7 reasons why Cocktail Weddings are the new reception trend

In the past, cocktail Weddings have been seen as the ‘poor sister’ to a sit-down dinner, but over the last few years, cocktail Weddings have seen a resurgence among Wedding couples – and for good reason! Not only do modern-day cocktail Weddings ensure that no guest leaves hungry, but they can also be so much more fun than a formal 3-course meal.

To get the low down, we spoke with Grand Pacific Group’s SophieRose Wachtel who has noticed a spike in the number of trendy Brides or Grooms booking their cocktail Wedding at Watsons Bay’s waterfront venue, Dunbar House – and here’s why.

1. They Allow You to Have More Guests

Cocktail Weddings allow couples to stretch their guest list just that little bit further, because venues can hold more people when you choose this type of function. Sophie explains, “Many Brides come to Dunbar House and fall in love with the venue as soon as they enter the antique-mirrored hallway. If they decide on a cocktail function, they aren’t limited to just 110 guests, instead they can amp up their guest list to 150.” That’s bound to keep the parents happy!


Image via GM Photographics.

2. They’re Flexible

If you want to be quirky and creative with your menu, you can’t go past a cocktail Wedding! “From mini tacos to interactive food stations, such as an Oyster Bar on ice with a live shucker, cocktail Weddings are the perfect way to keep guests happy with a variety of delicious options. Bite-sized morsels can also be served on unique platters like dry ice blocks or banana leaves and people can help themselves when they are ready to eat throughout the evening,” says Sophie.

cocktail wedding

Image via Nick Evans Photo

3. They’re Relaxed

If you want a Wedding that is more relaxed and will have your guests chatting and dancing all night long, you’ve got to investigate cocktail-style receptions. “Because guests continually circle the room at cocktail Weddings, you’ll see more people mingling and it gives the Bride and Groom more one-on-one time with each and every guest,” Sophie explains.

DUNBAR HOUSE from Soda Films on Vimeo.

4. They Give You EDT (Extra Dancing Time)

No Wedding is complete without a whole ‘lotta dance-floor action and if you love to boogie, a cocktail Wedding is ideal. Sophie reveals that because of the format of a cocktail-style reception, it leaves more time in your schedule for music and dancing.

5. You Won’t Need a Seating Chart

Ask any past Bride and she’ll tell you that one of the most stressful and time-consuming parts of planning her Wedding is finalising the seating chart. Save yourself the anxiety (and the grey hairs) and go for a cocktail Wedding which requires absolutely no chart!

cocktail reception

Image via Mike Hemus

6. There’ll Be Less Expenses

If your priority is to give your guests the highest quality food and beverages, but you’re not sure your budget will allow you to, opt for a cocktail Wedding! The money you save on not having to print menus and hire centrepieces can be spent on giving your guests the best meal they’ve ever had.

7. They Allow for Personalised Cocktails

Sophie explains that by choosing a canape-style reception, you have the opportunity to incorporate a signature cocktail into your Wedding! Sophie explains, “From a Blushing Bride (Bellini) to a Mint to Be (Mint Mojito) or even a free-standing bar, cocktail Weddings mean that cocktails can be a feature part of your Big Day.” 


Image via GM Photographics.

Located on the shore of Watsons Bay, Dunbar House is an elegant, yet understated backdrop for your dream Wedding. Ceremonies can be held on the lower lawn, under the fig tree overlooking Sydney Harbour before guests move to the outdoor terrace for cocktails, with the reception finishing in the exquisite main room.

Want your own cocktail bar?

Our go-to right now is the Bellini Cipriani bar, serving up Italy In A Glass with the authentic Bellini cocktail, created and made famous by the Cipriani family from Harry’s Bar in Venice.


Posted in Planning, SPONSORED, Venues by wedded wonderland

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