In a previous post in this series, Trimming Your Wedding Budget, we also touched on how alternate wedding celebrations could help save couples some money for their Boston Weddings. For most of these alternative receptions, this is because they focus down your wedding into a few key areas rather than having it try to be everything for everyone. The key to making this successful is in how you let your guests know and set the stage for your celebration (though most of that time this can be handled simply by stating the kind of reception you’ll be holding right on the invitation).
In this pleasant diversion into the world of New England Weddings, we’re going to take a look at a few of those alternate receptions and how to make the most of them.
A cocktail party can be a fun way to celebrate your wedding, focusing less on the food and more on the fun of a wedding reception. Do you want to have a sophisticated evening where people talk about fine art and make witty banter? Then it’s great champagne and caviar. Want more of a night club vibe? Then it’s some specialty cocktails and maybe some light bar snacks. There are plenty of different directions you can go in with a cocktail reception.
The biggest difference between a cocktail reception and a more traditional wedding is that you’re taking away the seated dinner. Typically with a cocktail reception, you’ll want your guests to come after the dinner hour so you can keep the night going. While you may not be serving a plated meal, you should have a few light items that fit with your event to help your guests keep up their energy (and making sure they’re not taking advantage of your bar on an empty stomach). Desserts are also an option, especially if you want to have a traditional cake cutting. Include a great Boston-area wedding DJ to get people out on the dance floor and you’ve got a recipe for a fun night to remember.
Potential Pitfalls: Of course a cocktail reception might not be the perfect solution. Importantly, if you’re planning on a cocktail reception for your Boston wedding, you’re only saving on catering costs for the event (which can still be pretty big if you’re having a large event). Ditching dinner will also leave you a little less time to meet and greet all of your guests, so you should be a little bit more conscious of the time you’re spending during your first pass through the room.
The truncated schedule of a cocktail-only reception can also make some logistics a little tougher. If you’re having your ceremony on site, there might not be any time to flip the room (but you might try some lounge seating and cocktail tables with a few VIP spots that have a great view of the ceremony). With a shortened schedule you might also have less time for the really important stuff, like breaking away with your Boston wedding photographer to get some great shots.
Matching Themes: A cocktail event can go along great with any number of period themes with the right music and drinks - Roaring 20’s themes with hints of the speakeasy and Art Deco can be really great. Cocktail parties can also be very easily dressed up or dressed down for a more or less formal feel.
The cocktail party is a great way to pare down your wedding just a little bit but still hold onto a lot of the regular wedding traditions - especially if you want to focus on drinks and dancing.
Ryan Richardson is a wedding and engagement photographer serving Boston and beyond; including Cape Cod Weddings, New England Weddings, Massachusetts Weddings and Rhode Island Weddings.