(Closed) Non-traditional cocktail style reception – Suddenly nervous to death!!!

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 18
2180 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
brew520:  Echoing PPs–this reception sounds wonderful! And you know what? I’ll bet a lot of the complainers will end up really enjoying themselves. 

Post # 19
622 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

I think that sounds like a blast! I don’t think the seating is a big deal especially since you don’t have many elderly. It also gives a better atmosphere for mingling, families getting to know each other better, etc. It’s a social event! I would also take advantage of those flip flops so good call on that. We’re having a nontraditional wedding (getting married by ourselves in Mexico then having a simple reception with a buffet dinner and dancing a month later). We’re still 5-6 months out and I’ve gotten a little backlash, but unsurprisingly it’s from the people who don’t know us super well! I’ve always wanted a private ceremony and it’s really important to me to keep it private. The people that haven’t bothered to ask me about it or consider my feelings about it are the ones who are up in arms about breaking tradition. I think your day sounds like a lot of fun and I know it’s tough getting all the questions/hearing comments, but you’re doing the right thing!

Post # 21
3416 posts
Sugar bee

I think your plan sounds great!  I had a sit down dinner reception.  Other than the 10 minutes were people were actually eating plates of food, every time I looked around, seats were empty.  I suspect you will have enough seating for everyone who wants it.  Also, I paid for a champagne toast but I don’t actually think it happened?  There were toasts, but I feel like we just toasted with whatever we were drinking.  My only suggestion would be to increase the amount of covered bar, if possible.  If people have enough drinks, nobody complains about anything;)

Post # 23
954 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Our bar package included a signature cocktail, which we did not want. So we asked if we could swap if for something and were told a champagne toast. We don’t want any toasts, so they are just going to put champagne at the bar! Perfect solution for us! Maybe you could work something like that to appease her and also get more alcohol included 🙂

Post # 25
1524 posts
Bumble bee

Yup as the bees said, whenever you change a wedding tradition then there will always be people who will b*tch & complain.  I had a lot of people complain about my wedding that it wasn’t in a church, the date I chose was too cold (Nov) and some of my family from CA thought I was very considerate to choose a colder month, my family bitched that I was having a live band and that my grandmother would “suffer” from the noise (she didn’t), my wedding dress wasn’t the traditional style (it was a mermaid and not an A-line dress), etc etc.  

I hear you.  I originally wanted to elope just me and my DH but neither of our families would hear of such a thing.  At the end of Sept (so about 7 weeks before wedding date), my DH and I couldn’t take anymore of the bitching and negativity so we actually told our families if they couldn’t shut the f*ck up and be supportive (no more fighting) and get along by playing nice, that we were going to cancel EVERYTHING.  That stopped about 90% of the drama but we still had a few who still felt it was their “duty” to share their unwanted opinions with us.  At that point, I just looked at the person in a very calm stern voice that if they wanted to see X, Y, and Z at our wedding it was going to cost an additional ____ amount of dollars, and that I would only CONSIDER making that change if they were willing to pay for it ALL out of their own pocket.  If not, thanks but keep your f*ing opinion to yourself.

Also, at this point I would highly recommend you stop sharing anymore wedding details with your FI’s family.  If anyone asks how the planning is going, just nod your head and say a very simple “it’s moving along, thanks” and keep it at that.  The less they know, the less they have to complain.  Don’t worry in the end, your wedding will turn out awesome and all of the naysayers will definitely eat their words at the end of the day!

Post # 26
93 posts
Worker bee

You absolutely must have a seat for every guest and you should not make them pay for drinks or parking.

Food wise it all sounds lovely.

Post # 27
436 posts
Helper bee

I’m also in Denver, can I ask what brewery you are using? 

Your wedding sounds like a ton of fun, it actually sounds eerily similar to what I’m trying to plan (we must both be pretty awesome people 😉 ), a brewery reception and an elongated cocktail hour as opposed to a formal traditional reception.  

I think you have more than enough chairs, most of the time able body people don’t sit at the reception anyway, they are too busy mingling.  Also, you are hosting the bar!?! What could they possibly bitch about?!? Just take a deep breath and do what you want to do.  They should be honored that you have chosen them to celebrate your big day with you and your soon to be husband.  

Post # 28
1805 posts
Buzzing bee

Gee. You try to do something nice for people and what do you get?


I enjoy appetizers of any kind and I’m always honored that I was one of the chosen few to attend any wedding. People just can’t seem to be happy that they are an honorary attendee to begin with who are being treated to free food and drink. They want more, more, more. I find myself very annoyed by the naysayers in your post.

Try to get as much seating as you can whereas this is a frequent complaint I’ve noticed.

Parking is not a huge deal. It is what it is. If they’re paying for the gas to get there and perhaps a gift, $10 additional is NOT. A. HUGE. DEAL.

Champagne toast is no longer considered a necessity and like everything else in YOUR wedding (key word: YOUR)–do it if you want. Don’t if you don’t want to.

Anyone notice one of worst things about a wedding isn’t what a bride and groom want or don’t want but when others try to hijack the day for their own????

Post # 30
3679 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think it all depends on what is common in your area/social circle. If your guests are accustomed to cocktail-style weddings without a sit-down meal, where they may not have a chair to sit in, and will likely have to pay for some of their own drinks, then that’s great. It doesn’t sound like that’s the case, however. 

I’ve been to several cocktail-style receptions, and only one had enough food to feed all the guests. At the other two, they completely ran out of food before some guests had a chance to eat at all. I’ve never been to a reception that didn’t have enough seating, but there’s no way I’d want to balance a plate and eat sliders (or tortilla soup!) standing up in a nice dress and a pair of heels. It’s all going to depend on your guests and your situation. 

My impressions from what you wrote: I don’t think it sounds like enough food, and it’s all pretty heavy and unhealthy stuff. There’s not a single vegetable in there. I’ll agree with a pp — I think your bar tab is going to run down much more quickly than you’re anticipating. I think the flip flops are a nice idea, but unnecessary. I’d eliminate that expense to be able to put more money towards chairs or food. I also agree with you — a champagne toast is unnecessary, and people will be just fine toasting with whatever drink they already have. Paying for parking is a hot topic here — I would not want my guests paying for parking, but other posters see that as an expected expense when they attend weddings. 

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