Cocktail Style Wedding Receptions

Is a cocktail style wedding reception right for you? Many couples are now looking at this as a wedding option.

Cocktail style wedding

We are seeing a trend emerge with more and more couples opt for a cocktail style wedding reception rather than a traditional sit down banquet buffet or platted meal.

Why is this? I think there are a couple of reasons:

  • Cost – it is often a bit cheaper to have a cocktail reception – not only do you save on the cost of food but also on items such as centrepieces,
  • It is more sociable – there is much more of a mix and mingle atmosphere
  • Greater number of guests – often wedding venues are restricted by guest numbers, so by having a cocktail style wedding reception, you can fit in more people.

It is important to remember that when you do decide on a cocktail style reception it will have quite a different style and flow to a traditional wedding reception which you and your guests are probably more accustomed to:

  • Speeches – as most people will be standing, if you are going to be having speeches you need to ensure they are very short and sweet.
  • Seating – it is also important to ensure that some seating is supplied, particularly for older guests – create chill out areas for guests with couches and occasional furniture along with bar leaners and bar stools.
  • Points of interest – create interesting areas for your wedding  guests to visit like candy stations or a chocolate fountain, also interactive areas like a photo booth or video kiosk are a great source of entertainment for guests.

Food is a big factor at a cocktail wedding – many couples are concerned that they don’t want their guests to leave hungry, so it is an important issue to raise with your venue and caterers right from the get go. Have food come out in stages and make it interesting so that it includes canapés, skewers, sliders, fork and walk, noodle boxes, bap stations, etc. Another big consideration is that your guests will be drinking lots of alcohol, so you (and the caterers) need to ensure that they also eat a sufficient amount too so that guests do not become intoxicated.

You can have a huge amount of fun theming a cocktail style wedding reception, visit a theming and decor specialist to get ideas and inspiration as to what can be created. Another fun thing is create your own signature cocktail to be served to guests on arrival.

With this type of wedding reception a big focus is on the party and dancing, so it is highly recommended that you invest in a good DJ and or a band – if you are theming the reception make sure they know what the theme is so that play lists can be created to complement the theme.

Happy Planning

Nicky :)