(Closed) Cocktail Style Reception….have you had one? Been to one? Tell me about it!

posted 4 years ago in Logistics
Post # 2
1262 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

PunkRockPrincess:  Yes I have. It was in a beautiful art gallery, with cocktails and pass hor d’oeurves and honestly…. we were STARVING!!! 

It was a 7pm wedding, followed by coctails, snacks, cake, and dancing. We knew it was a cocktail reception, but by the time they cut the cake, we were ready to leave. We wound up leaving the reception early and getting a bite to eat. There simply weren’t enough trays of food going around. 

I like the idea of it though, so make sure you plan accordingly (making sure guests know, planning for enough apps to get passed around, have a later start time so guests have plenty of time to have dinner beforehand). 

BTW- your venue looks beautiful!

Post # 4
758 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

PunkRockPrincess:  I love the idea, but like the PP I’d be concerned that the food didn’t come out FAST enough to satisfy hungry tummies.

We did something similar to this for a work event a few weeks back and along with the passed hors doeurves which were quite heavy and then there was a finger food station as well for in between the hors doeurves.  That worked well because people could snack between.

Post # 5
1653 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

PunkRockPrincess:  look up STLAshley, she just posted about what a great experience hers was!

Post # 6
1251 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

PunkRockPrincess:  My sister had one. There was enough food at hers that we did not go hungry (other friends who have been to cocktail receptions however have complained that there was not enough so you’d need to double check how much you need) but seating was the issue. She had around 60 guests and maybe 15 chairs around the edge of the room (no tables other than a long one in the middle of the room). When the speeches ended up going for 45 minutes some girls resorted to sitting on the ground their feet got so sore. Frankly I also like to have a ‘home station’ to go back to at a table at a wedding rather than have to hunt around for a seat with people I know. From your picture it seems like you would still have tables though so that solves half the issue. Other than that everything ran like a normal seated wedding – they had a cake cutting and a first dance etc. as you’d expect.


As an aside, she also had a cocktail reception because she wanted people to mingle/party. At most seated weddings I’ve been to that all still happens? At our wedding people sat for eating/speeches and then at other times they were up chatting, at the lolly buffet, on the dance floor, in the photo booth etc. They didn’t all stayed chained to their seats.  

Post # 7
2055 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’ve been to two and both have been lots of fun.  Both had a cocktail hour of passed hor d’oeuvres, then ‘stations’ set up for dinner.  Like 3 mini buffets.  Both had plenty of seating, I’m not sure if they had a seat for every guest, but people mingled and it was great.  I say go for it!!

Post # 10
1150 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

PunkRockPrincess:  I’ve been to lots! They can work really well (and are often a little cheaper, especially if you’re having a lot of guests!)

We originally intended on having one but the price was the same for sit down so we went with that option just to make sure everyone got plenty of food. That’s one thing to just be mindful of, making sure people get enough to eat! The ones i’ve been to have usually had cold canapes then hot canapes, followed by substantial items i.e. fish and chips, risotto etc often served in something like a noodle box, and then something desserty)

Cocktail receptions often lend themselves to a slightly more laid back/party vibe and can be LOTS of fun! Another thing to be mindful of though is providing some seating for older guests or children.. or those who need a little rest from standing all night! 🙂

Post # 11
1123 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I love the idea of hand-passed tapas-style food, but I suggest you also maybe have a station with cheese or salad or SOMETHING for people to munch on while the pass arounds work their way to everyone. I love the idea of a cocktail reception, though!

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