PLANNING A COCKTAIL WEDDING

So you’ve decided on having a cocktail wedding and now you’re worried about how to pull it off. You thought you had it under control but now instead of strategically planning and replanning a seating chart you have to cater for 200 people with hors d’oeuvres. Just take a deep breath and read our top tips on planning a cocktail wedding.

Have a game plan

It may put your mind at ease to come up with a schedule for the night. Assign a time for the toasts, when each food tray will arrive, the first dance, cake cutting; schedule every single event of the night. Seeing as this isn’t your traditional sit down three course meal, it can be a lot harder to incorporate the standard events into an evening where the food is constantly coming and your guests are overstimulated. Consider creating a run-sheet for the night and even share this with your guests so they know when toasts are about to start and when the first sign of food is likely to appear. 

Set up strategically

It will pay to compare your cocktail wedding to that of a sit down dinner. What will your cocktail wedding be lacking and how can you compensate for that? At a sit down dinner guests will often put their coats, jackets or shawls on the back of their chairs… Where will they put them at a cocktail event? Will you have coat racks or a coat room?

At a cocktail event there’ll be a lot of standing around and mingling… What will the ladies in heels and older generations do? It might pay to have some comfortable chairs as well as some taller classic cocktail tables and chairs, or maybe even come floor cushions and rugs if you love the boho style.

Be creative with your hors d’oeuvres

A cocktail wedding is the perfect time to experiment with your food, the delivery and its presentation. You could theme the food to your family heritage, bring out popcorn and candy bars for dessert, have a cocktail bar (not entirely food but still related) or set up food stations as well as having waiters deliver it so people can grab food as they please without missing out. Get creative! There are so many great ways of feeding your hungry guests on canapés alone. 

Enjoy yourself

Having a cocktail wedding means you don’t have to adhere to the formalities of a traditional wedding reception. With the majority of your guests standing why not get them involved in some games! Consider giant board games like chess and Jenga, or theme your reception to the season. If you’re celebrating in winter have some fire pits to roast marshmallows and damper in. Now’s your chance to throw all of the traditional wedding customs out the window and have some fun with a more relaxed and personalised event!

Words by Tara Thomassen
Photos by Lily Red and Cloud Catcher Studio

Whether you are having a cocktail or formal sit down wedding, we would love to talk to you about your wedding and how we could work together to bring your wedding dreams to life. Just click below to contact us.