(Closed) Cocktail Hour – should it ever be longer?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

we had an hour lapse between the time the ceremony ended and the time the cocktail hour started which was fine because people had to get from the chruch to the reception venue – luckily our venue was great and said they would have the bar set up in case people got there prior to 5. our cocktail hour was only and hour and im greatful for that – we sat in our holding room for a good 30 minutes while the cocktail hour was going on – i would have liked that time to socialize. but for guests – i dont think they would mind a longer cocktail hour. its free booze!

Post # 4
Member
2714 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

My ceremony and reception are all at the same venue, so there won’t be any gap between the two. That being said, our cocktail hour is 1.5 hours. It’s just the way our package is with our venue. I’m not too concerned because it’s an open bar and there will be a TON of food. Guests who are fed = guests who are happy.

Dinner will follow immediately after the cocktail hour… so there are no time gaps anywhere in our schedule. Again, another reason why I’m okay with the extra half hour in our cocktail hour.

Post # 5
Member
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

We did have the lovely catholic gap for our wedding, our ceremony ended at 3:30 and our cocktail hour started at 6. Since there was a bar and restraunt at the country club we opened a tab for anyone who arrived early and wanted something to eat of drink.

Post # 7
Member
2580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I like cocktail hour as a time to mingle, but depending on the time of day guests can start to get antsy and hungry if it runs too long. At my friend’s wedding there were only a few passed apps and they were running late with their photos–we were all starving!

I think about an hour is just right, because you want to keep the flow of the reception going and the energy up. If it’s longer than that, sometimes it starts to lag.

Post # 8
Member
284 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

We are going to go straight from ceremony to reception with no cocktail hour. This is because we are going to have a day time wedding and kinda just want to get to the food! Yum…

Post # 9
Member
2714 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@posh_princess: Sounds like your situation is similar to mine!!

Dinner won’t be served immediately after. I mean our cocktail hour goes from 5:30 – 7.. So guests will be heading down to find their seats… Then there are the intros, then we’re doing our first dance and the parent dances. THEN the salad course will start to go out. I think that’s enough time after the cocktail hour… Plus the guests are going to expect to eat dinner so they should know better then to fill themselves up during the cocktail hour!!

Post # 10
Member
2714 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@MM423: Yea I think the key to the extended cocktail hour is making sure there is enough food!! We’re having a few stations plus passed apps.

Post # 11
Member
2580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@TinyTina: Definitely! I wouldn’t mind it as much if there was plenty of food. I remember at that wedding everyone was sort of stalking the catering staff leaving the kitchen and descending upon them in a swarm when they emerged with a restocked tray.

Your timeline sounds resasonable. I like having the first dances before dinner, too, because then you can just get right to the party after dinner! Plus it will still be well within the dinner hour when you sit down to eat.

Post # 12
Member
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

Ours was an hour and half. There were more people invited to the reception then the ceremony, and I didn’t want them to show up early and crash the ceremony so I made sure to have plenty of time between them. I’m sure they would have liked it to be shorter, but it wasn’t worth it for me.

Post # 13
Member
3942 posts
Honey bee

I think its ok to have cocktail hour go a little more than an hour, as long as there are plenty of apps! Last wedding I went to they ran out of everything and dinner wasnt served until almost 4 hours later.

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