Melbournians are all about being on trend with every aspect of their lives so it was only a matter of time before the traditional “chicken and beef” sit down wedding reception evolved. These days, anything goes for reception styles and catering; the ever so popular long tables with feasting platters are always a winner, or my personal favourite – Cocktail style weddings!

Cocktail style is brilliant for an informal reception where guests can mingle as they please. It creates a party atmosphere, which is fantastic for couples who want to have a good time. That being said there are some important factors that you need to remember.

Food, food and more food!

You need to have a decent amount of food and it MUST be easy to find. You don’t want all your guests congregating near the kitchen doors or tackling the wait staff over the last arancini!

Consider having antipasto stations and ensure that you have some substantial canapes, that way guests won’t be looking to do a Maccas run at the end of the night.

You’ll also need to make sure that food comes out quickly at the start of the night, it’s important to get your guests fed before they drink too much!

Adequate seating

Seating is often something that can get overlooked. Ladies, just imagine standing for hours in 6 inch stilettos! Rather than formal chairs, opt for some comfy lounges with ottomans, café style tables and cocktail furniture. This will help style the venue and create different zones for the wedding – WIN WIN

All images by Beckon Media


To pull off this chic, relaxed vibe there needs to be some serious planning on the progression of the night. Picture an acoustic duo performing as guests arrive in the pre-function area of the venue. As guests make their way inside the canapes continue and the band is playing some awesome tunes. Once formalities are done, it’s time for the DJ to open the dance floor. All the while the lighting has changed from soft whites and golds into disco lights, changing the mood as the night goes on.

No matter the style – Keep these handy hints in mind and you’ll be sure to have a magical wedding that guests will be talking about for years to come!

Ms Zigzag says: The beauty of cocktail parties is the freedom you have to sit where you like, eat what you like, get up and dance anytime and the bride and groom can easily mingle with all of their guests. Such handy tips, thank you Showtime Events. 

Post contributed by Lauren Haskell (Event Producer) at Showtime Events: Lauren started planning weddings a few years ago after being in the corporate event world and is a self-confessed hopeless romantic. You’ll always find her at the back of the room tearing up over the speeches! Combining her love of fairy-tale endings and producing events, Showtime is the perfect venue for her to demonstrate her flair whilst coordinating a seamless, stress-free experience for her couples.