G
Savvy August 2018

No reception, but want a cocktail Party

Giselle, on May 14, 2017 at 10:40 PM Posted in Planning 0 139
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Hey All,

So I just set my wedding date for next Spring. I would like to NOT have a traditional reception, but more like a cocktail party for approx 2-3 hours. How does one plan something like this? Is this something that has to be my expense? And has anyone ever done something like that is in NYC? Any tips or suggestions are great. Thanks.

139 Comments

Latest activity by Abigail, on June 8, 2021 at 7:08 PM
  • RealLindseyO
    Master October 2017
    RealLindseyO ·
    • Flag

    It absolutely has to be at your expense. I'd do this with the ceremony beginning late, like after 8. If it's at a meal time you have to serve a meal.

    • Reply
  • Klynn
    Devoted August 2017
    Klynn ·
    • Flag

    Who elses expense would it be?!

    • Reply
  • Anna
    Super November 2017
    Anna ·
    • Flag

    I'm with @Klynn on this one... umm ?

    • Reply
  • RealLindseyO
    Master October 2017
    RealLindseyO ·
    • Flag

    Right like who would be paying for it? I don't understand...

    • Reply
  • G
    Savvy August 2018
    Giselle ·
    • Flag

    I never planning anything like this so I was simply asking. There is so many new non traditional ideas on how to have a little something after a ceremony, thought I'd ask. I honestly dislike the whole idea of planning a reception. At this point I'm either going to do a cocktail party around 6pm or just knock the whole idea out and just do a intimate dinner with immediate family and be done.

    • Reply
  • Swin.
    Master June 2016
    Swin. ·
    • Flag

    I vote small ceremony with small intimate dinner afterwards (that you pay for).

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    You can do a cocktail style wedding reception, but there needs to be enough food to cover a meal; at least four stations and lots of passed hors d'oeuvres. I did one at the Library Hotel in NYC a few years ago, and it's still one of my favorite weddings. Lots of cocktails, lots of portable food, lots of casual seating. It was fabulous, but it was not a cost cutting move; it was a style move.

    And yes, you pay for it.

    An intimate dinner with immediate family is fine too. You still pay for it.

    • Reply
  • MrsRushinin2018
    VIP September 2018
    MrsRushinin2018 ·
    • Flag

    Please keep in mind that often heavy Hors d'oeuvres will cost just as much, if not more, than a buffet. Caterers in my area charge more for Hors d'oeuvres because of the amount of additional labor it takes to make all the tiny cute little bite size pieces

    • Reply
  • Kathleen Smith
    Kathleen Smith ·
    • Flag

    Yes, there are a ton of options as to how to celebrate your wedding with a party. It can be as big and elaborate as you like or small and intimate. I love the idea of a short cocktail reception or taking just immediate family out to dinner. Whatever is planned, the cost of it is 100% the couple's responsibility. Set a budget then go from there.

    • Reply
  • Emily
    Master May 2014
    Emily ·
    • Flag

    Yes, of course it would be your expense. "Non-traditional" doesn't mean other people pay for your party.

    If you want just a cocktail reception, I would do it in the afternoon around 2:00 and then a cocktail reception for 2-3 hours. 6:00 is dinner time - it wouldn't work then unless you are planning enough food for a meal.

    An intimate dinner with immediate family is fine too.

    • Reply
  • K.M.
    Master September 2018
    K.M. ·
    • Flag

    You need to host the people that attend your ceremony with food and alcohol afterwards. If you would like an intimate ceremony followed by taking those people to a nice dinner (where you pay) then that's fine. You cannot host a cocktail reception during dinner time.

    Also, you absolutely need to pay for whatever follows your ceremony for all who attend your ceremony.

    • Reply
  • Shaya
    Devoted March 2018
    Shaya ·
    • Flag

    As Celia said, you still need to have lots of food. We are doing a cocktail style reception in NYC but not to save money or even to make planning more simple. It's just that I want more of a party vibe. The package costs the same as their plates dinner package (either one includes open bar) and I'm even adding 2-3 stations onto it.

    And yes, you do need to pay for it.

    • Reply
  • Amandaw
    VIP April 2018
    Amandaw ·
    • Flag

    If you plan to do dinner with family or a cocktail hour YOU PAY. but you cant do a cocktail hr around 6pm and not have enough food for dinner. Yu could do it around 2pm and be fine with fibger foods. BUT YOU ALWAYS PAY FOR THE ENTIRE THING

    • Reply
  • G
    Savvy August 2018
    Giselle ·
    • Flag

    Shaya E- where did you choose to do your cocktail style reception in NYC?

    • Reply
  • K.M.
    Master September 2018
    K.M. ·
    • Flag

    OP, I'm still curious to know how you "untraditionally" planned to finance your wedding reception

    • Reply
  • G
    Savvy August 2018
    Giselle ·
    • Flag

    My wedding is set for 4pm. Ceremony is an hour so I would say about 6ish pm. But at this point I think I'm just going to plan an intimate dinner with family. Of course we will pay!

    • Reply
  • MrsCalderon
    VIP December 2016
    MrsCalderon ·
    • Flag

    Well just make sure that whoever is invited to the wedding is invited to your cocktail party. I wouldn't be happy if I was just invited to a ceremony and not the reception after

    • Reply
  • G
    Savvy August 2018
    Giselle ·
    • Flag

    I think I should be able to state in my invite it's just a ceremony. I only want to have an intimate dinner with siblings, sons, and parents. Anyone else, no. That doesn't mean I should only invite 20 people to the ceremony just because I won't have a party for them to come to afterwards. If people truly want to share the moment they will come, and if not then oh well I guess.

    • Reply
  • AnnieL
    VIP June 2017
    AnnieL ·
    • Flag

    The reception is a thank you for attending your ceremony. You can't have them come to the ceremony then make them leave. What happens when someone who isn't invited to the reception finds out about it?

    • Reply
  • RealLindseyO
    Master October 2017
    RealLindseyO ·
    • Flag

    Well that's a nice way to think about it.

    I could've saved a crap-ton of money, if only I didn't give a shit about my guests.

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