Cocktail Reception Advice

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@Blushpinkpeony:  

I wouldn’t do assigned seating with a heavy app menu.  Use smaller tables, a combination of 3′ and 4′ tables.  Make some of the 3′ rounds hightops with 2 stools at them.  This encourages guests to move without fear of losing their seat.  It is more of a strolling reception but still provides seats for everyone.

Post # 4
Member
1599 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@vess5:  I agree.  We did a cocktail reception without a sitdown meal but provided (non assigned) seating for about 70% of the total guestlist. Most guests walked around (some of the older family members stayed seated) and we had passed and stationary hors d’oeuvres.  We made sure that the venue knew where some of the less mobile family would be sitting, and our DOC made sure they always had food and drinks (my mom and stepdad, for example, who are in their 60s and my DHs aunts/uncles who are older.) We had TONS of food and everyone ate all night (5 hours.)  It was awesome, but I wouldn’t do it with assigned seating.

Post # 5
Member
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@bkrocks13:  

I wanted to say the OP can do 70-80 percent seating but I was afraid I’d invite controversy to her thread!  Agreed, that much seating with attention to older guests or guest with mobility issues works great.  I really like strolling cocktail receptions myself.

Post # 6
Member
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

@Blushpinkpeony:  We are doing an afternoon appetizer reception. Having 3 normal tables with 8 seats each and then 3 high tables throughout the room and a few more chairs. Doing passed and stationed hor deurves. No assigned seating. If people are really worried about setting their coat down they could put it in the coat check. Having 80 guests so their won’t be that much seating. 

Post # 7
Member
1690 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I just wanted to add, don’t think of it as “not ideal”, I’ve never been to a cocktail reception but I really think its would be very cool. It would totally be my type of event, and most people prefer the apps to the meal anyways! You have so many food options, it’ll be great.

Post # 8
Member
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m young and would expect a seat. Weddings last several hours and when I need a break from standing/mingling/dancing I want a seat. Even untraditional seating is fine. Doesn’t have to be a table, but a couch/loubge setting is cool.

I suggest having a coat check. 1) people won’t be able to save seats with their coats and purses. 2) people won’t have to deal with holding drink, food, and coat/purse. Easier to walk around with less thibgs to manage in your hand. 

Post # 9
Member
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@CurlyCue:  I’m not sure if you are familiar with this type of reception.  With 80% seating, everyone does have a seat.  With heavy app stations that stay open all night and I assume dancing, you can count on 20% or more guests being away from a seat at any given time.  This means plenty of seats for folks that do want to rest their feet at any given time.  Also, one does not “save their seat” at a strolling reception necessarily.  Or not for the whole night.  I might want to go grab a shrimp skewer from a nearby food station & leave my cocktail and purse sitting where I was sitting or standing with my finance.  Strolling receptions are about movement.  They’re energetic & social.

Any event should have coat check.  Guests should never have no place to put their coat but slopped on their chair.

Post # 10
Member
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@vess5:  I haven’t been to a cocktail reception wedding, but I have attended social events like this where music and a dancefloor was provided. And i have seen people instruct others “go grab us a drink and i will keep your seat.”

 

Every wedding I have attended did not have a coat check and the dinner reception table was used to hold the purse, shawl or coat, which is why I made special mention of it…all of that is too much to juggle when holding a drink and a plate.

 

Eta: but I will not dismiss your experience or expertise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 11
Member
1768 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Cocktail receptions typically don’t have a seat for everyone because the reception food doesn’t really encourage/require seating. It makes you want to mix and mingle- that’s the point of the cocktail reception.

 

We are doing a cocktail reception but will only have seating for ~70%. We will have two tables (16 seats) reserved for our elderly guests, but generally out guest list is very young (average age is around 31).

Post # 12
Member
3223 posts
Sugar bee

@Blushpinkpeony:  

I don’t know how they will be able to cook apps for that many people if the kitchen is very small. 

Apps usually need a lot of room to be set up, especially if you are going for enough to replace a meal.

Maybe move your ceremony later, and then have heavy apps at 7 or later?

Post # 13
Member
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@CurlyCue:  Agreed, it would be tough to juggle all those things.  A coat check goes without saying in my experience – and obviously you’ve had different experiences.  I didn’t mean to sound snippy towards you, I’m sorry if I did 🙂

Post # 14
Member
830 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@Blushpinkpeony:  Can you try and “sell it” to your guests as a fancy schmancy degustation menu? Seeing as you’re having tiny “meals”, but lots of them, and different ones? Could work, and sounds like a treat…

Post # 15
Member
3 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Would they be able to do a buffet?  That could make it easy for the to accomodate food for everyone?

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