Timing for an evening party

rosefollyNovember 7, 2012

Early this December my DH and I would like to host a small party of friends at our house. Our family will be away at Christmas time so we wanted to make the season a little more festive this year.

We plan to serve hors d'oeuvres and wine but not a dinner. Our thoughts were to start at 7 PM, but is that too early? Should we put it off to 8 PM to give people time to eat before they arrive? It will be on a Friday, so people will be coming after a day at work.


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7 pm seems like dinner time to me. If you invited me for a party then, I'd expect that to be my dinner. Appetizer-type foods only would be fine, but I'd make sure you had loads, because your guests will be hungry and filling up on them.

You will really have to be careful about how you word the invitation. "Hors d'oeuvres" implies before dinner, not after.

If you want to make sure people don't expect to make a meal of it, call it "desserts" or "cocktail party." I'd do a cocktail party at, say, 5:30 - 8:00, and desserts at 8:00.

I'm not saying you have to feed guests a meal every time you entertain. But if you don't, then don't make it at a meal time. It's not considerate of your guests, and it will backfire on you if you only prepare a little bit and the first guests eat all of it before the others come.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 5:07PM
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If you do 8-10:00 people will expect heavy appetizers and dessert and drinks. Still-you will need heavy food, not just cheese and crackers.
We are trying to figure out a not disimilar situation.
A celebration or "meet and greet" for S and new wife but not a main meal. We are thinking 1-4 and will have many finger foods and a dessert bar. Drinks will be sparking ciders and Cava, coffee, tea, water. Am thinking we will skip pop altogether.
I will look forward to your posts. How many do you expect?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:32AM
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I'd start later than 1 pm if you don't want people to be expecting lunch. 3-6 perhaps.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:52PM
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