Wedding Reception Forum

Cake and Punch Reception

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Re: Cake and Punch Reception

  • I like the idea of cocktail tables mentioned by pp! Some seats are definitely needed for those who aren't able to stand for extended periods of time and cocktail tables give other guests a place to set their food/drink/purse. I typically see this kind of set up at less formal events that are relatively short, such as corporate events, church receptions etc. It's perfect for mingling!
  • @mauiwowie9 Yeah! I think this may be the route we go since I don't see everyone sitting down at the exact same time munching on cake and snacks. 
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2015
    @Knottie1448952431  Is your ceremony and reception in a church?  If so, just ask the church secretary who is the bossy old lady who knows how it is done at your church.  The secretary will know who she is.  (Everybody does!)
    The church ladies have seen many, many weddings with cake and punch receptions, and they know how they should be done.  They will be very flattered if you ask their advice.

    Stick around and get a real Knottie name.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    MesmrEweILoveBeachMusic
  • @CMGragain, we're hosting an outdoor wedding and reception.

    Thanks though.
  • An outdoor reception with not enough tables sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
    MyNameIsNotMesmrEwe
  • @banana468 I'm basically assaulting my guests I hear. It's too much for people to place their purses on the ground and hold a plate of cake. Oops
    STARMOON44
  • You always need to make sure there is a seat for every guest at any event you are hosting. And especially since your ceremony and reception are outdoors, you need to make sure there is seating/tables for all. For people with mobility issues, uneven ground (such as grass, brick, flagstone, pavers, etc.) is much more difficult to stand/walk/mingle on.
    GlamQueenBrideInLoveInQueensMesmrEweTheDeathLlama
  • You always need to make sure there is a seat for every guest at any event you are hosting. And especially since your ceremony and reception are outdoors, you need to make sure there is seating/tables for all. For people with mobility issues, uneven ground (such as grass, brick, flagstone, pavers, etc.) is much more difficult to stand/walk/mingle on.
    She already said there is plenty of seating.   There just may not be tons of tables.

    For a cake and punch, I don't see the big deal.   People will have plenty of places to sit and they'll eat cake / drink as time permits which will be short.

    I just had a big party in my house with somewhere around 45 people (including small kids) in attendance.   I didn't go out of my way to rent tables or chairs and we used the tables (both inside and out) that we had.   Somehow it worked.

    If the OP was having a sit down meal or a reception that she wanted to last more than  a couple hours I'd agree that she needs to have seating assignments and tables that go w/ each seat.   But that isn't the case here and it seems silly to flip out about it.   
    lyndausviSTARMOON44lc07ILoveBeachMusic
  • So I don't think not having tables for everyone is a disaster (although not having chairs would be a big problem). How many tables are you planning? If it's just a few or covers just a fraction of your guests I think this is a problem. As many PPs have said you don't know people's mobility issues (yes, even if they are close friends and family--I'm having surgery this week that not all my family knows about. If I had a wedding I would need a seat although I'm very active and able bodied most of the time).

    Anyways I suggest you have tables for the majority of your guests. People will want to put things down to eat snacks and cake. And I do think it's rude to make people eat on their laps. Even for a casual party. I agree you definitely dont need formal settings or exact tables for everyone (but again, definitely enough chairs for everyone).
  • scribe95 said:

    Why are you so against providing basic things like a table to put your stuff on? It makes absolutely no sense. When is the last time you put your purse on the ground to stand and eat. Probably not very often. Because it's hella rude.

    FWIW, I hate seeing purses on tables. They're incredibly dirty and should never be placed where you put food.
    [Deleted User]lc07ILoveBeachMusic
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @CMGragain, we're hosting an outdoor wedding and reception. Thanks though.
    Knottie1448952431, What is your alternate plan is weather does not cooperate for you?

    [Deleted User]
  • @MobKaz We're getting a tent rain or shine.
  • banana468 said:
    Why are you so against providing basic things like a table to put your stuff on? It makes absolutely no sense. When is the last time you put your purse on the ground to stand and eat. Probably not very often. Because it's hella rude.
    FWIW, I hate seeing purses on tables. They're incredibly dirty and should never be placed where you put food.
    Conversely, I know a lot of women who adamantly refuse to let their purse touch the ground.
    That's fine.   I know more women who never put a clutch on the ground but who carry larger bags that do.

    My point: saying you need your bag to go on the table isn't an etiquette rule and could actually be construed as against etiquette and a health issue.   

    FWIW, I'm in no way arguing for a lack of seats or no tables.   I just think that in this kind of set up, ample chairs and a solid amount of tables (but not enough for each guest) is OK given the reception style.     I know that I'm in the minority here but I think it's a big stretch to call plenty of chairs and a tented reception that's going to be short as a "disaster".  


