Post # 1
After thinking and thinking about the overwhelming cost of catering and their fees (and now wanting a Floridian Honeymoon as we were in Florida as we decided this) Mr R and I decided to scale back to a cocktail wedding. Simple cold and hot appetizers done by your truly and my grandmother. When I rounded up the estimated cost compared to a full fledged catered dinner (their fees included set up, service, and transportation) for 100 plus people it was SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper.
(The cateror was charging $3,000 without gratuity! My estimate was less than HALF of that. Plus alcohol for 100 people.)
I haven’t really been to any cocktail weddings so I don’t know what kind of response we’ll recieve. I would hope our families would understand we want at least a full week alone to enjoy ourselves seeing as we are paying out of pocket for the wedding and honeymoon.
Has anyone had a cocktail wedding?! Tips would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
I went to a cocktail wedding, was in the wedding party actually. The bride was pretty happy with how it turned out but after the fact said she really missed having a head table and having guest clink their glasses for them to kiss, none of this happened since everyone was walking around talking most of the time so the flow was hard. I would say make sure you have lots and lots of food – and note its a cocktail reception, because we did see guest leave the venue to head next door and grab pizza.
Post # 4
I’ve been to 2 cocktail receptions….one was fantastic, the other one was awful. The one that was fantastic had the ceremony starting at 7pm and stated on the invitation that a cocktail reception would follow so we knew to eat an early dinner. The one that was awful had the ceremony starting at 6:00 with the reception to follow….nothing about a cocktail reception or that food would not be served. Several people left early and several people made food runs and ate in the parking lot. A few even called for pizza delivery 🙁
So, as long as your ceremony is late and you state on the invitation that a cocktail reception will follow, you should be fine. Also couldn’t hurt to have your close family members kind of spread the word.
Post # 5
We are having a cocktail reception followed by dinner in the main dining room of our cruise ship. We were able to schedule the cocktail hour for 5PM so it wasn’t too late in the evening and then dinner (which is whatever the dining room is serving that night) will follow at 6:15.
As a PP suggested make sure you note that you are having a cocktail reception because same may be put off if they find out it’s not a full dinner later.
Post # 6
My sister had a cocktail reception in December. We planned her wedding in 6 weeks so there was not a lot of time for deliberation. So after much arguing she convinced my mom to let her have a cocktail reception. For 1- because it was cheaper 2-they just liked the appetizers better than the main courses.
Well she had stuffed mushrooms, Swedish meatballs, all fruits, veggies, bruschetta, mini Reuben’s, wings, sauerkraut balls, no alcohol, wedding cake, cookie bar. Umm it didn’t go over too well. Some thought it was ok, definitely a lack of food.
The caterer convinced us (my mom, my sis and myself pretty much planned it all) to low ball the number-bad idea. This was a prime dinner time, alcohol makes a difference some people say. It did say on the invite- cocktail reception to follow. That is the only cocktail reception we had ever been to. I am not sure if it went “perfect” by that I mean it was treated as a buffet. Not passed around or people walking around. The guests got up, got their plates, and sat down and ate like it was a 2-3 meat regular buffet.
I mean you know your guests so you know how they eat. But that is the 1 bit of advice I have is do not low ball the amount of food your making. My aunts still say (because my mom, aunt, and I are DIY-ing the food for my reception) “we have to make sure we have a good amount of food because your sister’s wedding was totally lacking.” No one would say that to my sis, but people felt that way I suppose. And since it’s you and your mom making the food, it will be no biggy for you guys to have left over’s. I do think it is an awesome, fun way to do the food.
Post # 7
I love the idea. Hors d’oeuvres are usually the best part of any wedding meal anyway. I agree with the comments on timing and advance warning. As long as you start later and tell guests that the ceremony will be followed by a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception, your guests will be prepared. You might also make sure you have some heavy, “filler” foods like a cheese tray for people to fill up on.