Post # 1
I hate cocktail hour. I don’t say that to be rude, as I understand it’s pretty necessary in the vast majority of weddings. But as a guest at every wedding I’ve attended, I’ve always found it to be a long and arduous process, and it always lasts more than an hour. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need constant entertainment and I enjoy conversation, but I just get so bored waiting! I obviously would never say anything to the hosts or any other guests and I make sure I am acting as pleasant as possible, but inside I just wish everything would hurry up and get to the fun part!
I’m trying to figure out my own timeline and I really don’t want to force a cocktail hour (or two, as it seems) on my guests when I myself can’t stand them. Is there some kind of alternative that works or has been used? I’m up for creative solutions, common alternatives, or a reality check.
Also, just for fun, I’d love to see if other people are like me and just don’t like cocktail hour!
This topic was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by CanadaMoose.
Post # 2
CanadaMoose: If you have a cocktail hour, it can be as short as you want. Many couples use them to fill part of the gap while they have pics taken. If you don’t want a long cocktail hour, take most of your pics before the ceremony- all the ones that can be taken with the bride and groom separately- you, the bridal party, him, the groomsmen, your family, his family. After the wedding take the couple and joint family pics.
Post # 3
I don’t have any strong personal feelings about cocktail hour. I can take it or leave it, but I do think a cocktail hour can be an unnecessary expense, and if you don’t like it and can avoid it, then do so! You’d probably save money on hors d’ouevres and booze. It’s all about the timing. If you can get your pictures in before the ceremony, then you can just go straight from ceremony to reception. Alternatively, you can have a different sort of cocktail hour, with some sort of activity, like a photo booth (so people don’t waste time in line for photos when they could be dancing at your reception!!) or games or something. I guess it depends a lot on your venue and the kind of wedding you’re planning.
Post # 4
I love cocktail hour, so I’d be bummed if I went to a wedding without one. And, well, unless you plan on going from the ceremony straight to the reception activities (speeches, dinner, etc.), it’s kind of necessary.
Post # 5
The cocktail hour is mainly used as a way to entertain your guests while you take pictures. A good way to avoid it is to do a “first look” (pictures before the ceremony) so you can go straight to dinner (or whatever you are doing) or have a shortened cocktail hour. I think half an hour is nice to stretch my legs (if you have a long ceremony) or talk to people I couldn’t talk do during the ceremony.
I am doing a first look, thus will be attending our own cocktail hour. It won’t be an entire hour likely, however. Just until the dinner is ready.
Post # 6
I love cocktail hour! I enjoy passed appetizers much more than a sit down meal, as you get to taste a whole bunch of different types of food without feeling full. It’s also a great time to socialize and talk to a bunch of different people. Once you get to the reception, people tend to stick to their ‘table’ and are less likely to venture out of their circle.
What exactly do you not like about cocktail hour? Is it because the bride and groom aren’t there? If so, you could have all of your wedding party take pictures before the cermony. Otherwise it’s pretty much unavoidable.
Post # 7
The thing I don’t like about cocktail hour is that it feels like a lot of standing around with people I don’t know on a personal level. It’s filled with small talk. And small talk makes me nutty – I can only stand so much chat about each other’s jobs and SOs and families and the weather before I want to bang my head on the wall. It’s not so much about the bride and groom not being there (I completely understand why cocktail hours happen), I just find myself wanting to sit down with people I know and genuinely enjoy talking to, have a nice meal with some drinks, listen to the great things people have to say about the couple in speeches (I actually love speeches, they’re always hilarious at weddings I’ve been to), and bust a move on the dance floor.
To be fair, I am also not keen on things like cocktail parties and house parties. And I’m not a fan of meeting strangers and old acquaitances at bars. Basically, I find it uncomfortable to be around a lot of people I don’t really know, talking about mundane and “catching-up-after-years” things.
It might be just me. And if it is, I’ll just write it off as a quirk!
Post # 8
I haven’t been to too many weddings, but it’s not common in my family. If you don’t want a coctail hour, don’t have one. We didn’t have one at our wedding.
Post # 9
I agree that the cocktail hour is totally not necessary. You don’t need to be a slave to tradition. Heck, you could have a potato sack race at your wedding if you wanted to. It’s YOUR wedding! Just don’t factor one in! Just be prepared to have your guests entertained somehow if you are going to make them wait to eat dinner (if you are taking pictures after the ceremony).
Post # 10
You always have the option of going straight to dinner / reception. Most of the cocktail hours I’ve been to were about giving the couple time for post wedding photographs. If you’re not doing that, then skip it.
Post # 11
CanadaMoose: I have never even heard of cocktail hour until I started watching TLC wedding shows. All the weddings I’ve been to in Sask/Albera don’t have them. Typically you go to the ceremony at 2 or 3 pm, then the bridal party goes and takes pictures while the rest of the guests do whatever. Usually as a guest, we go to a bar or restaurant, or back to the hotel to have some drinks. Then speeches and dinner start at 5 or 6. I don’t really understand why there is so much food at cocktail hour, then you have dinner immediately following. It seems like a unnecessary expense to me.
Post # 12
CanadaMoose: I personally like a cocktail hour – gives me a chance to walk around, enjoy the venue, and say hello to people that I may know. After sitting during a ceremony, it’s a nice change of pace. If you don’t enjoy it, you don’t have to do it! You can move right into your reception. Just plan on doing pictures or taking a moment with your SO at another time.
Post # 13
It sounds like cocktail hour is a normal occurance in your area. If you do not want to have one, you need to have a first look and do all your bridal party pictures prior to the ceremony. That way, you can move directly from the ceremony to the intro/meal/etc.
If you do not want to have your pictures before hand, you need to have cocktail hour or some kind of entertainment for your guests. To me, gaps between the ceremony and reception without something to do are rude. It doesn’t HAVE to be cocktail hour though. It could be tickets to a local site, some games to play, a cheesy movie on a projector, a slide show, whatever. Just something to keep your guests happy.
Post # 14
So plan activites instead. Have games, a scavenger hunt, entertainment like a mini casino or fortune teller. Do whatever you want
Post # 15
“I’ve always found it to be a long and arduous process” — Sitting at a table with a drink and some shrimp is an arduous process?
“I just find myself wanting to sit down with people I know and genuinely enjoy talking to” — What’s stopping you? I don’t understand how you’re being forced to stand around with people you don’t like. How is the hour before dinner different than the hour after dinner as far as who you spend it with?
I love cocktail hour. And it’s usually not just there for the heck of it, it’s to host guests while the bride and groom are taking pictures. If the reception is immediately following the ceremony, no need for cocktail hour. But if you’ll be taking pictures or otherwise having any kind of gap, you need to provide for your guests during that time.