The cocktail-style reception is a GREAT alternative to the traditional full-meal reception. It's a cost saver if nothing else, but there are some things to consider when planning this type of reception for your wedding guests:
- Cocktail receptions are more relaxed and you don't have to worry about a seating chart. But consider a few reserved seats for the elderly guests that will be attending.
- When designing the cocktail reception space, bring in a mixture of hi-boy and low-boy tables with chairs and some lounge furniture like couches and ottomans. You do not need to provide seating for all your invited guests. The idea is for them to move around.
- Food service should consist of stations and passed hors d'oeuvres and plan for at least 10 pieces per guest.
- I suggest you hold your cocktail reception for no longer than 3-hours. That way, guests won't be looking for a full meal.
- When designing your wedding invitation, let your guests know the style of reception by stating, "Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres following ceremony". That way, they can plan accordingly.
- Eliminate many of the formalities - 1st dance, cake cutting, parents/family dances, toasts - or have them done early before to avoid breaks in the party.
Until next time...WEDologize!
(photo credit - Brides.com | an Colin Cowie Event)