If you are looking for an elegant end to your special day, a cocktail wedding reception is the perfect choice. This type of reception is surprisingly economical and provides the bride with enough time to interact with guests and still have plenty of time left over to get ready for traveling if necessary. Before you plan your cocktail wedding reception, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Preparing Your GuestsCocktail wedding receptions generally require a little fancier attire, and it is important to let your guests know ahead of time what they will be expected to wear. If you are holding a cocktail wedding reception and would like your guests to dress up for the occasion, you can mention this in your invitations.
Serving DrinksA cocktail wedding reception means, of course, you will need to serve drinks, but that doesn't mean that you have to stick with traditional cocktail options. An open bar is probably the best idea for this type of reception, since it will give your guests more variety, but there are a few ideas you can implement to give your reception its own special flare.
For a summer cocktail wedding reception you can make it more fun by serving special margaritas or martinis. For winter receptions, think of brandy and cognac. Try to set the mood with the types of drinks that you are serving. Don't forget those that may not be interested in drinking alcohol. Coffee is always appreciated, as well as sparkling water or tea.
Food IdeasCocktail wedding reception food should be light, easy to carry around and fun to eat. Usual cocktail fare, such as peanuts and relish plates, can be augmented by shrimp cocktail, mushrooms wrapped in bacon and even caviar with crackers. Try experimenting a little by offering a sushi platter or hors d'oeuvres from around the world.
Of course, wedding cake is almost a requirement, but it is a good idea to have it cut into smaller pieces since most of your guests will be milling around. You may also want to consider individual little cupcakes that can be decorated to match your wedding colors, or even with a special thank you message for your guests.
Making It MemorableSince a cocktail wedding reception can be an intimate affair, it is fun to make it as memorable as possible. Consider hiring a bartender or mixed drink specialist to come up with a drink just for you. This will give your reception a special signature that can be carried over into anniversary parties throughout the length of your marriage.
Since you won't have the added expense of place settings, china and other accoutrements that are typically required at a wedding reception, you can offer your guests small gifts as a way of saying thank you for their attendance. Consider martini glasses engraved with your wedding date, or small favors that can be handed out before your guests leave.