Post # 1
Hi all, looking for advice on the following!
We are having our ceremony from 4-5 at a resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Our reception is at the same resort. We were budgeting ~1.5 hours to do pictures with family/ourselves to have the reception start at 6:30 (maybe 7? not sure how long I need for pics?)
From what I understand (I’ve been to exactly 1 wedding, haha), a cocktail hour is intended to keep your guests busy while they are “stuck” at a venue where there’s nothing else to do. We were kind of assuming that might not apply here since Las Vegas has plenty of entertaining things to do — bars, shopping, exhibits, a casino all in the resort itself, let alone the rest of the Strip.
With all that said, should we still have a cocktail hour? We’re leaning towards no but I wanted to see if that would be a huge faux pas in this scenario. Thanks!!
Post # 2
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
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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.