Post # 1
My favorite part of a wedding is the cocktail hour- the food is usually the best, the mingling is good for the getting, and everyone is on a high from witnessing the ceremony (not to mention the booze is a flowing). We are taking the majority of the photos before the ceremony, but we are taking our family photos after. I don’t want to miss out on the cocktail hour, so we were considering having an hour and a half cocktail hour (plenty of passed apps to go around!) There is also a carousel to which we will be providing tickets, and personalized crossword puzzles that I’m making. My question is- have you ever been to a wedding or had one yourself with a cocktail hour that was an hour and a half? Did it feel too long or was it ok? Thanks for your help!
Post # 3
I’ve been to two weddings where the cocktail hour was about an hour and a half. Wedding #1 felt WAY too long and the guests were visibly getting antsy. I think this was because the wedding had a very stuffy vibe to it and the party never really got going so to speak.
Wedding #2’s hour and a half cocktail hour FLEW by. I think this was because it was more of a party/drinking atmosphere and the guests were a little more laid back and fun.
So, I guess it just depends on the vibe of your wedding. Just like some weddings are super fun and some are on the boring side, so can cocktail hours.
I think with all the stuff you have planned, you should be totally fine and I have a feeling your wedding will have that fun vibe to it. So, I say go for it!! 🙂
Post # 4
We are doing 75-90 minutes. I have been to a longer one where there was a ton of food and it was nice. It was especially nice to be able to eat and mingle before a plated dinner. My wedding is in a few weeks and we are doing our pics between the ceremony and reception. This way we can still enjoy the cocktail hour even if we take a little longer than expected(I am not missing those baby lamb chops!) and it also gives some leeway for guests that don’t show up at 6 on the dot.
Post # 5
I love the cocktail hour, too, but when it goes much longer than the actual hour it can start to feel too long. The food runs out (or is impossible to get to because the same 3-4 people have strategically placed themselves in the best position to mob the servers as they emerge from the kitchen with the passed apps… I swear this happens at every.single.wedding), I get tired of standing in high heels, etc.
Since you have some activities planned, I think you can do an hour and a half (no longer!) if there is plenty of easily accessible food and drink available for the entire time, and if there are plenty of places for people to sit.
Post # 6
I’ve been in 2 weddings with long cocktail hours.
The 1st wedding was terrible. They ran out of food and it was super hot outside. Plus I had to stand in heels the entire time.
The second wedding was awesome. They had more than enough food and drinks and they even had lawn games to keep people busy.
I think that as long as your guests are occupied and having fun one and a half hours will fly by!
Post # 7
i am considering 1.5 hours for my cocktail hour too. most of our pics will be done pre-ceremony but then family shots post ceremony. i want to enjoy the food, the drinks and the mingling. we will have smaller tables for people to sit at if they are tired of standing. plus, we will have our custom backdrop for guest to take pictures in front of.
Post # 8
One cocktail hour that was longer than an hour was actually really nice because it was set outside on a grassy yard right on the lake shore. The view was amazing and there was a bar on the deck with tables and chairs in the yard.
Post # 9
I recently went to a wedding with 1.5 hour cocktail hour. It did feel abnormally long to me and at around the 1 hour mark I was getting bored and hungry for real food. There were plenty of tray passed h’or dourves, but after consuming all the booze I was ready for real food.
Post # 10
Our cocktail hour was around an hour and a half long. Our guests were never bored or hungry as we had snacks and activities availble for the entire time (we served hot chocolate and apple cider and outside people could roast s’mores or enjoy maple taffy on snow. We also had a horse drawn sleigh to ride). I think as long as your guests are being entertained and fed, they’ll be fine with a cocktail hour that is half an hour longer.
We took all our photos before the ceremony so I was with my guests during the cocktail hour. I talked to soo many people and didn’t get a chance to eat anything, but I was really happy I was able to mingle with guests!
Post # 11
I think the cocktail hour is way more fun for the guests than it really is for the bride and groom. They can barely walk two feet without someone stopping them to hug them and chat and then the next guests closest come over…unless you can be a bit rude, you won’t get very far in your mingling, and for that reason alone, I wouldn’t extend it.
Post # 12
I think as long as you can provide enough for people to do (photobooth, food, games, etc.) during that time than 90 minutes is fine. Like PP’s I’ve had good and bad experiences with longer cocktail hours.
I wanted to do some silly things to occupy people’s time because we were going to be out taking pictures during the cocktail hour (we ended up only being there for about 20 minutes of it!). But I couldn’t pull all of my ideas together… Mad libs, trivia, silly books, etc.
The result was a kind of awkward cocktail hour. The guests didn’t seem to talk to anyone out of their ‘clique’ so when we finally got there it was like one group by the food, one by bar, one sitting at a table, etc. It was so weird. I think they were ready for dinner to be served and get on with the night.
Post # 13
I would also strongly consider having some kind of stationary appetizers (even something simple like a fresh fruit, cheese, and cracker display) in addition to the passed apps. People are at their hungriest at cockail hour, and if the wait staff is unable to circulate because they keep getting bombarded by the same people, it can be really frustrating for the less bold. As a guest I really appreciate having food I can help myself to without having to jockey for position.
Post # 14
@sailor: the menu is locked in at this point, but thank you for the suggestion!
Post # 15
@Mrs. Meowerson: Thanks for asking this question.
And thanks everyone else for the answers. We were thinking about doing the same thing.
We’re having lawn games (washers, bags, horseshoes, croquet, giant jenga.) There is also a jungle gym for the kids. We’re planning on having all the food set up on a table for people to come and go as well. So hopefully it will work out for us.
I didn’t think about the extra seating though! That’s helpful.
Post # 16
I have been to one that long. It worked because there was sooooo much food. Many stations and well as passed hors. There was always something new to try, and people were mingling and having fun, and never hungry. Cocktail hour is one of my favorite parts of a wedding, so I loved it.
I think as long as you keep your guests occupied, with food and/or activities, it works.