, its pretty self explainatory stuff to put together an no one has to cook a thing. It can all be done the morning of the wedding in a matter of perhaps 2 hours. Plus if you get really pushed for time, you can buy most of the raw veggies ready cut up ready to assemble.

Have a lovely time, hope some of these ideas are useful for you.....:0)

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June 25, 20070 found this helpful

I would agree with everything that has already been said here, but have a few additions:

-Cake: Costco has some of the best cakes ever that can be customized to your liking and they're only $14.99 each! I heard for months after my wedding that the cake was the best they'd had for the entire wedding season.

-Presentation is key. Any food can look cheap if its not arranged in a nice manner. Use doilies from the dollar store, umbrellas - anything that matches the theme really. Just make sure it looks like you put as much thought into the food as you did the rest of the wedding! Use nicer platters and such from the thrift store instead of plastic bowls, etc.

-Remember to get help, and plan, plan, plan. The less you have to think the day of the wedding, the more you will enjoy yourself. The internet abounds with instructions on when you can plate things.

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June 25, 20070 found this helpful

I always have a big Christmas party at our home. The one thing that I make, everyone loves. Buy hotdogs, cut into three's. Use a pound of bacon, cut into three's also. Wrap around the hotdog pieces, put into baking pan, single layers. Take a couple of handfuls of brown sugar and sprinkle over these. Bake at 375 degrees until they are crispy. Make sure you spray the baking pan with pam first. These are very good.

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June 25, 20070 found this helpful

A lot of these are great suggestions, but not completely wedding-appropriate in my opinion.

This is an appetizer reception, so you'll want to keep things fresh, elegant, and uncomplicated.

Try to have one or two more substantial items- this will help you achieve the more elegant feeling. Maybe miniature crabcakes, or Greek-style meatballs (google a recipe, they are tasty as heck!)...make these your big splurge.

Pigs in a blanket are always good-HOWEVER- here is a cute little way caterers fancy them up- sprinkle sesame seeds on top after you egg-wash the dough. Serve with a bowl of good dijon mustard.

Bean salad. Colourful and light for summer with lots of veggies, cheap, and EASY. Also ditto on the pasta salad. Good cheese, and roasted veggies will make this light and delicious, for little money.

I would stay away from cream-cheese dips. Try a nice spread with hummus, tzatziki, babaganoush, spinach/artichoke dip (all these recipes can be found online, and the ingredients can be purchased cheaply). Add sliced french bread, pita bread, a couple of types of olives. This will go over in a huge way.

Yes on a cheese and fruit platter.

The individualized desserts are an adorable idea.

And I agree with the presentation. It is so important. Natural materials and garnishes add an expensive feel. Browse online for ideas, and re-invent them in cost effecient ways! Good luck! And congrats!

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June 26, 20070 found this helpful

how about chicken breast tenders cut into bitesize, wrapped in bacon, and rolled in brown sugar, nice showing, pretty reasonable for price, and these little suckers are really good. you can also do meat cut into bitesize, marinated with just about anything, beef or pork are great marinated or cooked in some kind of sweet or teriaki, with a toothpick

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June 26, 20070 found this helpful

Stuffed mushrooms, shrimp tree (buy the shrimp at Sam's), meatballs is a major plus and always always go w/ veggie and fruit platter. I made homemade fortune cookies at my wedding and had cute little "fortunes" rolled up in them.

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June 28, 20070 found this helpful

tortilla pinwheels always a big hit and you can

premake just

spread a flour tortillas with mix of

creamcheese, salsa, and shredded cheese and one sliced, diced, jalapeno

roll tortilla up tight and wrap in plastic wrap

and leave in frig up to one day in advance then

take out slice and set on plate

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salsa dip

Mix

cream cheese, salsa, shredded cheese, chopped

green chilis (not spicy) or Rotel

mix well refrig for a day or two in advance

serve with chips

*note* it is tasty and does not make a mess

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black bean dip

one can of black beans

salsa

shoepeg (white) corn and one yellow corn

mix it all up in bowl and great salsa fresh and good

serve with chips

________________________________________________

cold melons

watermelon squares

cantaloupe melon balls

honeydew melon balls

cut and FREEZE till day of

______________________________________

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July 5, 20070 found this helpful

Definitely a nice fruit and cheese display:melon balls, grapes, apples, pears, bananas, goat cheese, cheddar, bleu, brie,etc. Add specialty crackers on the side. A vegetable platter with an herb dip. Spinach Salad, Caesar Salad, shrimp cocktail, spinach artichoke dip with crostinis, hummus or tzatzki dip, scallops wrapped in bacon, stuffed mushroom caps, mini crab cakes, spanikopita, potato cakes with a dollop of creme fresh and red caviar, smoked salmon atop sliced cucumbers with a dill sourcream and a caper, mini beef and chic skewers, mini beef and chix wellingtons, proscuitto wrapped melon, mini bloody marys... hope that helps, those are the kinds of things we are doing for our wedding and we as well decided on only serving hor'doeveres. We are making everything ourselves...it definitely saves money.

