Sit-down, stand-up, or something in-between?
Deciding on the type of event you’d like to host for your wedding reception is one of the first steps in planning your big day. On one hand, there is the elegance and formality of a sit-down meal, whereas a cocktail event allows you to circulate more freely with your guests. Ask yourself these key questions to get a clear view of how you see your day panning out:
What do we really want? When you visualise your wedding, do you see a formal, traditional setup or a relaxed, casual affair? A cocktail reception can lend itself more to a party atmosphere.
How many guests do we plan on having? A smaller gathering lends itself better to a cocktail event. Logistically, it means that everyone can see the key moments such as the cutting of the cake without having to jostle for a spot among other guests.
Will we have a lot of elderly guests? If having a stand-up event will cause several of your guests to be uncomfortable, perhaps having a lounge seating area is the perfect compromise.
If you do decide on a cocktail wedding reception, it doesn’t automatically mean a lack of finesse, formality and flow. Tell your guests what to expect by indicating it on your invitations. For example “Canapes and Cake will be served” or something similar tells your guests that there won’t be a sit-down, three-course meal. As such, it’s wise to choose an in-between time for your event such as 2pm so your guests don’t arrive hungry.
Although a cocktail wedding can be a little more casual than a traditional sit-down affair, having some structure to the event will ensure the important milestones such as the cutting of the wedding cake and speeches are not missed.
Guests also like to have a sense of what is expected during the reception. Some guests may wait for a spoken invitation before heading to the dance floor, not wanting to go ahead of the bridal waltz. If dancing is to be unstructured, let your guests know via a simple announcement.
Guests will also like to know when things are winding up for the evening. If a traditional good-bye circle is not part of your plan, let your guests know by saying something such as, “We thank you so much for coming to celebrate with us. Although we won’t be doing a traditional good-bye circle, please come and find us on the dance floor if you’re ready to go home before we are. We don’t want this night to end!”
Still not sure? Our events team invite you to get in touch and talk through your options. Sometimes bouncing someideas off those in the business can help you clearly define your wishes for the big day. Speak to them on 8047 0475, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or see /weddings/packages/ for packages, checklists and more.