Planning tips | Hiring furniture for a cocktail wedding



It’s no secret that we LOVE cocktail style weddings here – probably because we have a seriously beautiful collection of cocktail furniture, but ALSO because of the super fun and relaxed ambience that seems to come alive at stand up events. Guests roaming and mingling, music in the air, a killer bar set-up – the perfect way to celebrate such a special occasion amongst loved ones.

A couple of years ago we briefly touched on some tips and tricks when it comes to hiring furniture for a cocktail wedding, and this time we’re back to share our expertise when it comes to creating the perfect furniture plan for a cocktail style event. With a few hundred more cocktail receptions now under our belt, and an exciting range of new inventory (I mean have you seen our new releases lately?!) we thought we would delve into some more detailed advice and furniture suggestions to help you create a beautiful – and let’s not forget, practical – setting.

So if you’re planning a stand up event and have NO idea where to start with decor – read on for our considerations and recommendations when it comes to hiring furniture for a cocktail wedding (with some beautiful pics to follow, of course!)


Images via Figtree Pictures


This is the first question we get asked when it comes to furniture hire for cocktail receptions – how much furniture is recommended for X amount of guests?

Personally, we think enough seating for at least half of your guests is a comfortable amount. With your guests roaming and mingling throughout the evening, you definitely don’t want to go overboard with furniture and allocate one seat per person, leaving you with a bunch of pieces that just won’t get used. In saying that, you do want to have enough comfortable and practical seating options to make sure your guests have a place to sit down, relax, take a breath and rest their feet during the night (especially if you have a killer DJ and know the dance floor is going to come to life!)

Some points to keep in mind that might alter the amount of seats you’d like to provide:

  • AGES – if you’re expecting a number of elderly guests then you may want to allocate a few more seats to make sure everyone is going to be comfortable. On the flip side, if you have a noticeably younger crowd, you won’t need as many. Take a look over your guest list and gauge these requirements before compiling your furniture wish-list.

  • VENUE – Think about the size of the space offered by your venue and tailor your furniture requirements to suit. If your venue is on the smaller side with not as much vacant floor space, then this limits the amount of furniture you can fit and so you might want to instead focus on including a few really beautiful, high-end pieces that are going to make the biggest statement. On the contrary, if you have a larger venue and don’t want to leave any areas looking too bare, think about some extra pieces like ottomans or rugs that are super easy to scatter around and fill any empty spaces.


Images via Figtree Pictures


Another frequently asked question from our brides-to-be is what kind of furniture pieces work best for a cocktail style wedding. Should you include lounging areas, or high bars + stools, or low tables + chairs? 

Our answer is d) All of the above!! Why? Because a combination of high and low seating is the most visually appealing option, as well as the most functional. A selection of different pieces in varying heights, shapes and sizes helps to break up the space by adding dimension and depth, is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and caters to a variety of different guests and their needs.

As an example – for a 90 PAX wedding, you might look to include:

  • 2 x lounge areas, including sofa’s, armchairs and/or ottomans, and coffee tables.

  • 3-4 high bars paired with stools

  • 3-4 lower cafe tables or dining tables paired with low chairs or bench seats.

  • And don’t forget the bar along with other decorative pieces like cushions, rugs and umbrellas (for a more detailed checklist on cocktail furniture requirements you can check out our blog post here.)



Images via Byron Loves Fawn Photography


The real key to a beautiful cocktail wedding is choosing pieces that are going to compliment each other and work harmoniously in your space. Choose your decor thoughtfully to ensure that everything is going to flow cohesively when it all comes together on the day. You should have a general idea of the vibe or style of your dream day, whether it’s a tropical beach party or a chic black tie event, so the next step is to choose the perfect furniture pieces to bring this to life.

Some tips to keep in mind to choose a furniture selection that ‘flows’:

  • Colours: Choose 1-2 base colours and then 2-3 accent colours to incorporate throughout your furniture. Sticking to a colour palette when choosing your decor means that even with a selection of different furniture styles, the overall look is still going to create a beautiful flow.

  • Textures: Another way to create a common link between your furniture choices is to incorporate similar textures throughout. For example, if you choose hairpin leg high bars, you can tie this in to a hairpin leg coffee table in your lounge area. Or if you have chosen a timber service bar, you can link this in with some timber stools.

  • Style: Think about the pieces that are reflective of your chosen stye. If you are going for a modern and industrial kinda vibe, some pieces are going to naturally lend themselves to this look like wire dry bars, wire stools and black sofa furniture. Or if a summery Bahamas look was more your style, then bamboo furniture and colourful prints are going to be your winning choices.



Images by Figtree Pictures

And most importantly – a cocktail reception is all about having FUN so don’t get too carried away trying to make everything match perfectly. As long as you organise enough seats to keep your guests comfortable, and have some common colours and textures linking your pieces together, you’re on the right track for a beautiful evening!

Still stuck on styling ideas? Get in touch for a copy of our latest Look Book to view all of our beautiful collections, and of course you can always chat to our team directly for some personalised suggestions.

Happy planning! x

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