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July 6, 20070 found this helpful

Definitely a nice fruit and cheese display:melon balls, grapes, apples, pears, bananas, goat cheese, cheddar, bleu, brie,etc. Add specialty crackers on the side. A vegetable platter with an herb dip. Spinach Salad, Caesar Salad, shrimp cocktail, spinach artichoke dip with crostinis, hummus or tzatzki dip, scallops wrapped in bacon, stuffed mushroom caps, mini crab cakes, spanikopita, potato cakes with a dollop of creme fresh and red caviar, smoked salmon atop sliced cucumbers with a dill sourcream and a caper, mini beef and chic skewers, mini beef and chix wellingtons, proscuitto wrapped melon, mini bloody marys... hope that helps, those are the kinds of things we are doing for our wedding and we as well decided on only serving hor'doeveres. We are making everything ourselves...it definitely saves money.

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July 6, 20070 found this helpful

Definitely a nice fruit and cheese display:melon balls, grapes, apples, pears, bananas, goat cheese, cheddar, bleu, brie,etc. Add specialty crackers on the side. A vegetable platter with an herb dip. Spinach Salad, Caesar Salad, shrimp cocktail, spinach artichoke dip with crostinis, hummus or tzatzki dip, scallops wrapped in bacon, stuffed mushroom caps, mini crab cakes, spanikopita, potato cakes with a dollop of creme fresh and red caviar, smoked salmon atop sliced cucumbers with a dill sourcream and a caper, mini beef and chic skewers, mini beef and chix wellingtons, proscuitto wrapped melon, mini bloody marys... hope that helps, those are the kinds of things we are doing for our wedding and we as well decided on only serving hor'doeveres. We are making everything ourselves...it definitely saves money.

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January 4, 20080 found this helpful

Im planning a wedding for my daughter as well. She has consented to having a very modest one. Appetizers all the way! I had some ideas; but I'm tired of doing the same ole thing. Unfortunately, it takes money to go beyond the norm. I'm trying to remember that it is her wedding! One question: should I or should I not mention on the invitation that it is an appetizer reception? Should I care?

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January 5, 20080 found this helpful

Time of day for the wedding seems to indicate the food served. If you are having it at dinner time or lunch time, you owe a meal.

If you are having it at an 'off time', then people expect cake, coffee, punch, snacks.

If you planned it at meal time, but are only serving appetizers, have someone discretely make phone calls letting the guests know, or there might be some low sugar grumpy guests at the wedding.

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November 3, 20080 found this helpful

2 sticks cream cheese

1 package of Ranch seasoning mix

2 cans shredded crab meat

1/2 bottle of cocktail sauce

Mix cream cheese and seasoning mix, spread over plate or serving dish. Pour cocktail sauce on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle crab meat on top of the cocktail sauce and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This appetizer looks beautiful and will be a big hit! These ingrediants serve approx 6 people, so plan accordingly.

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January 18, 20090 found this helpful

I need help in knowing how much to buy for our wedding reception. We are planning on watermelon, cantalope, honeydew, strawberries and kiwi. Broccoli, baby carroots, colored peppers. sliced ham and cheese sandwiched and piminto cheese sandwiches. mints/nuts and assorted cookies. As a gift we are getting 2 cheese/cracker trays. The cake will be sheets from Sam's and a round cake for us to cut. The punch will be gingerale and fruit juice (or any suggestion of a good one!) My wedding is March 14, 2009 I appreciate any feed back. We are on a limited budget(as most are) $250-$300

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January 26, 20090 found this helpful

One thing I try to do at an appetizer party to make the guests get full quicker is to use recipes that have bread in them. One really cheap thing is to make small rolls. I have a dinner roll recipe and it makes 75 small rolls. Then cut and butter the little rolls, and fill with some shaved ham. Secure them with a toothpick.

For 75 rolls it only uses about 1 1/2 pounds of ham. Inexpensive and cute as a bug. You can also do this with roast beef or egg salad. When I make egg salad, I slice olives and secure an olive slice on top.

You can also make tiny cream puff shells and fill with a shrimp salad or crab salad mixture. Another bread item is a boboli spread with a cream cheese/ranch dressing layer and the top with chopped vegetables. That also works for the vegetarians in the crowd.

Another thing you could do is take a baguette and slice lengthwise, take out some of the breading (with your fingers), fill the baguette with a layer of cream cheese mixed with minced garlic, layer of arugula, layer of dried off chopped artichokes, layer of roasted peppers (dried off), spread the inside of the top of the bread with some goat cheese (or more of the cream cheese/garlic mixture), slap the top on and cut in slices that have been secured with toothpick.

If you have the appetizers passed people tend to eat less and it looks more elegant. Anything wrapped in bacon works--fake crab, scallops, dates stuffed with almonds, water chestnuts that have been sprinkled with soy sauce, etc.

For my New Year's Day party, I have broiled the bacon wrapped things the day before and just warmed them up in the oven on the day of the party. One thing that is easy is to buy bourbon chicken (frozen section) at BJs and cut them into smaller pieces and stick a toothpick in the pieces. The also have a ton of frozen appetizers at BJs that are good. Good luck and enjoy the day.

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January 26, 20100 found this helpful

To Andy, Would you please post the recipe for the 75 small rolls. My granddaughter is getting married in June and this sounds like something that would be good. Thank you so much

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