Cocktail hour or not?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
  • poll: Have a cocktail hour?

    Yes, have a cocktail hour! Rude not to!

    No, don't bother! People can amuse themselves!

    Nobody will care, do what you want!

  • Post # 2
    5019 posts
    Bee Keeper

    The cocktail hour isn’t just to keep them amused when they are “stuck”.  Your wedding should be one event without gaps.  If you choose to do pictures after the ceremony, that is fine, but your guests should be fully hosted for the duration of your event, whether you are there or not.  So that usually results in cocktail hour.  It also really should be no more than one hour.  So I would try to squeeze in some pics before the ceremony if you think you can’t fit it all in an hour (or do all your pictures before and move straight from ceremony to reception).  

    Post # 3
    948 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2019

    Agreed with PP. You’re hosting an event and it’s not in good taste to expect them to entertain themselves in the middle of your wedding while you take photos. To me, it would feel like you just don’t want to pay for it and would rather have people pay out of their own pocket to stay busy. Not saying that’s what you’re trying to do, but it would cross my mind as a guest.

    Post # 4
    2797 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

    You need to host your guests from start to finish of your wedding, without a gap in the middle.  Cocktail hour is necessary!

    Post # 5
    2439 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    If I told my friends and family to go entertain themselves for an hour in Vegas I’d be worried they wouldn’t make it back to the reception lol. 

    I would do the cocktail hour if I were you. 

    Post # 6
    1680 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2019

     I’d do the cocktail hour…  They may down a drink then wander,  but at least they will feel hosted in your absence. 

    To cut down on the gap time, I’m doing pictures with everybody but the groom before the wedding. After ill do ones with him. 

    Post # 7
    8376 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    An hour or 1.5 hrs isnt much in vegas on the strip. Things are spaced far apart, so if they are walking it will take a while to even GET anywhere. Traffic is horrible, so even an uber or taxi could be slow. I too would be worried about them making it back in time (or at all lol). 

    Just do a cocktail hour. 

    Post # 8
    7807 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    You can take most of your pictures before the ceremony, bump your ceremony to 5:30 and move straight into the reception. Otherwise yes, you need to host your guests with a cocktail hour. Have you been to Las Vegas? If you want your guests to attend your reception don’t send them off to amuse themselves for an hour and a half–they may show up two or three hours later. 

    Post # 9
    413 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2019

    1.5 hours is an awkward time gap. It’s not really enough time to do anything substantial, so if I were a guest, I would be concerned about wandering too far from the wedding location, and probably just end up sticking around at the resort until the reception anyway. You said that the resort itself has bars, shopping, and a casino in it, so if that’s the case then maybe people will be fine entertaining themselves. As others have said though, I’d be a little concerned about them returning! I’d still recommend a cocktail hour, because that way it keeps your guests together and also gives them an opportunity to mingle, rather than separating off into groups. 

    Post # 10
    9130 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    View original reply
    mintjulep20 :  Yes, you definitely need to host your guests while you’re off taking pictures. Even with a cocktail hour, you should keep the photos to an hour. People are there to see you and celebrate with you. 

    Post # 11
    7397 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    Yes, you need a cocktail hour. It’s purpose is to keep guests entertained while you’re takig photos…not because they are “stuck” but because it’s the polite and proper thing to do. It’s not your guests job to go find something to do in the middle of your wedding. 

    Post # 12
    17 posts
    • Wedding: March 2020

    If you’re looking to save on cost you could give everyone $5-$10 in chips to the hotel casino, it would be cheaper than hosting the bar and a fun way to bring in the Vegas element 

    Post # 13
    576 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2018 - City, State

    First non family wedding I went to- ceremony at church and reception wasn’t open for 2 hours. I’m trying tinremener what we did I think stood in the parking lot? was awkward

    Nearly every other wedding I’ve been to has been  at the same venue and we had a cocktail hour which was nice 

    Post # 14
    9183 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    View original reply
    mintjulep20 :  We got married in Vegas as well. We had about a two hour gap between the ceremony and the reception. We only had family and close friends in attendance, most of who we wanted photos with. We hired a party bus and we all went on a tour of the strip and freemont st. We had snacks and drinks on the bus and when we made stops (like at freemont st) we took photos. We got some great photos.

    You could send your guests on a strip tour to fill in the time if you wanted to do somethong different. But please don’t leave them stranded and having to get their own wallets out because you want time to take photos.

    Post # 15
    13906 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    Cocktail hour is my favorite part of weddings.  I wouldn’t skip it, even if there are plenty of things to keep people occupied.  Typically, having a gap in events, when not required by religious scheduling, is seen as rude.  Even when a religious scheduling conflict arises and there is a gap, it’s seen as a major inconvenience to guests. 

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