It can be a tough decision when it comes to choosing between a seated or a cocktail wedding party. At seated wedding parties, guests have to sit at specific seats and are served full meals. At cocktail wedding parties, on the other hand, there is no previously managed seating chart. Besides, food is served in smaller portions and there is no specific order.
While nowadays a lot of couples prefer a more vibrant and lively cocktail party, others might still doubt it. You need to realize that both party styles have advantages and disadvantages to consider.
Cocktail wedding party pros
- A cocktail wedding party makes a friendlier and more social atmosphere. It is easier to move around, chat, dance, and have fun both for the guests and the couple. In other words, it gives more of a real party vibe.
- It is said that a cocktail wedding party can cut down on food costs as well. It is mainly because the food is not served as an appetizer, main dish, and dessert, and no specific table setting is required.
- Cocktail parties can be more flexible and creative in different aspects. For example, you go for a food truck if there is enough space and have more fun serving food to the guests.
- Since you will have less number of seats than the number of guests, smaller venues can also work.
Cocktail wedding party cons
- You need to consider that some of your guests might not have attended a cocktail party before. This can be true about your older family members. That is why you have to be very clear about your party and its theme in the invitation card so that no one will be confused.
- Choosing the appropriate amount of furniture can be a bit challenging because at cocktail parties seats should cover up to 70% per cent of your guests, so there is almost no specific number. On the other hand, to make furniture look more comfortable you need to have some extra items like cushions and rugs.
- Not all guests will sit so it might get a bit busy and some of your guests can not see the important events such as special dances and speeches.
- Serving food can be a bit challenging. You can’t make sure if every guest is well-served. On the other hand, it can be difficult to choose how much food will be enough because you have no control over the amount of food each guest can take.
- While a lot of couples think that cocktail parties are cheaper because of the way food is served, some guests might drink too much. So, beverages can cost you a lot.
Seated wedding party pros
- A seated-wedding party will give you the chance to talk to every guest and say thank you for coming to your party. Besides, you can also make sure that the food has been served to every guest, so everyone is well-served.
- Choosing the right number for the furniture is easier. The number of your guest indicates the number of required seats and table requirements.
- As the food is served in several courses you can plan the main events between each such as dances and speeches. In that way, your guests will be entertained and can see everything.
Seated wedding party cons
- The prices for food and services will be higher for a seated wedding party in comparison to a cocktail-style wedding. Since meals are served in different courses, more services are also required so it can add up to the costs.
- Planning a seating chart is no easy task and can take you a long time. On the other hand, you have to consider a lot of factors. It can be difficult to seat guests who are difficult to deal with or do not have good relationships with other relatives.
- Serving food to a large number of guests at the same time needs a lot of effort and order. Therefore, you have to be very careful with choosing the right venues where professional services are offered. If the staff is not professional enough, the food might not be delivered on time to everyone.
- The space is limited in seated weddings and servers are moving around all the time. So the guests have to only sit especially during dinner and can’t move around. They can only communicate with people at their table so it seems less friendly.
How to make sure which style works for you?
If you are still doubting which wedding style is the best for you, remember that the party vibe is more important than the budget. Although it seems cocktail parties are cheaper, the difference is not significant. The only difference that cannot be denied is the vibe. Think of your perfect picture of a wedding. Do you want a formal, well-scheduled party at which everything starts and finishes on time and nothing is out of plan? Or do you prefer a more flexible party where guests can mingle and move around easily?
Whatever your choice is, it is important to be aware of the potential problems you can face as we discussed in this article; and try to find a solution for each. If you are still doubting you can consult with a wedding expert, explain your conditions and express your expectations. Click here to see a list of the best wedding consultants. Remember that this is your special day and it will be beautiful no matter which style you choose.