How Many Canapes Should I Choose For My Wedding Drinks Reception?

The canape and drinks reception is often a highlight in most people's wedding itinerary. It’s the part in the day you will get to engage with your guests for the first time post ceremony and there is always a buzz in the air celebrating that ‘just married’ glow. All enhanced by bite-sized deliciousness in one hand and bubbles in the other.

But how many canapes should you choose? This is a question we get asked A LOT! And as much as we dislike to sound vague, the honest answer is - it depends. 

There is not a magic formula with each wedding unique. Although we do have some thought provoking questions around your day which we hope should lead you towards what is the right amount for you.

quails eggs canapes


Consider the meals you and your guests will have time to eat before the ceremony begins. Does your ceremony fall on lunch time? If so, consider that your guests naturally will be a little bit more hungry and anticipate including a more larger portion size per person.


If your ceremony does fall over lunch time and there is a little delay between ceremony and canapes (for example travel between 2 venues) communicate with your guests to enjoy a hearty breakfast beforehand. Easiest method to do this is via your invites including a one-liner. It sounds so simple and obvious from the outside, however you will be surprised how many guests do not eat before arriving at a wedding. By guests arriving fully prepared will allow your canapes to last longer and avoid the breakfast skippers hanging around the kitchen door way.

canapes on a board

More Is More

If you are looking for a relaxed feel to your day you may even consider swapping the traditional starter course, in replacement for more canapes. This encourages more time for interaction enjoying your beautiful chosen location and less time sat down for your wedding breakfast. 

Expectations & Duration 

Consider how long the duration of time you plan to enjoy this section of your day. Generally we advise 1 and half hours is amples of time to both enjoy your canapes and drinks alongside photos with your photographer. You may wish for more, or less time. When making these decisions consider your expectations on how long your envision your canapes and drinks lasting throughout the course of this section. For example 4 canapes per person will last roughly 45 mins then the remainder of time filled with drinks and mingling. If you visionise canapes being served for a longer period of time - we suggest including more in your offering.

selection of canapes

How can we help?

We hope the above helps the direction you are looking to take! If you are looking for some inspiration check out our canape menu here and we welcome your bespoke choices too—and feel free to contact us for any guidance or advice on creating the perfect canape selection for your drinks reception.

Posted by Fossil Food Team on March 31st 2022

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