(Closed) cocktail hour BEFORE reception

posted 10 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
1719 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

I never loved the idea of people being liquored up while witnessing the most important moment of my life, but thats just me…and an hour isnt really enough time to get schlackered, so i think you’ll be fine, so long as its an hour (or less).

I think as far as getting your money’s worth out of your vendors, then its probably a good idea to do a cocktail hour before hand!  I’d love to hear if anyone else has had experiences with pre-wedding cocktail hours!

I originally thought that we’d pass champagne for pre-ceremony, but my FI doesnt like the idea of people "celebrating" before the two of us get to. 

Post # 4
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2007

Since you’re only leaving an hour between "arrive" and "ceremony start," like penguin said, you’ll pro’lly be OK.  Unless you’ve got some SERIOUS drinkers!  We inadvertently had a bit of a cocktail hour before our ceremony b/c we were late, and my dad wanted a beer…so he told the bartenders to start serving. 

If you do this, you might want to stage one or two people at the entrance of the ceremony area or the exit of the cocktail area to make people give up their glasses…we didn’t (since this wasn’t our plan to begin with!) and I was a little bummed to see that people are holding glasses and soda cans in our photos of the ceremony! 

You might also want to limit the service to beer/wine (no hard liquor) and make it so people have to GO to the bar, no tray service (that way there will be a bit of a line and it’ll help ensure that people aren’t getting too many drinks in ’em before the ceremony).

Post # 6
Member
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I just attended a wedding that did this!  They had on their invitations it was a "champagne reception".  I thought it odd, never being to one like this, but it actually worked out very well and flowed nicely.  The best thing was being able to mingle and talk to people and introduce yourselves before the ceremony.  Then by the time reception hit we’re all friendly and having a great time.  It was a very nice icebreaker.  And everyone behaved-no drunkies, hehe!

Post # 7
Member
267 posts
Helper bee

I think it would be nice to have your guests be able to have refreshments before your ceremony. After all, they’ll likely show up a bit early and have to wait around, might as well have a drink and a snack while they wait. I wouldn’t call it "cocktail hour," but I might word it as "please join us for refreshments before the ceremony." (hee, I just love how old-lady polite the word "refreshments" sounds)

Post # 8
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: September 2008

At our wedding (ceremony & reception in one place – Vanderbilt Mansion) guests will receive a flute of champagne & strawberries upon arrival.  

Anymore than that I think would be too much, but you should know your crowd and if having liquor served before your ceremony will be too much.  I personally think it would be weird.
Hope this helps! Congratulations!

Post # 9
Member
6 posts
Newbee

It’s totally normal for a Jewish wedding to have the cocktail hour first! 

Traditionally, the bride will be in the room surrounded by bridesmaids and female family.  Singing, dancing, music, etc. as guests greet her and give blessings.  Meanwhile the groom is in a different room with his men and male family– drinking, toasting, praying, etc.  Eventually, he comes in to the cocktail hour room with a big procession–joyful music, singing, clapping, etc. to meet his bride.  He places the veil over her face himself because in biblical times, jacob was tricked into marrying leah instead of rachel–their father switched brides on him!  So, the groom places the veil himself to ensure he’s marrying the right bride!  Then, the bride and groom exit to lots of singing, celebrating etc.  They go off to sign the ketubah, and shortly after, the guests enter the sanctuary to await the start of the wedding ceremony. 

 You might not be interested in doing all that traditional stuff, but I just wanted you to know that it’s very common for jewish weddings to have a cocktail hour first!  Anita Diamant’s book "The New Jewish Wedding" was very helpful.  Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
6 posts
Newbee
Post # 10
Member
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2007

We just did a wedding last weekend with the ceremony at the same venue as the reception.  We only had the courtyard open and side restaurant open for the guests.  We had the bars open and some very light appetizers out.  We then did a formal cocktail hour immediately after the ceremony.  There was no issue about guests being liquored up before the wedding, and we retrieved their champagne/wine glasses as they walked into the ceremony.

HJ – I love Anita Diamant!

Post # 11
Member
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

If alcohol (and snoring) is something you want to avoid…try something else…depending on the location there might be a local drink that makes sense, guava juice, sparkling lemonade, iced coffee, hot cocoa…I dont see how you can go wrong with anything as long as you tie it to your theme!

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