While plenty of couples still opt for the traditional sit-down dinner reception, Cocktail Receptions are becoming increasingly popular and it’s not hard to see why! A chic but casual atmosphere encourages guests to mingle and gives the bride and groom more time to spend with those they invited to share their special day. Then, of course, there’s the food! Who doesn’t love hors d’oeuvres? Canapes are often the tastiest course at any wedding.
As delightful as a Cocktail Reception can be, bucking tradition is sometimes more complicated than it seems and there are important pitfalls to avoid. Avert these social gaffes with your guests and ensure that your soiree is a smashing success!
1. Reserving a venue that’s too small.
Naturally, when you think “cocktail party”, you think “intimate, warm, relaxed”, but it’s important to remember how many people you’ve invited to share your special day! Even when forgoing tradition, it’s important to remember the scale of your wedding and book a venue that can comfortably accommodate you and yours.
2. Not having enough seating.
Though hopefully they’ll spend most of the night mingling around the dance floor, many caters still suggest having enough seats to accommodate 75% to all of your guests. Some may deem eating standing up awkward, while older friends and family may find being unable to sit-down all evening uncomfortable. Even those who crowd the tiles from the first dance to the last will want a place to rest their tapping toes for a few minutes. Whether you book round tables, high-tops or a series of sofas, make sure everyone has a seat!
3. Not communicating that there will not be a “sit-down” dinner.
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While many couples are customizing their big day to better reflect their unique relationship, many guests still expect the reception to follow the traditional format of drinks, dinner, speeches, cake-cutting and dancing. Some may be a bit put out if they realize halfway through the night that this wedding reception is a bit different. Make sure that the invitations clearly state that you’d like your guests to join you for a “Cocktail Reception, of drinks and hors d’oeuvres”. You may even want to consider having your bridesmaids spread the word informally some weeks before the ceremony. Regardless of how you do it, remember: communication is key!
4. Holding back on the hors d’oeuvres.
If your reception is during dinner hours, don’t forget to feed your guests! Hosting a Cocktail Reception is a wonderful chance to share your gourmet tastes, as well as your celebration of your life together with your groom. Having enough to nibble on throughout the night is even more important if you plan for your family and friends to continue the merry-making late into the night. Planning a cocktail menu is great fun, but don’t lose sight of the food as you focus on the drinks!
Now that you’re prepared to avoid four of the most common faux-pas, you can relax, plan your drinks menu and get ready to enjoy your wedding and its fabulous Cocktail Reception!