Post # 16
Daisy_Mae: During the wedings I’ve been to, the people I’m comfortable with tend to enjoy wandering and chatting with others and catching up during cocktail hour, whereas after dinner is when there are speeches and the dancing starts. I also find that after the dinner, people don’t mingle quite as much on a “talking” level, moreso on a “everyone is dancing” level, which I quite like.
Post # 17
I agree with others. If you are going straight to the reception with your guests, you don’t need to do a cocktail hour. That being said I look forward to it. They usually have some kind of food also and it is a nice chance to say hello to those you do know and check out the venue. I think it would be more awkward to stand around waiting for the bride and groom to arrive. I also don’t want to play games at a wedding reception.
Post # 18
Cocktail hour can be less fun if the guest is attending by himself/herself and doesn’t know anyone at the wedding. Small talk can be awkward although you never know what kind of connections you might make. If you want to make that time slot more interesting, you might have more activities available besides eating, drinking, and mingling. Something visual to look at or something interactive (e. g photobooth, opportunity to write a message, etc.) could be a fun alternative. You could also encourage people to take pictures during “cocktail hour,” which might hit two birds with one stone.
Post # 19
I’m having the venue serve up the appitizers (really good ones) and startt serving drinks during that time to. Some people have added games and such for guests to play during the cocktail hour.
Post # 20
Cocktail hour is the best part of the wedding (other than the ceremony!) and has the best food! In my area, anyway.
Post # 21
- Wedding: November 2014 - Nazareth Hall
CanadaMoose: My cousins had lawn games and a live band during their cocktail hour which was awesome and made the time pass.
We did a bunch of hors d’oeuvres, a build your own smores bar, and hot chocolate/apple cider for our guests to warm up. We also took that time to mingle because we took all our photos before. Once we had our marriage license signed, we headed downstairs and got to talk to most of our guests.
What I tend to not like about cocktail hour is it’s a bunch of people youre being forced to mingle with, a bar line that’s out the door long, and no hors d’oeuvres. If those things are not present (i.e. lots of food, flowing bar, good music, and friendly people…) I’m usually okay
Post # 22
CanadaMoose: Oh my god, I LOVE cocktail hour. It’s my favorite part of weddings. I find most hors d’ouevres taste better than wedding food. I’m not sure why you think you’re stuck talking to certain people….just talk to who you came with.
And if you don’t want one – just don’t have one.
Post # 23
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
CanadaMoose: I love them personally! Love the chance to catch up with friends or family and have a couple drinks free form before we all get seated for dinner etc.
Post # 24
I’ve been to weddings with different types of cocktail hours. Although, like many other posters, I generally enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres more than most of the sit-down dinners that follow, I also am not a fan of standing in heels, holding a purse, and attempting to balance a beverage and small plate of hors d’oeuvres in one hand while eating with the other. I like weddings that offer plenty of seating during the cocktail hour. I’ve been to several weddings in which guests go directly to the reception and can bring their plates of hors d’oeuvres and their beverages to the tables where they will be seated during the dinner. If you do that, then guests who want to avoid a lot of small talk can simply get their drinks and hors d’oeuvres and sit down at the table with some of those they’ll be seated with for the rest of the evening, while those who wish to socialize more broadly can enjoy doing so.
Post # 25
CanadaMoose: The reason why people have cocktail hour is to give the bride/groom and the bridal party enough time to get pictures taken after the ceremony. If you don’t want cocktail hour then you really don’t need to have one. Just take all your pictures before the ceremony.
Post # 26
CanadaMoose: It’s interesting that the thing you don’t like about cocktail hour (talking to people you don’t know) is the thing I like most about it! I’ve never resorted to small talk at happy hour – there is so much else wedding related to talk about. I spend the whole time talking about the wedding – either the cermony (what did you think of the brides dress?) or the upcoming reception (what do you think their first dance will be?) If it’s someone you don’t know at all “how do you know the bride/groom” is a great ice breaker. Talking to people you don’t know is an important life skill – I’d recommend you embrace it and try it at your next cocktail hour.
On your actual wedding day, go ahead and skip the cocktail hour and take pictures before the cermony. It’s your day to have exactly the type of wedding you want 🙂
Post # 27
I love using cocktail hour to explore the venue, admire the decor (like centerpieces and flowers and what have you), and sign the guestbook. Plus, it gives me a chance to smoke a cigarette before dinner!