Cocktail style weddings – are you a fan?

Planning a wedding now gives you freedom to move away from wedding traditions you aren’t keen on. It is not uncommon for couples to really customise their wedding day and plan a celebration that truly reflects their personality and style. Pretty much anything goes – from brunch weddings and music festival nuptials to high tea receptions, picnics & food trucks, the sky really is the limit.

cocktail style drinksCocktail style weddings have moved on considerably since the days of serving itty bitty canapes and hoping everyone was full! The explosion of grazing tables, bowl food, sliders and food trucks has completely changed the way incredible food can be served at your wedding.

We’ve put together a few things we love about cocktail style weddings!


More choice!

So many venues lend themselves to a cocktail style wedding. Many that may not be suitable for a seated meal or cannot seat your numbers. You can also consider venues that might be a little different from the traditional wedding venue you’ve been to previously.

Some key things to consider are

  • the spaces where your guests will be mingling – is there space for people to move around freely?
    When you take away the seated meal component, you also remove the need to think about loads of décor, as tables, chairs, centrepieces and other décor is not needed. Again, do make sure you have a few tables set up for those who would prefer to sit and eat.

    Go For Gold on the Food

    You can really go all out when it comes to the food at a cocktail style wedding! You can offer a wide variety of food, get creative and plan out some food stations or have wait staff circulate with trays. There are so many amazing substantial finger food, bowl food and walk and fork options. We’ve mentioned food trucks already which are proving such a popular option for a casual, relaxed feel for your wedding. Grazing tables are really popular and a provide plenty of choice for your guests. They can go back for as much as they want! Whatever food style you choose, make sure you keep a reasonably continuous flow of food throughout and a good variety of options.


    Entertainment and activities

    A cocktail style wedding really lends itself to on-going activities and entertainment. Lawn games are perfect after your ceremony in the afternoon. They can easily go on into the evening, especially with good lighting and some fun games! There are so many options, from live singers and bands, to photo booths and selfie stations. We’ve even heard of clay bird shooting and archery!

    Mix and Mingle

    Event Guests at Waipuna

    Photo by Kelly Shakespeare Photography

    Seating plans can be a huge challenge, with a cocktail style wedding you can skip this step completely! Your guests will have the chance to mix and mingle with whoever they please. For the bridal couple, it is a lot easier to ensure you get to spend a bit of time with all your guests. Aside from the obvious amazing detail of getting married, isn’t that what it’s all about? If you ask us, having the chance to soak up time with your most loved people on one of the best days of your lives as a newly married couple has to be on the of the best things of all!

    You can still have some structure with cutting of the cake, speeches and the first dance but these can all be incorporated into your day as you want.

    And relax!

    That’s not something that is often associated with your wedding day! But we think having a relaxing time with your guests is seriously amazing and why shouldn’t it be doable? So, if you want to have a more relaxed vibe and remove some of the formalities, we think a cocktail style reception is a fabulous idea!! Dance, have fun, eat good food and enjoy your wedding, your way!

    Got a question or want to chat about Waipuna as a location for your wedding? Get in touch with us, we’d love to chat, click here to send us a message or download our wedding information here.