When it comes to your wedding reception, anything goes. From the food you serve to the style of catering, your choices should be all about you and your story. For some people, a traditional multi-course sit-down dinner suits their wedding theme and their budget. Others opt for a big communal feast. An increasingly popular option is the cocktail-style reception. A cocktail reception entails a more informal setting. There will be many opportunities for your guests to walk around and mingle. It may or may not be just the style that fits your personality and your budget.
There are many ways to execute a cocktail. At its core, it’s about serving light alcoholic drinks with appetizers and hors d’oeuvres passed around by the wait staff. The food can range from light to heavy appetizers, snack bars and salad bars. Though cocktail-style receptions can be varied in their execution, there are some common pros and cons to choosing this catering style.
Pros of a Cocktail-Style Reception
#1 Make your reception feel like a big party
For the bride and groom who want a relaxed, fun and social atmosphere, the cocktail-style reception would be a great choice. The informal setup and distribution of food create a very casual atmosphere.
A cocktail reception will also help reduce some of the social tensions that could pop out in a more traditional, sit-down setting. You don’t need to deal with the potential hazards of mismanaged seating arrangements. People won’t have to fight for a table closer to the bridal table and they won’t be offended by being seated to close to someone they dislike.
#2 Have a Bigger Party
Because cocktail-style receptions usually have limited or even no seats at all, the space becomes bigger and more accommodating. This is a great option for receptions set in a small space.
A venue that can seat 100 for a formal sit-down dinner can seat up to 150 in a standing reception.
#3 Offer More Food Choices
With the right caterer, you’ll be able to offer more delicious and unique food choices to your wedding guests. This can range from hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, canapés and tapas.
You can also install a few do-it-yourself snack bars in the corners of the venue, like a salad bar or taco bar. This adds another level of flavor to your event.
#4 Cheaper Base Cost
A cocktail-style reception is popular for being good for those with a tighter budget. Of course, the amount of money you’ll save versus a traditional reception still boils down to your choice in catering and menu. Don’t expect to save money if you’ll be passing around so many appetizers that they equal to a sit-down lunch in quantity and cost.
Cons of a Cocktail-Style Reception
#1 Room for Food Errors
When it comes to food that’s being periodically brought out of the kitchen, you need to carefully watch out for any concerns in food quality and food distribution. It’s important to get a venue or catering service that has experience in cocktail-style receptions to ensure a stress-free event.
Plus, people in a standing only reception might feel hungrier and hungrier as the night goes by. This can lead to your guests crowding around your wait staff as they go around with the food.
#2 Unexpected Rising Costs
If you don’t carefully plan your reception out, you might find yourself dealing with unexpected costs. Don’t invite more people than you think you can accommodate, just because there’s extra space. And remember that when socializing, people do have the tendency to drink and eat more, so you’d still have to pay for a lot of drinks and food.
#3 Crowd Control
When choosing a reception style, make sure that you think of your guests. If your guest list includes a lot of kids and elderly guests, it can be a bit difficult to control the crowd and also to accommodate them. You’ll still need to have a small seating area to accommodate kids, elderly guests and anyone else that might need to take a seat during the reception.
Ryan Davis is the owner of Argyle Catering the best company for catering Jefferson City, MO has to offer.