Post # 1
My mom and I are so close and are SUPER alike in some cases. But, when it comes to the catering for the wedding, we are butting heads and I don’t really know what to do about it.
Here’s the dilemma: as it stands right now, our reception will only be approximately three hours long so we’ve nixed the dancing part. I’ve been envisioning a cocktail style reception, with food stations and passed appetizers, and for people to mix and mingle (with the help of some booze lol).
My mom is worried this won’t happen, especially with the older guests. We’re having a smaller wedding (60-70 people) so she just wants us to offer a dinner and for people to basically come to the reception, eat dinner, then leave. This idea literally makes me cry (ridiculous, I know) because nothing seems special about it and I feel like we might as well just take everyone to a restaurant afterwards.
Any advice, bees? What would you do with only a 3 hour reception?
Post # 3
I like your idea. Maybe add some pub tables for the older guests that dont want to walk around but I really love the idea of all the stations.
Post # 4
I think you can fill up three hours with a short cocktail hour, dinner, and cake cutting as long as it’s spaced a little bit and I think it’ll still be special if you still cut the cake, do some toasts, and enjoy time with your guests.
Post # 5
Cocktail party sounds awesome. I have been to several wedding cocktail parties and they were wonderful.
Post # 6
I think your cocktail party sounds like a great idea and perfectly fitting for the amount of time you have. It’s your wedding, you need to do what works best for you (and your FI of course haha)
Post # 7
Most receptions are usually only 4 hours anyway,so yours won’t be much shorter. Will you provide tables and seating for all guests?
We had what was supposed to be a cocktail reception in May, and honestly? It was really not what I expected. We had passed hot & cold hor d’oerves, a seafood buffet,mashed potato bar,family style antipasto and bread per table, and meat carving & pasta stations, a salad bar and a dessert & coffee bar plus cake…..if people weren’t dancing they pretty much either went outside on the deck and mingled or sat at their tables. Not much different than any other reception dinner(except it cost more). Most of the guests were friends of the bride and groom, but it really wasn’t much different. I wish we’d just done a dinner too.
This is just my opinion, so you may want to think about your options before getting too upset. I’m sure you’ll work it out.
Post # 8
You could always set up tables for the older guest…. if they don’t mingle and move around, no big deal! Tell them it’s a “buffet” – but there are several they can choose from. I think things get lost in translation between generations.
I think you idea is perfect! Stick with it! Just figure out what your Mom’s specific concern is with the older guests and address it somehow.
Post # 9
I love the idea of a cocktail reception! Hang in there, I’m super close with my mom (and super alike) too but wedding planning (and catering especially) has definitely caused some tension.
Post # 10
I love your idea of a cocktail reception with food stations!
Maybe a way to balance your mom’s concerns would be to have plenty of seating so that older guests would be comfortable (i’m sure you’ve already thought of that, but just reinforce the idea with mom) and have a waiter focus on those guests in lieu of passing an appetizer. Still have passed apps, but have 1 person dedicated to people at tables to make sure they are all set.
Post # 11
All of you make such good points; I’m so glad I have the bee – I think I’d drive my FI crazy if I didn’t lol.
Maybe I just need to sit down and tell her what I mean when I say “cocktail style.” I’m sure she’s envisioning nowhere to sit, whereas I want a variety of regular tables, tall tables, and lounge furniture (which is all included in the venue so it won’t cost extra).
How would that sound to you as a guest? No dancing, but a little bit of mingling, some apps, a meal (likely served buffet style), toasts & cake cutting?
Post # 12
Sounds great! That’s what we’re doing, minus the cake cutting or many toasts, so I’m partial to the cocktail party plan.
There can be resistance from folks who want something more traditional or a sit down dinner, or who think that there needs to be seating for everyone…but it’s only 3 hours, so I think that you’ll be more then fine. I would explain what it is you envision and then ask where she sees the gaps or issues. At least that way, you’re dealing with her concerns head on.
Post # 13
I think your idea of mingling with cute places to sit and munch on stuff sounds so fun! 3 hours is a fantastic time frame for that, and I’m sure once you express exactly what you mean to your mother, she’ll be right on board with you.
Post # 14
Stations force people to get up and move around… which leads to mingling. I think this is a great idea and that it will work out just great. Like you mentioned, alcohol always helps that too! 🙂