Q- We want to have a cocktail style reception. We are hoping to have it at my parents home, because they have a gorgeous back yard. What is the best way to encourage our guests to stay and mingle, and not just leave after having refreshments??
Saint George, UTAH
A– Jenny, That is a very good question!
The cocktail style reception is becoming very popular, and for good reason. It is a fun and casual way to style your reception, but the details to making it successful are crucial when it comes to the overall atmosphere. A backyard reception is a great location for this style of event. First, I would suggest using more “high-boy” tables instead of the traditional 5 foot round guest tables. They are about 3 feet in diameter and the perfect height for guests to stand and mingle.
Next, I would take a look at what you are planning to have for refreshments. Choosing to serve custom prepared cocktails or mocktails, or having signature drink stations and looking at the possibly of having unique appetizers and hors d’oeuvres passed throughout the reception area is a great way to keep guests entertained and excited for what will be coming next! Small bite-sized appetizers are perfect, anything that requires a fork will be too cumbersome to hold and walk around while mingling. For great ideas check out one of our recent posts… Wedding Trends: Mini Appe”teasers” There are so many creative ways to delight the appetites of your guests with out going overboard!
Last, but certainly not least the music and atmosphere will really pull together the style and theme that you are going for. A great DJ wont cost you much, but the difference that they can make to your event is worth every penny! Once the music is taken care of I’d suggest talking with your planner about lighting for the event. The last thing you want to have happen is plan fabulous food, great tablescapes and areas for mingling then….. have it TOO dark to see anything! Up-lighting, lanterns, candles, strands of lights you name it. A prepared event planner will be able to offers you several solutions in a variety of price ranges.
Hope that helps answer your question as well as give you a few ideas of which direction to head in ! Don’t forget to contact us for all of your event planning needs! From Full-coordination to Onsite Decoration to Tents and Rentals…we have it all!
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