(Closed) Cocktail hour… DO you have to have one?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
399 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

You dont have to have a cocktail hr actually you can do whatever you want if its your wedding or your daughter’s wedding. I didnt do a cocktail hr because we were not allowed to have alcohol at my reception hall but some guests did have beers out in their car and would go out once in awhile. Now dance floor would be nice. Just have enough space to where you can dance. Doesnt have to be an actual dance floor just some room.

Post # 4
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Usually a cocktail hour is used to fill in a gap between the ceremony and reception. If no gap, no need to have a cocktail hour. Even with a gap, it’s not necessary but certainly nice to provide guests with something to eat and drink while they’re waiting. I like cocktail hours because it gives you a chance to move and mingle between the sitting still you do at the ceremony and the sitting still you usually do during the dinner hour.

Whether to have a dance floor depends on whether you want people to dance! People will have more fun dancing on a wood floor than on grass or other less desirable surfaces (eg, brick or whatever might be outside). Basically if it’s a smooth surface which doesn’t create friction, it’s good. I am having dance “space” instead of a defined dance floor but my whole venue space has wood floors so it doesn’t really matter.

Post # 5
4674 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

We are serving cheese/ fruit and veggie plates during the ‘gap’ when the bridal party, My Fiance and I are getting our pics taken. We are also asking the bartenders to be their as soon as the ceremony is over.  If you can I think its nice to offer something for all of those guests to do, but it isn’t necessary to do a full blown cocktail hour.  

Post # 6
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

You don’t “have” to do a cocktail hour but if you are encouraging guests to be seated for the heavy app buffet, a cocktail hour (or cocktail half hour) allows them a chance to mingle and chat before breaking into smaller groups for tables.

Post # 7
341 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I agree wit

View original reply
@Eglantine:, I think that the point of the cocktail hour is to give the guests something to do while the bridal party and everyone takes photos between the ceremony and the reception (if they’re doing that).  It’s not really necessary, but it’s a really nice thing to do for the guests while they’re waiting if you can do it.

Post # 9
9541 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

You do not have to have a cocktail hour. I like them but they aren’t necessary.

First, I’m estimating an 80% acceptance rate which would put your guests at 176. But if you have lots of people from out of town it might be closer to 130. My question is if there is also a dinner or if the heavy h’orderves are the meal for the wedding?

If you’re having a dinner later then your heavy h’orderves right after the ceremony is essentially your cocktail hour. I think you need to provide drinks but they don’t have to be alcoholic.

If the heavy h-orderves are the meal then I don’t think you have to have a cocktail hour. As long as your guests aren’t staning around waiting for the family and bridal party to be done wiht pictures then you can just go right into the reception.

You could also do a dry cocktail hour if you need time for pictures. Just set out punch and lemonade and tea and maybe some candy or very light h’orderves

And about the dance floor. I really didn’t want to invest in a dance floor but the more people I talked to I was conviced that people won’t dance (at least not as much) if there isn’t a designated dance floor. So I’m biting the bullet and renting one. Just depends on how important dancing is to the wedding.

Post # 11
2692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I think if you anticipate dancing, a dance floor would be nice.  But you don’t need an actual floor, just designate a space for that in how you arrange the tables.

Coctail hour is not necessary, especially if dinner is right after the ceremony.  It’s nice to have though if you plan to have your guests wait while you’re otherwise occupied.

I plan to have a cocktail hour, but for now it’s just cheese and cracker trays and small apps.  Not sure how the logistics will work on that as not sure if we can even have it at the church.  If we can’t, then we’ll have the “cocktail” hour at the venue: the caterer includes 3 apps per peron in the meal package.  We can add the regular apps we already planned on as well.

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