What it takes to hold the perfect Australian cocktail wedding reception

brideFrom the period 2010 – 2016 – there has been an increase in the number of couples who would like to have cocktail weddings. This is an interesting twist from the traditional wedding setting where guests have to seat down and eat a three-course meal. The general idea in a cocktail wedding is basically more drinks, lots of snacks, no real meal, more dancing and of course no seats. Pulling off a perfect cocktail wedding can be a little tricky but with the right planning, everyone will be talking about your wedding for ages.

So, what does it take to hold the perfect cocktail wedding reception in Melbourne? Here are some excellent ideas and tips that will have your wedding day perfectly co-ordinated

1. Invitations

It is always important to inform your guests which kind of reception your wedding will have. You should clearly state in the invitation cards that you will have a cocktail reception. This way, your guests will come ready to party and of course, they will not be expecting any real meal.

2. Choosing the right venue

The beauty of a cocktail wedding is that they can be hosted anywhere. Whether it is a hotel, an art gallery or a historic house, just let your imagination run wild. When choosing a cocktail function venue, also provide chairs as some people (especially older guests) may need to sit down and rest at some stage.

3. The perfect décor

For cocktail weddings, simple décor is just fine. You should at least have flowers to make the venue lively. Have chairs in form of bar stools or stylish leather coaches that can cater for a third of the guests. You can also have a few table and chair groupings to cater for the older folks. During the reception, dimming the lights will flatter everyone and make the occasion more classic.

4. Dress code

Choosing a specific dress code will make life easier for both you and your guests. The dress code should be clearly spelt out in the wedding invitation. This will save your guests the agony of choosing what to wear by limiting their selection to what you want. It also gives a uniform look that will make everyone feel at ease and enjoy the party.

5. Music

Cocktail weddings without music can be rather dull. Choose the kind of music you want wisely. You can hire a professional DJ or a small ensemble to play some jazz. Whatever you choose, make sure it will keep your guests engaged and give them room for small talk. Also set out a section of the venue to be the dance floor.

6. Food and drinks

Since it is a cocktail reception, no full meal is served. Have a variety of snacks, pastries or candy in rotation during the party. You can also have small stands with displays of cheeses and even raw bars with shrimp, clam and oysters. The drinks should be in plenty. You can have a full bar or simply have a signature cocktail and champagne.

7. Cake and Dessert

You can go with the traditional tiered cake and have a well-documented cake cutting session. After this, slices of cake will be carried by servers to your guests. Serve additional desserts to go with the cake and a couple of milkshakes to energize the crowd. While winding down the evening, you could have the guests served with coffee and cake.

8. Time

A cocktail reception should take around three hours. They can be held in the afternoon if your reception is outdoors or in the evening if it is indoors. You should put into consideration that most of your guests will be standing the whole time. Plan all your activities to fit into the three hour schedule without leaving anything out. By sticking to the three hour schedule, you will be happy and your guests will thank you for it. However, if you plan to extend late into the night, it would be advisable to have some extra seats for your guests to rest their feet.

9. Convenience

Ensure that you have seats for about a third of your guests. This way, when a person gets tired, they can rest a bit. You should also have a cloakroom for guests to safely keep their jackets. This is due to the lack of chairs where guests can hang their jackets.

10. Closing the party

At the end of the night, you can give your guests a break from the dance floor action by serving some kind of snack. It can be hot dogs, bacon rolls, mini pizzas or even cake served with coffee. During this time, you will want your DJ or band to change the tone of the music to signal that the night is drawing to a close