Wedding Advice, Wedding Planning

Cocktail Reception

Not all weddings have to be a sit-down formal, or a lavish 5 course meal. Some couples are now choosing to do a “cocktail style” wedding reception. What does this mean?

Consider serving an assortment of appetizers being served by staff as the guests arrive with a jazz band or quartet playing. This would then be followed by various food stations set up around the perimeter of your venue. There are so many cool ideas like a fajita bar, antipasto tables with breads, cheese, deli meat and assorted condiments, a pasta bar, or perhaps a beef carving station. Finish the evening off with a lavish sweet table with gelato bar, espresso and cappuccino and perhaps even late-night assorted gourmet pizza canopies. These stations can be decorated beautifully with linens and centerpieces. The table can be set with small salad type plates instead of large dinner plates to keep the theme of “cocktail style”.

Food stations can take up a lot of room so make sure you speak with your on site venue planner to ensure that this type of service can be done. It is a great way for guests to mingle throughout the night as you will see conversation around these food stations. It offers a large variety of menu selections that should be accommodating to all your guests.

The room setting could be fun and casual, or classy and elegant. Either way, you should incorporate some stand up cocktail tables and lounge furniture. Having said that, you still need some seating for your guests. Try to maximize as much space as you can to accommodate the guests that cannot stand all night (approximately 50%).

You can even take it one step further and offer a martini bar or sangria station in addition to your regular bar, or make up a bride and groom signature drink.

The ideas for food and beverage are endless. Just remember to order enough food because this type of reception will have people eating more than expected as they are socializing around these stations.

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