(Closed) Cocktail hour… Is there a way to avoid it?

posted 4 years ago in Logistics
  • poll: Do you enjoy most cocktail hours?
    Yes! : (63 votes)
    68 %
    No. : (2 votes)
    2 %
    Not bothered. : (15 votes)
    16 %
    I have never attended a wedding with a cocktail hour. : (13 votes)
    14 %
  • Post # 2
    Member
    47187 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    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
    Member
    893 posts
    Busy bee

    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
    Member
    562 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    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
    Member
    1308 posts
    Bumble bee

    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
    Member
    889 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    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 # 8
    Member
    1497 posts
    Bumble bee

    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
    Member
    1308 posts
    Bumble bee

    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
    Member
    1310 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2015

    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
    Member
    209 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    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
    Member
    376 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2015

    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
    Member
    914 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    My $.02:

     

    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
    Member
    9528 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    So plan activites instead. Have games, a scavenger hunt, entertainment like a mini casino or fortune teller. Do whatever you want

    Post # 15
    Member
    8835 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    CanadaMoose: 

    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.

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