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7 Ways to Say Food and Drinks Provided

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Beautiful weddings happen when all your hard work meets guests with the right expectations. If you word your invitations correctly, your friends and family will come to the wedding knowing what to expect. Instead of worrying about whether kids are allowed or if there’s a cash bar, they’ll focus on you and your big day.

There are several ways to tell your guests whether food and drink are provided at your wedding. Not every wedding will cover everything. Some will serve only hors d’oeuvres, while other weddings will have a cash bar. You may want to only provide beer and wine to help manage the cost of your reception. It’s all up to you, and you can decide what works for your budget.

Knowing how to word your invitation without occupying too much space on the card is challenging. So here are seven ways to tell guests that food and drinks are provided to make your wedding plan go off without a hitch.

Tray with finger food on wedding

Light Refreshments

You should never ask guests to pay for food at your wedding. In almost every scenario, the wedding hosts cover the food.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to serve a three-course dinner to everyone who comes.

Not everyone wants to host a fancy catered dinner. You can, instead, serve light refreshments like finger foods while guests mingle. This food option is best done in more casual settings like parks, backyards, or beaches.

For example, serving appetizers and other small plates is completely fine if you’re hosting a beach wedding and having a reception at a nearby bar or restaurant. Just let guests know they shouldn’t expect to sit for dinner when they come to the party.

Simply write, “Light refreshments will be served” on your invitation and leave it at that!

Beautiful wedding candy bar with sweets, fruits and food. Wedding banquet table

Dessert Bar

Some people skip dinner entirely and go straight to dessert at their weddings. A dessert bar full of cake, pies, cupcakes, and other delicious treats is a fun alternative to the catered meal.

Tell guests what to expect by writing, “Join us for dessert!” on your invitation. This will eliminate any confusion about whether food will be served.

Wedding catering

A Cash Bar

Plenty of weddings provide a cash bar for guests. However, a full bar can add thousands of dollars to your total budget, especially if you have an extensive guest list. Instead of paying for everyone’s drinks, you may only want to offer beer and wine or no complimentary beverages, period!

You should include that information on the wedding invitation whatever you decide to do. Writing something simple like “cash bar” is a nice, direct way to do it. You can also say, “Beer and wine provided,” so people know they’ll be paying for cocktails.

Decorated wedding table with menu card

A Full Catered Meal

If you’re hosting a reception at an upscale venue at dinner time, it’s safe to assume that guests will expect dinner to be provided. In most cases, you’ll give your guests a couple of options for main dishes.

An easy way to say food and drinks are provided is by asking them to select what they want to eat or drink on their RSVP response cards. They can check the box or list any dietary restrictions if you’re doing it on paper. A wedding website gives you more space, but either way works fine.

Whatever you do, try your best to give notice to your guests as early as possible. For example, if you’re serving dinner, they can plan for that. If not, they can make other arrangements near your wedding venue for meals before or after the ceremony.

Don’t Mention Food & Drink

When you don’t mention food and drinks are provided, most guests will correctly assume that you’re serving dinner and there will be a full bar.

You should mention something when you’re going outside of normal tradition and serving something different or asking guests to pay for themselves.

When you only list the reception date, time, and who is invited, you’re essentially telling them to come for dinner and drinks after the ceremony.

Make the Wording Fun

Striking the right tone on your wedding invitations helps generate excitement for the reception and delivers the right message.

Try messages like, “Please join us for drinks, dinner, and dancing!” or “Celebrate with us over dinner and drinks!

Keep the tone fun and light. Make your guests feel wanted and encourage them to come. Avoid anything that comes across as being too stuffy or formal. You want people to feel relaxed and excited even if you are having a very formal wedding.

Handsome young chef preparing meatballs in a food truck

Food Truck Weddings

Food trucks catering at weddings are very trendy right now. Couples love booking their favorite food trucks because they give guests multiple options and usually cost less per person than a traditional catered reception dinner.

Moreover, people love the idea that they can walk up to a food truck and order anything they want! It’s a fantastic way to try new things. You can cover all your courses or serve different regional cuisines all in one wedding!

You don’t need to mention that the food trucks are on you for your reception. Let guests find out for themselves when they come to the reception. Of course, you can mention that the wedding is catered, and dinner will be served, but it’s a nice surprise when they show up to your outdoor wedding with a food truck serving up delicious meals.

Final Thoughts

Wedding invitations have limited space. Getting wording right lets people know what’s coming, so they can make appropriate plans regardless of what you’re serving at your reception. These tips can help you get the wording right to deliver the details politely and in a way that fits your wedding theme.

If you are asking guests to pay for drinks or anything else, do it directly and succinctly. It’s typically not a huge deal to ask people to cover cocktails. Serving appetizers is a lovely way to keep your reception feeling relaxed, especially if you don’t want a traditional wedding plan.