GUIDELINE FOR ORDERING
Hors D’oeuvres in place of Dinner:
Duration of 2 - 3 hours
15 – 20 pieces per person
Hors D’oeuvres served prior to Dinner:
Duration of 1 – 2 hours
4 –8 pieces per person
Afternoon or Evening Cocktail Reception:
Duration of 2 –4 hours
8 –15 pieces per person
What is HORS D'OEVRES?
Hors d'oeuvres (pronounced "or-DERVS") are small one- or two-bite items that are served before a dinner, usually accompanied by cocktails, or in place of dinner at a cocktail party where a full dinner is not being served.
Hors d'oeuvres can be served at a table or passed on trays among guests. Note that the word appetizer is sometimes used interchangeably with the word hors d'oeuvres, which can lead to confusion in cases where the word appetizer is understood to mean the first course of a meal.
There's no hard and fast rule, but in general, an hors d'oeuvre is served before a meal, and an appetizer is part of a meal.
Note that technically the word hors d'oeuvre, without an 's' at the end, can be used to indicate the singular and also the plural form of the word. But in America, at least, it's normal to say hors d'oeuvres (plural) to mean more than one.