Today’s newlyweds are choosing to enjoy the party too!
While brides and grooms continue to don long white gowns and tuxedos, there is a definite trend toward less formal ceremonies and receptions. All too often newly married couples heave a sign of relief when the reception is over. The feeling of being on display and the pressure of keeping to a rigid schedule of photographs, toasts, menu courses and speeches can be a stressful and unpleasant experience.
This generation of newlyweds is much less concerned with the “show”. They want to be able to mingle with family and friends, spend time with each other and above all, enjoy their party. As a result, many are opting for alternative and even unconventional ways to celebrate their nuptials.
In keeping with this trend, cocktail wedding receptions are gaining in popularity. The cocktail reception offers many advantages. The atmosphere is more relaxed and provides greater opportunity to circulate and mingle with guests. While the cost of food can be comparable to a dinner reception, rental and staff charges for cocktail parties are considerably less than for a sit-down dinner. There is also greater flexibility and more selection when choosing a venue. Heritage Inns, private homes and flower gardens are popular choices among those preferring the charm and intimacy of these venues to the formal elegance of halls and hotel ballrooms. (see our ‘Top 5 Hidden Gem Venues’ for some suggestions)
A cocktail menu also leaves much more room for creativity. Food can set the tone for the entire event and a selection of interesting and unusual bite-sized morsels and artfully presented platters is always sure to delight. The menu can treat guests to a culinary tour by starting in one corner of the world and ending in another. Or a themed menu can be carried through to the drinks and decorations. Crispy wonton wrapped shrimp served with sweet chili lime & cilantro dipping sauce or roasted crimini mushroom stuffed with dungeness crab, fresh herb and mascarpone – the options are endless and every guest is sure to enjoy something on the menu.
Tiny cupcakes decorated with pastel frosting are another popular item at weddings. Arranged on tiered silver tea trays with white lace doilies, they are a perfect cocktail alternative to a traditional wedding cake. Other ideas could include small chocolate cups filled with mousse and fresh raspberries, lemon tartlettes or handmade macarons.
Clearly the advantages of a cocktail wedding reception are abundant. But overwhelmingly couples report that what they appreciate most is being able to relax and enjoy the party… and each other.