There's something in the water in west Australia at the moment, I've been to seven weddings already this year, and another of my closest friends just got engaged, and being the super organised type A personality that I am, I've been hired as de facto wedding planner. This is all wonderful, I'm happy to help, I love her etc.. but I've hit an area where I'm a bit out of my depth / could you use some advice/backup.
The couple are living in england, but are getting married in perth (they're both natives). So, they're on a pretty tight budget once you factor in their airfares, and the fact that they don't want to spend gazillions of dollars one day. My friend wants to splurge on her dress, the videographer (a peculiar expenditure, but this guy is amazeballs) and general 'prettiness.' She wants to scrimp on the reception, but still have an awesome party, and still have it look pretty and romantic. (not really scrimping, more just keeping cost per head down because they're expecting about 200 people)
She's also over the whole sit down at designated seats thing, as she thinks it's been done to death, and it doesn't promote interaction between guests. In fact, the only downside she sees to not having a sit down is that she can't strategically seat her single friends next to each other (her own words). So I suggested to her that they have a cocktail reception instead... food costs less, people mingle a lot, you need fewer decorations, and it is more conducive to that 'party!' vibe she seems to be wanting.
But then, my friend raised the concern that people secretly hate cocktail receptions (and this is where I need advice). Do people feel ripped off that they don't get a proper meal? do they feel like it's gauche to not have a full meal with two hours of speeches and alcohol by table service? Do people get annoyed at the fact that they have to stand up for five hours or so (there would of course be some chairs, but everyone knows they are monopolised by the over 65 crowd pretty early in the evening)? Nice people aren't likely to say anything about it, just whimper softly and shift from stiletto clad foot to foot.. but will they secretly be really pissed if it's not your typical wedding reception sort of gig?
Any advice you can offer would be absolutely grand!
Amateur Wedding Planner
Oh, PS: one last question.. there is an 95% chance that at the time of the wedding, the temperature will be upwards of 95F... this is fine for us perth locals, but is it likely that people coming from an english winter will be able to tolerate this, or should my friend try and find indoor reception/ceremony venues? I know you're not english... but it's pretty cold in some parts of america, right? (:
Designated seats are "done to death" because they WORK. Old people and pregnant people and SHY PEOPLE don't have to fucking MINGLE like CATTLE with two hundred fucking people they don't know, and you can seat the bride's dad across the room from the groom's mom, who he can't stand.
And yes, you get to seat your single friends next each other. ORGANIZED MINGLING. Much more civilized.
p.s. 95 degrees is way too fucking hot.
Wild Clematis Flower Crowns by Amy Merrick via Anabela Carneiro via Catbird