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Basic sit-down or Elegant cocktail reception?

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So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
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Nov 12, 2006
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1,084
We are trying to decide between the two. Both would be within our budget.

With the sit-down option, its a VERY basic salad w/ a chicken or beef entree and then cake. It also has stationary cruidte platters for cocktail hour. No passed HD''s. And an open bar.

With the cocktail reception, there are 3 difff stationery platters, 7 passed HD''s, and a pasta station and a ceaser salad station, cake. And an open bar. 80% seating.

I am having so much difficulty choosing as I''ve never been to a cocktail reception personally so I''m worried about it being great. It SOUNDS nice in theory to have everyone mingling etc but I''m anxious about how it''ll turn out. And the food options here would be somethng to be proud of :) On the other hand, a sit-down is the traditional thing and I''m used to those. I know what to expect so I''m not as nervous but they really can get a bit blah I guess. (especially wiht the food we''ll have lol). But the food here has to be pretty basic to fit in our budget.

So, which would you prefer? Better food at a CR or basic food at a SD? Have you had to make the same decision? Which did you go for? Why?

Keep in mind, they will both have an open bar and the CR will have seating for just about everyone.
 

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Hudson_Hawk

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Nov 2, 2006
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I''ve been to both, and I prefer a cocktail reception to a sit-down meal. If your budget will allow this option then go for it!

First, I love appetizers and h''ordeurves and I would willingly eat them for dinner every night. Also, I think it gets the party going sooner. Most people head right to the bar (especially if it''s open) and then to the dance floor they munch throughout the night. If you have a sit down dinner, everyone has to eat, then the DJ does the first dance etc and before you know it it''s 9:00 pm and the real party hasn''t even started yet. Also, I don''t know about you, but when I''m sitting down and I eat a big meal with alcohol I want to do one thing after and that''s sleep!

I think 80% seating is a good idea as well, there will always be people in line at the bar, in the restroom, or on the dance floor so there''s almost always seating available even at 80%. I would however reserve a few seats for special guests such as grandparents or pregnant guests so they don''t have to stand.

Sounds like a great idea!!

H2
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 29, 2004
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17,193
How many guests are you having?
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 17, 2006
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3,867
cocktail reception! And I''m not just biased because that''s what I''m doing. The basic sit-down dinner doesn''t sound particularly special, so for the same price, as a guest I think I''d enjoy the CR better. Just make sure the servers clear away the empty plates so that the 80% seating doesn''t stay "dirty".
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 29, 2004
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17,193
btw, I like cocktail receptions too. We had a cocktail hour with great appetizers, followed by a sitdown. After the sitdown, everyone started milling around again and hung out by the bar, so I think they preferred the cocktail style part of it. I had 50 guests, so it was great because it felt intimate and everyone mingled.

I''d eat only appetizers all the time. I love tapas places!!!
 

havernell

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 10, 2006
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571
Why can you only have 80% seating at a cocktail reception? I know I have ranted about this before on this forum (sorry for the repeat), but I went to a wedding this summer that had a cocktail reception where there wasn''t enough seating for all of the guest. Actually, they assigned seats to all of the "older" guests but all the bride and groom''s friends (including me) had to stand at high cocktail tables the whole time. THIS WAS NOT FUN especially for the girls who were in high heels! My feet were killing my by the end of dinner and I just didn''t feel like dancing after that (which made the reception a lot less fun for me). All the while, I just kept on thinking that the bride and groom were too cheap to spring for a few extra chairs and tables to accomodate all of their guests.

I know others have said that 80% seats will be okay since some people will always be getting up to go to the buffet/dancing However, in reality, people will leave purses/jackets/etc to save seats and won''t share- it''s just human nature. Plus, that often leaves one seat here one seat there open and most people will want to sit with their group, not in single scattered seats.

Don''t get me wrong, I love the idea of a cocktail reception type thing, but I just think MAKING some people stand for your entire reception is not a very nice way to treat your guests. So, is there a way you could do the cocktail thing but have 100% seating?
 

So_happy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
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1,084
Havernell~ Most definitely. In fact, we are having our ceremony there (most likely) so will need all 80 chairs there anyway...........I only said 80% seating because I''m personally wondering how it should be set up table-wise. I want lots of high-top bistro tables and those won''t have chairs but then I want the several low cocktail tables which I presume will accomodate 4 chairs per. Then, I was thinking of a couple medium tables at which a good 8 chairs can be placed around. But that still doesn''t quite "use up" the 80 chairs I guess. Do I have those sort of against the wall somewhere (reminiscent of high school dances lol)?

So, yes, there will technically be seating for every guest............I was just thinking that a chair without a complimentary table would look funny. Maybe I''ll just add more tables? Then......would it start to look like a sit-down anyway?


Thanks SO much for lovin'' the CR idea :) It does sound nice given the selection of food vs what''s avail for the sit-down :)

Any others want to chime in????
 

winternight

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
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887
I''m planning on a cocktail reception myself! We''ll probably end up with about 80 guests too. I like the idea of having food for everyone''s tastes and I think then we can have some fancier, splurge items. I don''t know whether or not we''ll even have dancing. What do you all think about that? I do want to have lots of seating and maybe different types of seating if possible? I''m considering having it catered at a local restaurant. Maybe that''s a little untraditional, but I like that idea.
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Aug 12, 2005
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17,744
IMO, if you are uncomfortable having a cocktail recept. even though it sounds great in theory, then don''t do it. It seems like if you as the bride are not comfortable with it, then why would your guests (people who know and love you) be? OTOH, it is sort of the guests'' resonsibility to educate themselves, again, IMO, as far as what type of reception it will be, what kind of footwear they need to have on to be comfortable in case there aren''t enough seats, etc. In the end it kind of comes down to how YOU really see your dream wedding/reception as being.
 
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