  • banana468 said:
    Disaster?? We live in a world with terror attacks and an outdoor wedding with plenty of chairs and limited tables is a disaster? Let me call FEMA and POTUS! You alert the church elders! We will meet up at 14:00 at the flagpole with our strategies to implement by 17:00. In the meantime, what do we do without the color coded threat system?!?
     
    Yes, in terms of weddings, asking folks to mingle outside holding cups and plates (not to mention their personal belongings) while roaming around without sufficient table space to put things down sounds like a disaster. That word is not limited to terrorism, but thanks for the dose of melodrama.
    Seriously if we start comparing every wedding poor etiquette situation to terrorism they all seem quite small. Cash bar? Well you aren't shooting the guests so it's not a disaster... PPD and keeping it a secret? No bombs, so go for it! 

    It's rude to not have tables for your guests. You have the space and you have the budget so just  make sure there are tables! Or if you don't have the budget then cancel your "cocktail attire unique rehearsal dinner" and treat all of your guests equally. 
    No, I think in the grand scheme of things having a lot of tables and ample chairs is not a disaster.   I'll admit that the comparison was extreme but IMO, that's just not a disaster and I'm a big stickler for etiquette.   I know I'm in the minority but that's JMO.

    I didn't realize that this is the same poster who is wanting a mini reception the night before though.   That changes my feeling on what she's doing. 
    InLoveInQueensSTARMOON44
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    My vote for an outdoor, tented, 100 person cake and punch reception is to have more than enough chairs for everyone, and a mix of regular tables and high-boy tables. The chairs can be placed around the regular tables and placed in little groups around the perimeter; with high boys scattered elsewhere for maximum mingling. 
    While I'm capable of sitting on a chair sans table and eating, it's awkward. I would definitely prefer to set stuff on a table than my lap.

    I've been to plenty of events (non-wedding) where I've held a plate and a cup and my purse and been fine; it usually involves some trade-off if I can't squeeze to a table- like, "Honey, when you're done with your cake, can you hold my drink so I can eat my cake?"  You just make do. 
    ________________________________


    Maggie0829MyNameIsNotcupcait927ILoveBeachMusic
  • My vote for an outdoor, tented, 100 person cake and punch reception is to have more than enough chairs for everyone, and a mix of regular tables and high-boy tables. The chairs can be placed around the regular tables and placed in little groups around the perimeter; with high boys scattered elsewhere for maximum mingling. 
    While I'm capable of sitting on a chair sans table and eating, it's awkward. I would definitely prefer to set stuff on a table than my lap.

    I've been to plenty of events (non-wedding) where I've held a plate and a cup and my purse and been fine; it usually involves some trade-off if I can't squeeze to a table- like, "Honey, when you're done with your cake, can you hold my drink so I can eat my cake?"  You just make do. 
    That's what I'm getting at.   I'm not cool with this option for any kind of meal that involves the use of a knife or consumption of foods that are slightly liquid (like pudding).   But at many events - including Christmas parties with family, I'll grab a plate and a drink and then I'll just mingle, eat and drink while I stand.   If I need to put my food down, I'll put it on a table but I use the table more like a shelf and not because I'm seated there eating.   

    More often than not, when I attend events like this, the people who are physically seated and eating are small children (since I'm not going to let my kid try to eat and mingle - recipe for disaster) and the older guests who don't mingle.   DH's grandfather is like this.   He gets to an event and parks himself.   He's in his 90s and we go to him to talk.   The rest of use mingle around each other. 
    lyndausvilc07
  • jacques27 said:
    My vote for an outdoor, tented, 100 person cake and punch reception is to have more than enough chairs for everyone, and a mix of regular tables and high-boy tables. The chairs can be placed around the regular tables and placed in little groups around the perimeter; with high boys scattered elsewhere for maximum mingling. 
    While I'm capable of sitting on a chair sans table and eating, it's awkward. I would definitely prefer to set stuff on a table than my lap.

    I've been to plenty of events (non-wedding) where I've held a plate and a cup and my purse and been fine; it usually involves some trade-off if I can't squeeze to a table- like, "Honey, when you're done with your cake, can you hold my drink so I can eat my cake?"  You just make do. 
    Do you really host events with the attitude of "people will make do"?  I mean yes, obviously, people will make do - no one will die from lack of tables.  But is that what people planning weddings are really striving for?  For their guests - loved ones they allegedly care enough to want to witness their wedding - to walk away from the event going "Yeah, we made do." 

    I mean sure, the truck carrying your tables from the table rental company gets into an accident and can't deliver the tables - you make do.  A burst pipe ruins your reception space and now you're hastily moving everything into the church basement that doesn't have enough tables - you make do.  But when you're in the planning stages with the opportunity to do anything and everything in your power to ensure that you are treating your guests how loved ones ought to be treated and making sure you are hosting them well...why would you not do anything about it and just go "Ho hum, we'll make do even if it means that couples can't eat their cake at the same time because someone has to hold the drinks."  Is it really that hard to just order a couple of extra tables to be extra safe that everyone will have a place just right off the bat?  Sure, maybe a table or two goes unused when all is said and done, but isn't that preferable to people walking away from your event going "We made do."
    With this OP, it sounds like it's not going to go well but my assumption there is based on her multiple threads.

