Post # 1
So I’ve been seriously struggling with an issue I had. We’re having our ceremony and reception in the same place but our coordinator needs the room clear of guests in order to configure it. I was freaking out thinking it was rude to ask people to leave between and we couldnt do a cocktail hour because of no room/lack of funds.
Well duh, four months to the wedding and I just remembered our venue has an attached private balcony that overlooks a huge lake and arboretum. Do you think it would be okay to have people go out there for the period of time in between ceremony and reception (about 1.5-2 hours)??
I wouldnt want to put out food then because we’re doing a buffet for dinner and then an all you can eat poutine (fries and gravy and cheese for those who don’t know) station for the midnight refreshment. And like I said…lack of funds for booze. Do you think it would be okay just to have lemonade, iced tea, pop, water, and possibly alcoholic punch to serve for the “cocktail” hour?
We and the majority of the guests and big time nerds, so we were even thinking of putting out decks of playing cards and little trivia games for people to get involved in. I am picturing little striped paper straws and glassware and cute cocktail napkins….weird???
My other question – if we decide to do this, there is one slight problem. We already have our invitations and they don’t say anywhere on it anything about a “cocktail” hour. Just about our ceremony and then that we’re having dinner and dancing in the same location starting at six. Should I redo my invitations or just have the officiant announce at the end of the ceremony that the guests are welcome to move out on to the patio for beverages and games? I would also put the info on my website and pass the info along by word of mouth.
What do you think?
Post # 3
i think it’s nice to offer your guests this option, because 1.5-2 hours is kind of not long enough to leave the venue and do much. i would say lemonade and punch is fine (if you can swing the alcoholic punch- bonus), but I also think it would be nice to do a really simple cheese or fruit platter, just so there is something to nibble on. doesn’t have to be elaborate. also- don’t redo your invitations. just spread this by word of mouth or put it on your website. you can also have the officiant mention this at the end of the ceremony.
Post # 4
Do you have a plan if it rains?
Since 2 hours is a long time to be standing around, make sure there is plenty of seating. I like the games idea! I would definitely include an alcoholic option, personally. Also, I agree with the PP about having something light for guests to nibble on. No one will ruin their appetite if they know dinner is coming. I also wouldn’t redo your invites.
Post # 5
Since you’re not planning to serve food during this hour-and-a-half-to-two-hour event, I would discourage the serving of any type of alcoholic punch and encourage you to stick with your idea of lemonade, iced tea, and other soft-drink type beverages. Any type of alcohol without food would not be a wise idea.
I agree with pps that you don’t need to alter your invitations, especially since you really cannot refer to this time period as a cocktail hour (since there won’t be cocktails) or an hors d’oeuvres hour, since there will be no food. I agree that having your officiant or someone else make an announcement that guests are welcome to enjoy some light beverages on the patio while the wedding party takes pictures prior to the reception, which will begin promptly at ___ p.m. That will allow anyone who wishes to leave and return to do so, while also providing some seating and cool beverages for those who would like to remain at the venue and socialize between the ceremony and your reception.
Post # 6
This sounds like a great idea. I definitely would not redo your invitations, just spread the news via word of mouth and on your wedding website. Also have the officiant announce it after the ceremony has ended. Anyone that wants to leave can, and others that would like to stay and have fun can.
Since you’re not having cocktails or hors d’oeuvres, I would refrain from calling it a cocktail hour, just have it announced and light snacks and refreshments, etc. If you have any sort of food, I think having a light alcoholic option is okay. No food? No booze 😉
Post # 7
I would add a fruit or veggie tray out there. Grocery stores usually sell big trays (from the deli) for like 25$ each. I would add that on to eveything else you have as far as drinks. Just something light for people to nibble on, 2 hours is a long time… or you could just buy some bags of apples and oranges (if you are doing a more casual wedding).
I would just include something in the wedding program or have your officant announce it, like PP’s have said.
As far as drinks what you listed is more than fine. Just don’t call it a cocktail hour.
Post # 8
I think you’re idea is just fine…refreshments and card games, etc. I would try to include some sort of snack though (even if it’s just a cracker & cheese thing) if your funds allow. The time between your ceremony and reception is kinda long…you don’t want guests grumpy and hungry. Also, if invites already went out it’s totally acceptable to just have the officiant make an announcement. Word of mouth is also a great way to inform people of your ‘cocktail hour.’ Do you have a wedding website? You could post it there too. Our ceremony and reception are at the same place too and for our “cocktail hour” we’re providing lemonaide, fruit, beer and wine. We’re also doing lawn games because we’ll be outside at a friend’s ranch.