Post # 1
So I’m planning to have my ceremony and reception in different venues. Ceremony will be at a church and the reception will be at a winery 12 minutes from the church.
Is it standard to have a cocktail hour at the reception venue?
Post # 2
Yes. It is an hour for guests to mingle while you take photos and arrive at the venue yourself.
Post # 3
Makes more sense to have it at the reception venue; that will be more of a mingling party atmosphere and also it will help absorb the staggered arrivals of your guests and you.
Post # 4
Generally the cocktail hour is held at the reception venue. Cocktail hour generally consists of, well, cocktails (i.e. alcohol, as well as hors d’oeurves) and you wouldn’t want people hopping into their cars after that to go to the reception.
You don’t have to have a cocktail hour, but that generally only works if the ceremony and reception are being held in the same place AND you decide to do all of your photos before the ceremony and are going straight into the reception. Otherwise, the cocktail hour is for people to get settled and mingle before the reception and for you and others to get photos done before the reception so that your guests are always fully hosted without a gap.
Post # 5
We are having our ceremony and reception at different locations. We are having a little cocktail hour (no alcohol) at our ceremony location so we can take pictures with friends and family directly after the ceremony. Our ceremony location is a community centre with lots of green space and it’s by the water so it’s perfect for pictures. Our reception hall is in an urban part of town with nowhere to take photos so to us it was just better to do it this way. It was also a lot cheaper for our pocket book.
Yes, most people have cocktail hour at the reception venue but you can do whatever you want. It’s your wedding. If you do decide to do it at your ceremony venue though. Make sure it’s alcohol free like mine is going to be so nobody drinks and drives.
Post # 6
We are also having our ceremony and reception in different locations (church, then going to a hall). We are leaving enough room for people to get to the reception venue (a twenty minute drive), and we are holding a cocktail reception there for them while we get our photos done. It will give our guests plenty of time to get there, have a drink, and get settled. It’s a nice opportunity, I think, for your guests to have a bit of a breather before the actual dinner.
Post # 7
Have the cocktail hour at your reception venue. Your guests will have something to do and places to sit/stand in groups while you do pictures before you arrive at the reception.