We have been seeing a huge trend lately with savvy couples leaning towards cocktail style receptions, rather than the traditional sit down dinner. This style of reception is perfect for a relaxed and intimate gathering but it can be overwhelming trying to piece furniture options together that will not only look beautiful, but also be functional for your guests!
1. Organise enough seating for your guests
The main point to consider when choosing furniture for a cocktail style reception is the comfort of your guests. While you definitely don’t need to accommodate a seat for every guest, you do want to make sure you have a sufficient amount of furniture for the amount of time your guests will be using the space. Nobody enjoys standing on their feet for hours on end, but at the same time not all guests will be seated at once. As a rule, we generally recommend providing enough ‘seats’ to accommodate at least half of your guests at any one time, as an absolute minimum. Enough seating for between 50-70% of guests is an ideal amount, keeping in mind the habits and ages of your guests.
2. Incorporate a variety of furniture styles
In our opinion, the most effective, functional and visually appealing cocktail receptions are ones that include a variety of both high and low seating options. We always recommend utilizing a mixture of furniture styles of different heights – for example, having designated sofa areas as well as some dry bars & stools, or some café style tables and chairs. This helps to create an interesting and balanced space, while also appealing to the different ages of your guests.
3. Use complementary colours and textures in your decor
It’s so important to consider the colours and textures that are being used to make sure the entire setting flows cohesively and makes ‘sense’. For example, for a rustic style wedding you can piece together French linen furniture, wine barrels, and bentwood stools – or for a more Palm Springs vibe you may want to incorporate bamboo and cane furniture with some bright colourful cushions instead.
4. Make a statement with your bar
At a cocktail reception, the bar is going to be a central point of activity so why not make it a feature – we love pushing our bars together to make longer statement bars, and using an interesting backdrop. Dress with some florals and crystal glassware and you can create something truly beautiful.
5. Ask a professional for advice
Our friendly consultants at Hampton Event Hire specialise in putting together recommendations for our clients – it's what we love to do. We can offer advice for furniture quantities and recommend items that work well together to give you the best and most beautiful outcome. Get in touch with our team here to start planning your perfect cocktail reception!