Do I have to serve a full meal at my reception?
No, you don’t. You can certainly opt for a passed-tray wedding reception
of hors d’oeuvres instead of a full meal. These types of wedding receptions are ideal for afternoon and evening cocktail receptions. Cocktail wedding receptions are perfect if you want an evening ceremony but you’re worried about serving your guests a late meal. If you don’t plan on serving a full meal, make that clear on the invitations, so guests know they won’t be eating dinner at your reception and they can arrive prepared. Just turn the reception into a cocktail party. If you want to go the more traditional route, you can still give your guests seating assignments and set up food buffet-style. If the passed-tray, cocktail party vibe is what you’re going for, then skip traditional tables and opt for lounge furniture.