Post # 1
So I am having a destination wedding in Puerto Rico for about 20 ppl. It will be a destination for everybody and my fi and I are paying for everything. Right now our budget is $15000, and every cent counts. So as a guest, would you rather have cocktail hour or a welcome dinner? It is going to cost about $1000 for either. Fi thinks cocktail hour is essential so people are not just hanging around while we take pictures. I understand that but I think people would appreciate having a welcome dinner after flying 5 hours to our wedding rather than just seating in their hotel rooms. Nobody lives there so we can’t just host something like a pizza /cocktail party at someone’s house. We have to have it at a restaurant so that means a meal, drink, and then tips.
We might be able to eventually do both if we get more money but now we are faced with cocktail hour vs welcome dinner. What do you ladies think???
Post # 4
I would do the cocktail hour. You never know when people may get in, or what they’ll feel like when they get there… I wouldn’t necessarily expect a dinner the night prior, but if it was a destination wedding I definitely would expect a cocktail hour.
Post # 6
I am gonna go with the cocktail hour. If you did the dinner with the same exact people the night before your wedding, then your wedding would be just another dinner together, but fancier. Not sure if this makes sense.
Post # 9
How long of a break will there be between the ceremony and reception?
Post # 10
@SuperKate: about 45mins to an hour.
Post # 11
Definitely the welcome dinner. It’s nice to gather everyone up when they get there and welcome them to the wedding weekend in a casual and fun way.
Post # 12
I would rather have a welcome dinner to get my footing and get an idea of what all is going on and meet up with everyone. I don’t mind waiting an hour for the reception. Where I grew up cocktail hours were pretty much non-existant though – people would mill about and there would be punch, nuts, and mints instead but no canapes or just a soda bar with no alcohol. And if it’s a tropical location, I’d be happy to look at the water while you did pics 🙂
Post # 13
I’d probably go with the dinner then. That really isn’t too long to have people wait for the reception.
Our Destination Wedding resort was all-inclusive so we opted not to do a cocktail hour, everyone just went to one of the bars. We also all got together for dinner the night before the wedding and everyone had a great time. If you have people who’ve never met before it’s a great opportunity for introductions.
Post # 14
Cocktail hour. I can find dinner on my own and I hate waiting.
Post # 15
Cocktail hour. I would be bored waiting around. While a welcome dinner is a nice gesture if you can afford both, I wouldn’t expect it, while most people will expect a cocktail hour.
Though I as a guest would be fine paying for my dinner if you organized a welcome dinner! It could still be a fun thing as long as you make it clear that it is optional and guests pay their own bill. Seems fair to me!
Post # 16
I vote for cocktail hour. If I’m flying to PR, I’d take advantage of a mini-vacation and go out and explore on my own on the first night.