Post # 1
Working on my timeline and I am debating on some unique ideas for a non cocktail hour (2 hours actually). Due to the only time I could rent my dream ceremony venue, we have a two hour gap. Most guests are from the area but others are traveling. We are inviting 150 guests. Guests will be dressed up. My ideas for the two hours:
1. renting a movie theater so guests can enjoy popcorn and our favorite film
2. our ceremony is outside, so renting a pavilion for snacks, board games, music, and bocce
3. renting a meeting room at a library I used to work at and having snacks, games, and lots of pics of us from the year we were born until now. We could then have Polaroids for an interactive guest book or even a photo booth
4. or just shuttling guests to the art gallery to enjoy the time there
Post # 2
I would just do a cocktail hour (or two hours) with appetizers. I don’t get the whole activity thing at a wedding. Dressed up adults usually don’t want to play games or watch a movie they may have already seen or won’t like. An art gallery also doesn’t make sense to me in this context. Let them mingle, eat, and drink.
Is there a reason you don’t want to do a cocktail hour?
Post # 3
2 hours is a long time, even if I’m drinking. I voted for the pavilion with games.
Post # 4
Sorry, I have to vote none of the above. A two hour gap is way too long and a dream venue is not such a dream if it is going to be an inconvenience to your guests.
Post # 5
since “none of the above” isn’t an option I voted for the pavillion.
Post # 6
You’re doing this instead of cocktails?
I think I’d fall asleep with a movie, an art gallery may be nice for me but FI would be bored, being in a nice dress and heels doesn’t exactly make me want to play yard games.
A photo booth would be nice or maybe you could get one of those people who did characitures or something? I don’t know, a two hour gap with no cocktails seems really boring to me.
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast
I hate gaps. Especially long ones and I’d avoid at all possible.
Movie theater sounds fun (depending on the movie). Pavillion sounds fun, depending on the weather. Photo guest book in the library sounds boring to me. Art gallery would be okay.
How far away from the ceremony and reception are these locations?
Another idea I had was to just ‘suggest’ things to do on the program. Especially if there are free things. There’s nothing worse than a 2 hour gap and not even a suggestion. I went to a wedding like that this summer and we ended up at a coffee shop. But we had to find it ourselves. Other guests went looking for a bar… but the hotel bar wasn’t open that early and most of them ended up back at the coffee shop with us.
Post # 8
- Wedding: June 2014 - Gold Hill Gardens
Ginarian: well, since everyone seems like such Debbie Downers here, I thought I’d share our experience. We had a large (~4 hour) gap between our ceremony and our reception. It was all at one place; a 33-acre estate. We provided a picnic-style lunch and a variety of diversions. We had board games and lawn games, picnic blankets, indoor and outdoor places to rest, and a map of nearby wineries that did wine tastings during the gap time. It went VERY well! Although there probably people who complained, we did not hear any of it, and what we have heard was all positive. Our guests appreciated the chance to visit with each other and the time to actually relax. Every option we provided was utilized. So, it IS possible to have a good time during the gap, but you need to make sure to provide lots of options and lots of places for sitting. Hope this helps!
ETA: We let all of our guests know on an insert in the invite that there would be a large gap with a variety of entertainment options. No one was surprised. Many we’re looking forward to it.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2015 - The Fairmont, SF
#1: Not a huge fan of this idea. Your favorite movie may be someone else’s least favorite movie/a movie people aren’t interested in. I’d rather be able to chat with the other guests than sit in silence and watch a film I’ve probably already seen at some point.
#2: I really hate playing games and there’s no way that I’d participate if I was wearing a nice dress and heels but the pavilion and snacks sound fun. At least it’s a chance for guests to choose their activity and enjoy the weather (assuming it’s nice out!).
#3: Definitely “No”. Sorry, I may be really heartless sounding but I don’t even like looking at old photos of myself; I’d really struggle to stay interested if I had to look at pictures of other people for 2 hours. The photobooth sounds lovely, though, I think it’d be better suited to be set up at your actual reception venue?
#4: I think this is the best option of the 4. I’d rather be able to walk around the reception venue, chat with guests, and not have to travel for a third time in a day than any of the alternatives. Would it be possible to incorporate some of the things from #2 into this option? ie, photobooth at the art gallery along with music and snacks?
Obviously cocktail hours are not mandatory but I must admit that I’m a bit curious as to why you’ve chosen not to host one (or at least an appetizer hour) given the length of the gap between ceremony to reception?
Post # 10
Ginarian: Just out of curiosity, why are you trying to steer away from cocktail hour? As you’ve mentioned guests will be dressed up– so while that doesn’t mean that no one will want to play games….cocktail hour just seems like the best bet. Is it because you don’t want to spend the money?
I’d dislike watching a movie in formal garb. I like to be comfy while watching a movie….so a formal dress sounds like a nightmare.
The library idea sounds OK- if it was more like an hour, but two hours? Too long IMO.
The art gallery- while it’s a nice thought- you might have guests who simply don’t enjoy that type of thing. While I enjy celebrating weddings, it’s likely that the last thing I want to do is sit through a quiet ceremony, and then go be quiet for another 2 hours in a gallery….
Post # 11
My guess is the OP wants the cocktail hour at the venue. It is probably provided as part of the reception.
Post # 12
None of the above. 2 hours is too long for an actual cocktail hour, let alone one with no cocktails. After 2 hours plus the ceremony I wouldn’t even be interested in the reception anymore – I’d just be anxious to get home.