(Closed) Cocktail Hour Timing

posted 9 years ago in South Asian
Post # 3
1580 posts
Bumble bee

I would think that if you put on the invitation something like:

“Ceremony will begin promptly at 6pm”

“Cocktails and Reception Immediately Following”

it should be clear to everyone that they need to be there by 6 to see the ceremony. I wouldn’t want people seeing me in my dress either.

Post # 4
4464 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Agree with Jacqi’s response.  I am so surprised at the amount of people who think it’s totally acceptable to just show up to a wedding whenever they please!

Post # 5
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

runskiclimb, I am STILL trying to figure out how this whole thing will happen without people completely missing or coming in halfway through the ceremony.  The venue we are (possibly) booking says that they will give us an extra hour and half since we’re not using their entire menu.  I’m afraid that people will still be really late though.  Like you, the ceremony will be very short, probably not even 30 minutes so if people come late they’re out of luck.  I want to have the ceremony, cocktail hour and then the reception but I;m not sure that will work.  Stating that the ceremony will begin promptly at such and such time may be helpful but from what I’ve heard (from my fiance and others) that may not mean much to the Indian guests in attendance.  I’m scared!!

Post # 6
298 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Can you get your Future In-Laws to spread the word — sort of, this wedding’s going to be a bit different, if you’re not there on time you’ll really miss it, really, sort of thing?

I agree that you’d probably enjoy a cocktail hour after the ceremony rather than before, and I would want to save showing myself until the walk down the aisle!

ather than a cocktail hour beforehand — could you have some kind of entertainment or something to keep people entertained beforehand, but that wouldn’t require you being there? I went to a Greek wedding recently where this worked really well. People who are early have something to do, your invitations can say ‘celebrations begin at 6pm’, and people should have shown up by the time the ceremony kicks off…

Post # 7
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

We are doing little appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages before the Baraat and Ceremony to allow for people to arrive in a more lesiurely fashion.  This way they can nosh a bit if they have travelled a distance to get to the wedding.  We are then having the normal cocktail hour between the cermemony and reception.  Are you doing a traditional baraat or just going straight to the ceremony?  The Baraat allows some leniency in people getting there a bit late.  Otherwise I agree with the other bees, just make sure that the invite says that the ceremony will begin promptly at 6 and ask his family to help in getting the word out.

Post # 9
1482 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I went to a wedding where the invitation said something like “Cocktails served at 5 pm, Ceremony to begin at 6 pm”.  It gave everyone a little buffer to get there on time and a chance to mingle prior to the ceremony.  The bride and groom did not attend the first part, and there was another “cocktail hour” after the ceremony where appetizers were served and I believe the bride and groom did attend this part.

 I think your guests will be able to “get” what’s going on, especially since everything is all in one place. 

Post # 10
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I think your last idea is a great one — say 6 pm on the invitation and then plan to start half an hour later, with something for those who do arrive at 6 (maybe your parents can host a little tea/coffee/lemonade break with background music from a stereo)?

I have sadly learned to just NEVER count on an Indian crowd to be on time. Some will, some won’t — it’s definitely a regional thing (i.e. my dad’s side is traditional Brahmin and rises at 5 am and is always on time; Mom’s side is Bengali and always half an hour late at least).

Yes these are obviously huge generalizations, and depends on people’s understanding of American wedding etiquette. But even so, I wouldn’t count on the word ‘promptly’ on an invitation. In some parts of India, it’s actually rude to show up on time because it’s the earliest you can arrive, not the latest. It’s as if you haven’t given your hosts the extra time to prepare…you know?

I know it’s an American wedding, and I think all of your guests should certainly respect that…but old habits die hard…

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