Wedding Reception Etiquette: Rules for Cocktail Wedding Receptions?

by The Knot
Outdoor cocktail reception
Sweet Tea Photography

I am considering hosting a cocktail wedding reception. We have 200 wedding guests and this would save us a bundle of money. Does the number of wedding guests matter?


Making sure wedding guests know that a full meal will not be served is one of the most important factors to consider when planning a cocktail wedding reception . Simply word your invitations like this: "Please join us for a cocktail reception after the ceremony." Keep in mind that your guests will eat more hors d'oeuvres than they would during a cocktail hour that is followed by a meal. So you'll want to pump up the volume and/or variety of foods you serve. Also, people will probably drink more than they would if they were sitting down to eat -- so your liquor costs could go way up.

Up Next
Guest List Manager - The Knot
Get organized with The Knot's wedding guest list manager. Use our wedding guest list template to manage wedding RSVPs online and track your guests.