Post # 1
I have yet to check out venues due to FI’s crazy finals schedule, but starting in 2 weeks, we’re going to be scoping places out (I think I already know where we want to book, too). Fiance and I are going to have our ceremony at the same place as the reception. My question is what do guests do in between the ceremony and cocktail hour? We want an evening ceremony (~6ish?) and the cocktail hour and reception following….but isn’t there usually a gap between the ceremony and cocktail hour? Where do guests go, if they’re already going to be at the place of the cocktail hr and reception? Thanks in advance! 🙂
Post # 3
Our guests are going directly from the courtyard where the ceremony is being held to the cocktail hour on the terrace. We’ll do a few family photos right after the ceremony(all bridal party pics will be done before the ceremony), but drinks and apps will be available for everyone else immediately.
Post # 4
At weddings Ive been to, as guests we did anything and everything. At one wedding, we went back to the hotel(it felt great to relax before the reception) and at another one we went straight to the reception hall and had fun talking while the wedding party was taking pictures.
Either way I had fun. I honestly dont expect the reception to start right after the wedding. I say do what you think is right.
Post # 5
Often when the ceremony and the reception are at the same venue, the guests simply move to another room or part of the venue and the cocktail hour starts immediately following the ceremony.
The challenge with that plan is that if the wedding party are occupied with taking photographs, the cocktail hour will likely be ending as the wedding party finishes the pics.
You can always ask the venue to set up a refreshment table for the wedding party where you will be taking the photos.
Post # 6
@julies1949: Thanks guys! This is kinda what I am nervous about…I don’t want us or the bridal party to totally miss cocktail hour (and we don’t want a first look either…we’re pains in the butts). I’m hoping maybe we can come up with some kind of entertainment or maybe just cocktails and no food yet while guests mingle for a bit?
Post # 7
At every wedding I have attended where the two portions of the event are at the same venue, the cocktail hour is something offered to guests to keep them busy and entertained while the wedding party is taking pictures. In other words, it’s kind of the point for you to miss it.
Post # 8
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@WhatMaeBee: Cocktail hours are there expressly to entertain your guests while you are taking photos. Your bridal party will likely make it to 1/2 of the cocktail hour, but you should not worry about trying to be there. Seriously, these were invented to keep guests happy while you aren’t there.
Post # 9
@WhatMaeBee: I wouldn’t serve cocktails without serving some sort of nibbles. Just in case folks haven’t eaten in anticipation of your awesome dinner…alcohol and empty stomachs don’t mix! 🙂
Post # 10
I really wouldn’t worry about making it to the cocktail hour. It is supposed to entertain your guests while the bridal party and everyone is taking photos! Sometimes the caterer will keep a plate of apps for you and the bridal party and put them at your tables if you want to have some of the food. When I’m a guest at a wedding, there’s nothing that I hate more than a huge gap between the wedding and the reception…
Post # 11
Whatevr you do, don’t do nothing. I went to a wedding on the weekend where the ceremony and reception were at the same place, there was a 2.5 hour gap between the two and nowhere for the guests to go. It was freezing outside and people got really pissed off. Have somewhere for your guests so hang out/socialise until the reception at least.
Post # 12
Most weddings have no gap at all between the ceremony and reception. It’s generally considered rude to force guests to entertain themselves for hrs on end, especially in formal clothing in an unfamiliar area.
Post # 13
There should not be a gap as they are considered rude. I know some Catholic weddings have them because the wedding mass needs to be at a certain time, and the couple wants a later reception, but to me its still rude. What will Out of Town guests do in between events?
Post # 14
We’re having cocktail hour start right after the ceremony. We’ll do pictures during the cocktail hour and then rejoin guests for the reception.
Post # 15
Hi bees, thanks for your input. I never realized brides don’t go to their cocktail hours! Lol.. Whoops. I think we will end up having cocktail hour immediately after the ceremony; I’ve only ever been to church weddings where there is a gap, and assumed that there would always be a gap.. Silly of me. We actually don’t hav. Any out of town guests, it’s only close family and friends who are all local, but I guess it doesby matter anyway now. Thank you all.