Wedding Reception Etiquette: Rules for Cocktail Wedding Receptions?

Outdoor cocktail reception
photo by Sweet Tea Photography

Q:

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?

A:

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
Beautiful Wedding Reception Venue
What's the Basic Wedding Reception Timeline?

I'm not certain about the order of events at the wedding reception. Could you please give a rough timeline of the following events: receiving line, cocktail hour, first dance, champagne toast, best man's and maid of honor's speeches, dinner and cake cutting? I'm so clueless!

by The Knot