There are many benefits to choosing a cocktail reception over a traditional wedding reception. Guests’ favorite part of the evening is often the hors d’oeuvres, so why not extend the “cocktail hour” to a full reception? Because cocktail receptions tend to be more relaxed, you might not even need to create a seating chart!
Cocktail receptions are usually most successful when they follow a late afternoon wedding. Any later, and your guests will more than likely be expecting a meal instead of just cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. However, it’s your day! You get to decide what is best for you, your guests, and your budget.
The hors d’oeuvres that are served during a cocktail reception tend to be more filling and elaborate than what you might see before a full reception. People also tend to eat more, since they aren’t getting a full meal. Keep in mind that though your selection of appetizers may cost less than a sit-down dinner, guests also tend to drink more, and your bar tab may start to add up. It is called a cocktail reception after all!
Like stated before, there might not be a need for assigned seats, but you still need areas for your guests to set down their food and rest from dancing. You will want your guests to move around and mingle, while also giving them somewhere to sit wherever they please. Think about setting up a few chairs and tables, as well as lounge-like areas.
The most important piece to making your cocktail reception a success is making it clear to your guests that a full meal will not be served. In your invitations be sure to include straight-forward verbiage such as “Please join us for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at our cocktail reception following the ceremony.”
Learn more about how Windows on Washington® can make your cocktail reception unforgettable! We offer three different packages that are sure to please your guests and your wallet! You can choose from our House, Premium or Deluxe Cocktail Reception Packages.