(Closed) cocktail style receptions

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
1330 posts
Bumble bee


I planned a cocktail style reception for my wedding which is today. I can update n how it went if you want to look for my recaps in the near future. Your timing is more of just a light reception…cocktail receptions are usually in the evening and especially if you are having no alchohol, it might be tough to say it is a cocktail reception.

I love the idea of an afternoon reception but try the following:

Cake and finger foold reception to follow

Light fare reception to follow

Because your reception falls into the dinner hour, I would recommend a standing buffet of hot food…stuff they can carry around and nibble on like hot spring rolls, sliders, chicken, beef appies but hot, and cold buffet as well.

The best cocktail receptions offer seating for those with tired legs or groups of chairs, sofas etc, for people to lounge and relax, also entertainment or multiple activities for the guests is also nice.

I went to an afternoon cocktail wedding where they turned up the dance music then turned it off promptly at 5..it was kinda weird gearing up to get down then you realize it is only five pm…

However, I am completely not asit down, formal meal for a wedding kind of girl, so I am biased on the wedding cocktail thing 🙂


Post # 5
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@fivemonthsnotice:  I will also be interested to hear how your cocktail style reception went! I’m getting married in New Orleans where this is the traditional reception style. I’m excited because, like you, I don’t care for long, drawn out sit down meals at weddings and prefer to be up and about mingling, but I’m a little nervous that not everyone will “get it”! 

Post # 6
5096 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

First, if you haven’t sent out invites yet, I can tell you it is very unlikely that all 125 people you invite will attend! So I wouldn’t sweat it too much.

I had a cocktail style reception at my mom’s home, and it was great. We had a mix of high and low tables with chairs, with couches around the edge of the room. We had passed and stationary apps, as well as food stations.  People chatted and mingled and moved from one table to another.

My advice:

Make sure that the staff will clear the tables of dirty dishes promptly, so that people feel ok about moving around from one table to another.

I definitely think you should have alcohol, unless you have moral objections to it. A cocktail party without cocktails isn’t that much fun.


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