- 7 years ago
- Wedding: June 2014
Soooo I just got married on Saturday and figured I’d pop in with some words regarding our cocktail reception. I see a lot of pushback regarding cocktail/strolling/app receptions on here, and recieved a lot myself (It’s so rude! Give everyone a seat! People will go hungry!) and figured I’d just provide some details regarding our experience because I couldn’t find a lot out there. This will likely get long, apologies in advance.
Who: I think we had 99 guests (104 RSVPed, but that’s another story). Our guest list was probably 50/50 spilt between our age (late 20s) and guests our parents age or older, with our eldest guest being my aunt who is 70. My family and his both tend to hold casual open house gatherings over sit down meals for big events, and our friends just like beer.
Where: Wedding was in St. Louis, MO – cocktail receptions are not the norm, but are growing in popularity. We had ours at Schlafly Tap Room – it’s a microbrewery/resturant in a historic building
<br />When: The start time was 6:30, after our ceremony ended at 3pm (yup, we also had a gap. Big ‘ol wedding assholes here)
What: When the doors opened at 6:30, the bar was available (five types of local wines, and 11 beers on tap), along with cold appitizers – we had 2 beautiful vegetable displays (with 60 pieces), three sausage trays with selections from local sausage makers (also 60 pieces), and 3 artisanal cheese displays with 60 pieces.
around 7:30, the staff brought our our hot appitzers – we had 15 dozen chicken satay skewers, 20 dozen bacon wrapped shrimp, 15 dozen marinated beef kebobs with peppers and onions, and 15 dozen spinach artichoke tarts.
We cut the cake around 7:30, which was from cold stone creamery
then, at 9, the staff brought out 15 dozen warm bavarian-style pretzel sticks with cheddar dipping sauce.
<br />We had SO much food left over. Like, a ton and it was sad to see it go to waste. I don’t know if the weather affected how much people ate (it was kind of warm), or if we just ordered too much, or what, but people definitely did not go hungry.
Seating: We had 6 tables that sat 12 each, plus 10 highboy cocktail tables with no chairs (there was also a patio with some tables and chairs). We reserved one table for “our guests less able to stand”. It basically ended up being my dad’s sisters at one table, my husband’s uncles at another, our college friends at another, and the rest mixed up throughout the night. There were ALWAYS empty seats, so people were never jockying for space. Our venue also has a big wall of hooks where people hung jackets/bags so it wasn’t like people were “saving seats”
6:30 doors/bar opened/cold apps outwe mingled
6:50 our bridal party entrance
then it was straight into my parents’ welcome speech, our first dance (SO amazing – definitely recommend dance lessons if you can budget it), Bridesmaid or Best Man speech, Maid/Matron of Honor speech, then we said a few words of thanks, and invited his mom and my dad up for a combined mother/son father/daughter dance (also highly recommend that – it was way less awkward!). Then we went over and cut the cake (there was no fanfare/song, we just did it). Then our DJ opened the dance floor with a lot of soft rock, ’80s, and motown (he was amazing).
hot apps came out at 7:30
Photobooth opened at 7:30
we went out for sunset pictures/video with our photogs and videogs around 8, were back in by 8:20.
Cake was completely cut/ready by 8
Pretzels at 9, along with glow stick necklaces getting passed out.
then it was just a dance party until the bar closed at 10:30, photobooth closed at 10:30, and the last dance was at 11.
The feedback: In a word, amazing. We/our parents/coordinator/reception staff got SO much feedback about how FUN our reception was – we were done with the “ceremonial” stuff quickly, and then it was just a big party. I was super worried about how it would go over, but we got so many genuine compliments that I should have never worried. Seriously – you know your crowd best, and if you think a cocktail reception will work – DO IT.
<br />The money: our reception (space, food, and bar only) was $5,403. A freaking steal.