Skip cocktail hour?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

No reason to have it.  I just attended one that skipped it.  The dinner was buffet so it took awhile before we ate.  Otherwisee for a plated dinner I think it’s unnecessary. 

Post # 3
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I have actually never been to a wedding that had a cocktailhour… Only on Friday Bride day on TLC…. So I deff would not miss it … usually they have veggie trays or candy bars while we have waited for pictures but, if you are not doing pictures I dont see the purpose in a cocktail hour… it is just to hold people over and give people something to do to hold them over till you get there…

Post # 4
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

FI and I  tried to skip cocktail hour and it’s so ingrained that it’s difficult for vendors to skip now. My venue requires 20 minutes to move chairs from the outdoor ceremony area to the indoor reception area. And we will take 2 or 3 extended family photos. And our photographer wants to take portraits of FI and I as late as possible for best lighting. Sigh. So we’re taking 30 minutes instead of an hour, and we will have a fruit display so no one is drinking on empty.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by  BradysBee.
Post # 5
1443 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - parent's backyard

I’ve only been to a few weddings with cocktail hours. I think it’s a luxury and not necessary. I would suggest having something waiting for them to drink at their tables though, preferrably bottles of wine but at they very least carafes of water.

Post # 6
595 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think many people will miss it since they will all pretty much get fed right away at dinner. But I do have to say that cocktail hour was the time that I really did get to spend and interact with all of my guests. It was really important for us to have a cocktail hour for that specific reason. We didn’t want to scramble around during our reception making sure we were able to speak with all of our guests and take all the pictures that they wanted with us. 

Post # 8
8389 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I’ve never been to a wedding that didn’t have a cocktail hour, but I think the original purpose of one was to allow time for pictures.  I personally enjoyed doing pictures beforehand and getting to enjoy my cocktail hour, but I’m not sure it’s neccessary.  I think as long as your guests have a place to go and something to eat/drink, it’s not a big deal.

Post # 9
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Depending on the size of your wedding, it can take a surprising amount of time to herd everyone from the ceremony area to the reception area (people take bathroom breaks, freshen up their makeup, etc).  So you might have 15-20 minutes for mingling in between.  I think 1 welcome drink per person is a nice touch (even if it’s non-alcoholic), and much cheaper than the full cocktail hour with canapes.      

Post # 10
5787 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

As a guest, I really enjoy cocktail hour because it gives me a chance to mingle with folks I might not see later on in the evening; if we’re not seated at the same table for the reception and someone leaves early, I would never get a chance to talk to them, and the bride and groom are usually so busy later in the reception with dances and toasts and such that at a lot of weddings I’ve been to, the cocktail hour was the only time I actually got to talk to them!  I would really feel like there was something missing from the overall event without the cocktail hour, especially if I had traveled across several time zones because on those events, I’m often the first one to leave— I’m just too tired from all the traveling to stay awake for a lot of reception time.

Post # 11
1104 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Cocktail hour worked out for us being on the schedule because even though we are doing pictures before hand, it will give FI and I a chance to do some one-on-one post-ceremony pictures. Ceremony is also at 4 so it gives some time so that we don’t eat dinner so early. Ceremony and reception are in the same place and gives a bit of a gap from going right from ceremony and into reception. It also isn’t terribly more expesnive for us because we are at a venue that allows us to do our own food and drinks so we just bought more drinks and some appetizer food. 

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