    In the instance where I just threw a party for a ton of people, every table was used and we have them all around.   From the two on the deck to the coffee table to the few in the living  / dining area, there wasn't a table shortage.   And because the party we threw was more open house style (what most cake an punch receptions are) it seems like the flow is fairly natural so extra tables would be fairly silly.

    Now if this is orchestrated where there's almost a seating of some type then I agree, you need to set this up like a plated meal. 
  • My vote for an outdoor, tented, 100 person cake and punch reception is to have more than enough chairs for everyone, and a mix of regular tables and high-boy tables. The chairs can be placed around the regular tables and placed in little groups around the perimeter; with high boys scattered elsewhere for maximum mingling. 
    While I'm capable of sitting on a chair sans table and eating, it's awkward. I would definitely prefer to set stuff on a table than my lap.

    I've been to plenty of events (non-wedding) where I've held a plate and a cup and my purse and been fine; it usually involves some trade-off if I can't squeeze to a table- like, "Honey, when you're done with your cake, can you hold my drink so I can eat my cake?"  You just make do. 
    There is absolutely no reason the OP has provided to tell us why she can't provide tables. The assumption was made it's a budget issue and she got huffy about that and insisted it isn't a budget thing. So if it's not a budget thing, what possible reason is there to make your guests "make do"?
    InLoveInQueens
  • While I agree that formal seating is not required, there should be a chair for every butt and ample table space, but that doesn't mean a table needs to have X chairs around it, or every chair should be at a table space.

    OP- if budget is not an issue, and you want something less formal, I would do a range of table styles (high tops, use different sizes of low tables- smaller circular, large rectangle), and have your chairs at the low tables as well as around the room. If you really want to get fancy, you could have some different styles of chairs- standard chairs at the tables, more lounge-like chairs around the perimeter, or set up as seating areas. 

    Yes, at house parties (unless it is dinner) there is rarely a chair or table for every butt, but I am also more than cool sitting on the floor at the coffee table (sometimes I prefer this for casual parties) to eat in my casual clothes. But wearing something more formal (such as a dress and heels), and having to carry around items because I don't want to leave them unattended somewhere- no thanks! 
    Maggie0829
  • My vote for an outdoor, tented, 100 person cake and punch reception is to have more than enough chairs for everyone, and a mix of regular tables and high-boy tables. The chairs can be placed around the regular tables and placed in little groups around the perimeter; with high boys scattered elsewhere for maximum mingling. 
    While I'm capable of sitting on a chair sans table and eating, it's awkward. I would definitely prefer to set stuff on a table than my lap.

    I've been to plenty of events (non-wedding) where I've held a plate and a cup and my purse and been fine; it usually involves some trade-off if I can't squeeze to a table- like, "Honey, when you're done with your cake, can you hold my drink so I can eat my cake?"  You just make do. 
    I've been to plenty of cake and punch receptions (before full blown dinners were popular with everyone). I never had a table to sit at and eat my cake. I don't even think there were chairs for everyone. All such receptions were held in a church hall or equivalent. It was no big deal. They lasted 1 to 2 hours max. Everyone survived, and no one spoke ill of the hosts. Granted this was many years ago.
    STARMOON44CMGragain
  • My vote for an outdoor, tented, 100 person cake and punch reception is to have more than enough chairs for everyone, and a mix of regular tables and high-boy tables. The chairs can be placed around the regular tables and placed in little groups around the perimeter; with high boys scattered elsewhere for maximum mingling. 
    While I'm capable of sitting on a chair sans table and eating, it's awkward. I would definitely prefer to set stuff on a table than my lap.

    I've been to plenty of events (non-wedding) where I've held a plate and a cup and my purse and been fine; it usually involves some trade-off if I can't squeeze to a table- like, "Honey, when you're done with your cake, can you hold my drink so I can eat my cake?"  You just make do. 
    I've been to plenty of cake and punch receptions (before full blown dinners were popular with everyone). I never had a table to sit at and eat my cake. I don't even think there were chairs for everyone. All such receptions were held in a church hall or equivalent. It was no big deal. They lasted 1 to 2 hours max. Everyone survived, and no one spoke ill of the hosts. Granted this was many years ago.
    Just because you made do at bad parties doesn't mean that's the proper way to host.
    QFT
    image
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I do agree that as a host of a wedding one should strive for the best and not "make do." I was only making the point that for an event that'll last all of an hour or two, people are likely to be mingling and moving enough that a set up that is very typical of non-wedding social events could work for the OP.
    ________________________________


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