Saturday, February 01, 2014

7 least favorite and the 7 most popular cocktail hour hors d'oeuvres for your wedding

I was shocked to get these results for the survey I held on cocktail hour.  The survey was open to anyone, anywhere, because really, when it comes to destination weddings, every guest is coming from anywhere and going to anywhere!
Found on Colin Cowie Weddings via Pinterest 
Here are the top 5 favorite butler passed hors d'oeurves according to 130 "wedding guests" (aka survey takers). Each guest was allowed to choose four favorites that they would never turn away if offered and 4 that they would never take if offered.  By the way, 130 guests was the average guest count at our destination weddings in 2013:


  1. Crab Cakes (29% of guests)
  2. Stuffed Mushrooms (27% of guests)
  3. Brie & Raspberry Tartlet (22% of guests)
  4. Macaroni & Cheese Bite (22% of guests)
  5. Bacon Wrapped Scallop (21% of guests)

Honorable Mentions: Ahi Tuna on Wonton Crisp (19% of guests) & Bruschetta (17% of guests)

The least favorites were not as much of a surprise, except that notice two of the least favorites are also on the most favorite list!

  1. Bleu Cheese Stuffed Olives (38% of guests)
  2. Stuffed Mushrooms (21% of guests)
  3. Smoked Salmon Canapes (21% of guests)
  4. Fish Ceviche (19% of guests)
  5. Gazpacho Shooter (17% of guests)
Honorable Mentions (hmmm, that might be a contradiction): Ahi Tuna on Wonton Crisp (16% of guests) and Olive Tapenade on Toast Point (16% of guests)

So what to do about this?  Here are a couple tips:
  • When planning your menu you want to consider the rest of your dinner first. This way you don't overlap between cocktail hour and dinner.
  • Make sure that you have a variety of foods available: cold & hot, fried & fresh, protein based & vegetarian friendly (and seafood when possible).
  • If you do go with a selection of "please the masses", make sure the presentation is incredible - it makes all the difference.  There isn't anything thrilling about an ugly mushroom.
  • Consider choosing safe items (anything in this favorite list will work), and more of them. Then, add a couple items that are less conservative and more exciting.  After all, you do want your wedding to be unique right?
On the survey, we also asked about why they may avoid certain presentations and here are the results:
  1. Anything that requires a fork & knife (61% of guests)
  2. Anything that will crumble or fall apart (43% of guests)
  3. Anything that I can't figure out what it is (41% of guests)
  4. Anything greasy (21% of guests)
  5. Anything with a sauce (15% of guests)
  6. Anything that requires more than 1 bite (11% of guests)
  7. Anything on a stick (6% of guests)
  8. Anything fried (6% of guests)
Ever wonder about what your guests prefer to sit (or stand about) while at your cocktail hour?:
  • Hi-boys or tall cocktail tables (57% of guests)
  • Furniture, conversation areas (23% of guests)
  • cocktail tables with seats (16% of guests)
  • communal tables (3% of guests)
  • "I never sit or use a table" (1% of guests)
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101 Destination Wedding Planning Tips

From the editors of Destination Weddings & Honeymoons