We want a cocktail reception.. in fact, because there were many at the reception last night (including myself) who knew no one and was forced to sit beside people who they didn't know and wouldn't have normally spoken to or getting along with, because of that I'd REALLY REALLY love a stand-up cocktail :))) WIth seats, of course, but no formal seating, no formal tables and no formal dinner.
This is from an article on http://www.theknot.com regarding a suggested schedual of events for a Cocktail reception :D
Throwing a cocktail reception in lieu of a sit-down dinner? Here's a sample schedule of events for a typical cocktail reception lasting from 5 to 9 p.m. Remember: these are general guidelines -- you should feel free to adjust this list to fit your very own cocktail reception needs and tastes.
4-5 p.m.: At a dinner reception, the first hour is the cocktail hour, where guests drink, mingle, and snack on passed hors d'oeuvres. In this case, since the whole event is cocktails, break it up a bit by having the first hour feature chamber music, drinks, and passed hors d'oeuvres (you could even have it in a different room prior to moving into the hall, for dramatic effect -- guests would enter after this first hour and see stations of hearty hors d'oeuvres, beautifully decorated cocktail tables, the band, dance floor, etc.) If you had photographs taken before the ceremony, you can use this first hour to greet guests in a formal receiving line or by casually floating among them.
5 p.m.: You and your sweetie arrive at the reception (if you were taking your pictures after the ceremony) and are officially announced. Next comes the first dance, which can happen right as you two are announced for the first time as husband and wife; just go directly to the dance floor.
5:15-5:30 p.m. You should get acclimated in the space, have a drink. Let guests fill up their plates with hors d'oeuvres, visit with one another, enjoy the band or DJ, and take a seat, if they wish.
5:45-6:00 p.m. Champagne toast/speeches: The best man begins by giving his toast; the Maid of Honor gives hers directly after his, and then the couple responds (usually it's the groom responding to the best man, but why not have the bride say something, too?) Then parents and any other well-wishers lift their glasses in a toast.
6:00-7:30 p.m.: Dancing, dancing, dancing. (This will continue on through the evening, ceasing only for key wedding customs like the bouquet and garter toss, cake-cutting ceremony, etc., as seen below.)
7:30-7:45 p.m.: Bouquet toss, garter toss, etc.
8:00 p.m.: Cake-cutting ceremony.
8:10 p.m.: Cake and champagne are served, and possibly coffee; guests enjoy dessert and return to the dance floor.
8:50 p.m.: Last dance, some guests will begin to leave.
9:00-9:15 p.m.: Bride and groom depart in getaway car. Remaining guests leave.