Post # 1
(I also posted this in Logistics)
So, for my reception I either want to go straight from the ceremony to a sit-down dinner or have a cocktail reception where traditional “cocktail hour” appetizers/stations are the main event.
But since cocktail hour is the time the bride/groom/bridal party take pictures, when would I fit the time in?
I don’t need millions of photos, just a few nice shots. I also don’t want to take shots w/ FI before the ceremony.
Would it work to do photos outside the reception?
Post # 3
Have a gap. I’d never heard of a cocktail hour until I started wedding shows. All my previously married friends had their ceremony, a 2ish hour gap, and the reception. If we go ahead with the cocktail hour – which we’re only doing because its all in one spot – we’ll be te first of my friends to have no gap.
Post # 4
(Or you also an all in one venue girl)
Post # 5
I have never been to a wedding with a cocktail hour either. My wedding was actually the first to have a cocktail hour in my circle. We usually just have a gap. I would suggest taking pics two hours before the ceremony with just you, your BMs and your parents. Then the men get there an hr before ceremony time and takes pics with his parents, GM and by himself. You want him to take pics last because you don’t want guests walking in while YOU are taking pics. Then after the ceremony you can take pics altogether and with just you and your hubby. That may take up to 45 minutes but at least it won’t take 2 hours for guests to wait.
Post # 6
Interesting, I have never been to a wedding without a cocktail hour. I wonder if it is a regional thing. Even when there was a gap (only 1 or 2 weddings), they still had a cocktail hour at the reception site before the dinner.
OP, is your venue all in one. If so, it would be weird to have a gap. Why are you against cocktail hour? Just wondering!
Post # 7
@Syzygy88: Do a first look. Seriously – I haven’t heard a single bee regret it.
Post # 8
Everything’s in the same venue for us too, is there a reason you can’t do a cocktail hour? Otherwise, just do a first look! We want to actually go to our cocktail hour (more likely a half hour for us), so we’re doing most of the pictures in the first look, and then a few after shots, and then drinks and food.
Post # 9
Wow. Must be a regional thing. I’ve never been to a wedding without a cocktail hour. I’ve probably been to around a dozen weddings in the last decade. That being said, it’s not like I’d be offended if there was no cocktail hour. But I have to admit that I hate gaps. I never know what to do. If I go back to the room, I relax and don’t want to go out for the recpetion. But, whatever, not the end of the world.
How set are you against first look pictures? I think they’re brilliant. You can get all your pictures done before the ceremony so that you can go directly to your dinner and not have to miss any of the reception. From what I have heard from most brides, it’s hard enough to make the rounds and speak with all the guests during the reception – don’t make it harder on yourself by trying to leave to take pictures as well.
Post # 10
we didn’t have an official cocktail hour at our wedding. we had a gap between our ceremony and reception. we took some pics at the church right after the ceremony and then went to the reception site for more photos.
we spent about an hour and half total taking pics– 30-45 minutes at the church and then maybe another hour at the reception. we got it done pretty quickly.
Post # 11
Wow! So many responses already. Thank you 🙂
I actually don’t have a venue yet, so I’m not sure if ceremony/reception will be in one place.
@lindseyl06: I love your suggestions. Hadn’t even thought of splitting them up.
I am definitely not against cocktail hour! I think they’re fun. It’s more of a cost thing for me and since I’m only having 50ish guests I want something cozy/intimate – more a fancy dinner party rather than a traditionally structured wedding. But now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t *really* have a reason for not having a cocktail hour…maybe could do a cocktail 1/2 hour haha? And I realize now that a cocktail hour is easier if you have an “all-in-one” venue.
And I’m a dork about the first look thing – superstitious about the groom seeing the bride haha.
Thank you so much for all of your suggestions.
Post # 12
I feel like you can’t have it both ways. You either have to go straight into dinner and therefore do photos before your ceremony or you have to incorporate a cocktail hour or gap before dinner so that you have time for photos. Decide which is more important to you.
I don’t think taking photos during the reception is feasible. You will be talking to lots of people and you really should be around to talk to your guests not off taking photos. Your photos would end up being very rushed and I feel you would be one of those brides on here with regret about their photos and wanting to set up another shoot.
Post # 13
I’ve never been to a wedding with a cocktail hour. But that’s an English thing, I guess because we simply don’t have them.
However, most of the weddings I’ve attended have had a gap between wedding and reception and that’s when the after-wedding pictures are taken.
Sometimes people have laid on canapes at the ceremony venue or, at one wedding, champagne and soft drinks with nibbles in the beautiful gardens adjoining the ceremony venue. Other people send their guests straight onto the reception venue where they can get a drink or a cup of tea until the start of the reception although this is not as formal an arrangement as a cocktail hour. Could you do similarly?
Post # 14
@Steampunkbride: That sounds beautiful. I love that, *literally* a cocktail hour. Not what has ffectively becomes a first course but simple apps and drinks outside. Hmmm, I like that a lot. Gives people a chance to mingle too.
Post # 15
You have three options –
1) create a cocktail hour
2) have a time gap between ceremony and reception
3) do a first look
Post # 16
We did all of our formal photos (families, bridal party, etc) and a first look before the ceremony. After the reception, DH and I went with the photographer seperately to do pictures in the city. it worked very well.