Post # 1
Would you be disappointed as a guest if a wedding didn’t have a cocktail hour? It’s not easily done with our venue due to logistics (we need to set up a couple of things between the ceremony and reception), plus we have a small budget so I’m not really keen on adding more food and booze to it. I could try to work out some creative planning in order to have a cocktail hour from 5-6pm perhaps, if it’s a faux pas to not have one…?
My ceremony will be starting at 3, and the reception will start at 6pm (so there will be a 1.5 hr gap after subtracting travel time from ceremony site to reception venue), and food will be served at 6:30ish. Does this sound ok to you? I *definitely* don’t want anyone to be hungry so I’m trying to serve food as early as possible.
What do you think?
**Edit – please keep snark to a minimum, I’m looking for HELPFUL advice and opinions! Thank-you.**
Post # 3
No cocktail hour for us. Only one of the twenty plus weddings I’ve been to has had a cocktail hour. We’re just going straight from ceremony to reception. Ceremony 4-4:45, reception 5:30-11 with dinner around 6. There was really no need for us to have a cocktail hour. You’re having a long gap so you could have a cocktail hour but you’d still have a gap so it doesn’t seem like you need one.
Post # 4
What will your guests be doing during that 2-hour or so gap?
Post # 5
When will the ceremony end? What will guests do in between the ceremony and reception?
We had a 30 minute break between the ceremony and reception (in the same venue) and provided an open bar during that time. It seemed like the best choice so that the guests would be “entertained” during that time. I’m not a fan of just leaving guests to fend for themselves during gaps.
Post # 6
@Kazza: No cocktail hour here. Our ceremony is going to be at 1 or 2, and the reception is at the same site so it will follow immediately. We will have snacks (cheese, crackers, veggie platters, fruit plates, etc) with champage for toats and non-alcoholic drinks (although it’s campground so some guests will probably bring their own, and we are going to ahve a few bottles of hard liqour for people to mix drinks if they want) and then dinner at like 5, with cake after.
Well I think it will be like this, something along those lines. Still working it out, but no cocktail hour. I’ve only been to one wedding with a cocktail hour, so I wouldn’t even notice.
Post # 7
We’re not haiving one and we don’t drink, but as a guest it would be annoying if there was that awkward gap between ceremony and reception (not long enough to go and do something or get something to eat but too short to just go from one to the other), esp. if that gap is right around a typical meal time.
Post # 8
I’ve never been to a wedding that didn’t have one, or a wedding with a gap between the ceremony and reception. I would find it odd, what are people supposed to do in between?
Post # 9
I have never been to a wedding with a cocktail hour… In my circle of family and friends, everyone has a snack buffet set up while the bride and others are taking pictures… Peanuts, candy, cheese, crackers…just a lot of finger foods to tide the guests over until the actual dinner starts. Although I will say, there is usually only a 30 minute gap, max…
Post # 10
We’re having the ceremony and reception at the same place and as soon as the ceremony is over, the guests can go to the reception room where there is an open bar. I’ve been to a wedding once where there was a 2 1/2 hour “cocktail hour” and no one knew what to do with themselves
Post # 11
I should clarify, it’s not a 3-hour gap. The ceremony starts at 3:00, will be done by around 3:30. Guests will probably hang around for at least 15 minutes to chat with everyone (and it’s a super gorgeous outdoor location so unless there’s a surprise rain shower people will probably hang out for a few mins while we take a few pics with various people). Then it’s about a 20-30 min. drive to the reception venue, so that leaves them with about 1.5 hours to go. I could post some suggestions of things to do during the gap on our website perhaps?
There are a lot of shops and coffee places, parks, etc only a couple blocks or less from the reception site. For weddings like this in the past, I’ve just gone for coffee/tea with other guests, etc.
I know it’s not ideal but I’m dead-set against doing a first look, so I’m trying to make it work as best I can.
Post # 12
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
@Kazza: unless you are having a very lengthy ceremony, it sounds like you have a large gap between your ceremony and reception. It doesn’t have to be cocktails, but there should be something for your guests to do/somewhere for them to be during the gap. Otherwise, yes, I would feel upset/neglected.
Post # 13
@Kazza: I think most people use the cocktail hour as the time for them to set up things and take pictures and stuff. Basically something to keep your guests busy in one area while everything is arranged in another area.
I dont think you NEED a cocktail hour, but if there is going to be a large gap between your ceremony and your reception, you should have something prepared for your guests to do, especially if you have out of town guests.
Post # 14
@Kazza: your title and poll are different questions, sigh
Post # 15
- Wedding: October 2014 - Church
@Kazza: I don’t know because every wedding I have gone to has had a cocktail reception.
Post # 16
@nattiejeanne: Just curious, what will your guests do for 3+ hours? Will there be lawn games or are people expected to go home/their hotel in between? I am just curious because that is a long gap between the ceremony and the reception.
OP, we have a very basic cocktail hour of fresh veggies, crackers and cheese and an open bar for 45 minutes. We used the time to take pictures right after the ceremony. Are they necessary? No. But it is nice if you are keeping your guests at the same location for both ceremony and reception and there is a sizeable gap between the two events.