Post # 1
I need your advice. I am one week away from printing invitations and will be having a separate reception card (as the ceremony and reception are at different places).
On the reception card is:
Cocktails at 4 followed by Dinner and Dancing, etc.
We are leaning towards a beer and wine bar (open), and my Father is hung up on the fact that the reception card says Cocktails and there may not be drinks in the bar for "cocktails". He would like to change the wording as not to allude guest.
Only thing I could come up with is horderves.
Post # 3
You could just eliminate any mention of drinks and say something more general, like "Please join us for a reception at four o’clock in the afternoon."
Post # 4
reception works. if you’ll also have light snacks, then you could say refreshments, which does not necessarily imply cocktails.
Post # 5
Call it "Cocktail Hour" which doesn’t necessarily mean there will be cocktails.
Post # 6
I agree with the last girl.. keep ‘cocktail hour’ I always just thought it was the hour between ceremony and reception anyways!! And people will know that too!
Post # 7
I would definitely not call it cocktail hour. Cocktail hour means cocktails will be served and cocktails are mixed drinks. I agree with your dad. It’s not like a guest would be upset to realize they have to choose beer or wine, but why attach the name cocktail to it when there are no cocktails? I would say, "Please join us for appetizers and drinks at 4 o’clock". That way, your drinks can be beer, wine, soft drinks.
Post # 8
How about "Please join us for appetizers and refreshments at four pm. Reception will promptly follow at five".
It is not a cocktail hour. If it were, I’d be expecting either one of the signature drinks everybody is doing these days or a martini…some kind of martini.
But wine is great too!
You COULD serve cheeses with the wine and say something like "Please join us for a wine and cheese hour beginning at four pm." And of course you could have beer and soft drinks for those who don’t drink wine and a few complimenting appetizers that work well with wine and cheese. (gourmet olives, crusty breads, crackers, etc..and all kinds of cheese too! I loves me some brie! 😛 )
Post # 9
Love what bellenga said. "Please join us for appetizers and refreshments at four pm. Reception will promptly follow at five".
We’re doing something similar – beer & wine. Since our wedding is at a winery, we’re not allowed to bring in liquor at all (they don’t have a liquor license), so we’re serving beer & wine only. Our invitations only mention a reception and the time, and I assumed our guests would know there would be a period before dinner to allow people to arrive at the reception site, mingle, wait for the bride & groom’s grand entrance, etc.
Post # 10
I don’t think there’s any reason to call out the "cocktail hour." Most people will assume that there will be an hour before the reception that includes drinks and light food.
We’re having a traditional cocktail hour and even if we weren’t I would still put "Reception Immediately Following the Ceremony" – unless there is a large gap between your ceremony and your reception, in which case you need to state the start time.
Post # 11
I’d personally go with "Please join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres beginning at 4:00" and then the rest of your information. That way people know they’re getting some alcohol (refreshments has always sounded like cake and punch to me – reminds me of 3rd grade birthday parties) and it keeps the elegance of a wedding reception.
Good luck! Let us know what you decide!
Post # 12
I agree with Habibi, why delineate the cocktail hour regardless of what your serving…. I’ve never seen an invite (including my own) that gives a schedule of the night. Just "Reception" and "Time". I think most people assume that there will be some form of a cocktail hour prior to the dinner, no need to mention unless you like how it sounds.
Post # 13
I vote for wine and cheese hour! Artisan cheeses paired with wines, crusty bread, fruits, crackers, gourmet olives and of course you could seve some beer/soft drinks for those who don’t do wine. Could be very elegant!
Post # 14
We’re having a similar setup, and I also like Habibi’s suggestion. If your ‘cocktail hour’ is essentially in the same location and immediately precedes dinner, I don’t think you need to specify it on the reception card. Like some of the other ladies mentioned, "refreshments" sounds like a no-alcohol event (cake and punch), and "drinks" to me just sounds very casual (and still a bit like "mixed drinks"). If you like the "Dinner and Dancing" wording that you originally mentioned, I think you could still say something like "Join us for a reception with Dinner and Dancing…" and no one would be surprised that you served hors d’oeuvres and wine/beer beforehand.
Post # 15
I think that reception to follow at XXX. is all that is needed.
If you want you could put a mention in your program that more specifically mentions immediately following the reception while the bride and groom are having pictures taken there will be refreshments prior to dinner at XXX (or there will be appetizers, beer and wine served prior to dinner at xxx)
Post # 16
We indicated on our invitations that Dinner and Dancing would follow the ceremony. It kind of goes without saying that there will be a period of time before the dinner in which there will be appetizers and drinks, and also that later on you will cut the cake. You don’t have to list every single thing (e.g., Please join us after the ceremony for a cocktail hour, receiving line, buffet dinner, wedding cake, bouquet and garter toss, and dancing…) You get my point. If you want to provide some kind of program for the guests that details the menu and schedule, that should be separate.
Cinderellasmom and others are quite right in that indicating a reception to follow is all that is technically necessary. We called out "dinner and dancing" because we wanted people to know that they should plan to wear their dancing shoes, and that there would be substantial food. Nobody should have a particular need to know in advance what kind of alcohol will or will not be served. And your dad is quite right that the term "cocktail hour" implies a full bar.