Post # 1
We are getting married on New Years Eve. Because of some family medical issues, we’ve scaled back significantly and opted for a small garden ceremony followed by cocktail hour. Our cocktail hour will serve as our reception and give us a chance to mingle with our close friends and family before heading out to celebrate and ring in the new year in the downtown scene.
We are providing a catered Pasta Bar with salad and breadsticks with beer and wine and of course, cake. The wedding will start at 5:30 followed by the cocktail hour until 7:30pm. I’m having trouble with the wording on my invitations.
Do I just list “Cocktail Hour to Follow”? I do intend to put our webaddress on the invitation or response card-I haven’t decided the best way to list that either. We are doing electronic RSVP’s. I’m leaning toward just listing Cocktail Hour on the invitation and directing people to the website for more information about the wedding on the resposne cards.
I’d love to hear some thoughts and suggestions.
Post # 2
As your providing food anyway I would probably just call it a reception, even if it is short. Cocktail hour implies to me that I might get some snacks but would need to eat a full dinner afterwards, but a pasta bar with salad and cake is sufficient for most people. You could specify timings if you wanted to make that clear e.g ‘reception until 7.30pm’ or ‘2 hour reception to follow’ and then put details of food on the website.
Post # 3
I agree, this is still a reception, even if its shorter.
I’d probably just say dinner [and drinks] to follow. If you’re doing electronic invites w/ a website you can list more info there, along with the times. I think saying ‘dinner’ vs ‘reception’ will get people thinking its not a dancing/all night party, its just dinner after the ceremony. Then you can pass the bar hopping by word of mouth.
Post # 4
I wouldn’t call it dinner. I would simply say Cocktail Reception to follow.
Post # 5
I would say “Dinner and drinks to follow”
When I think cocktail hour I think of a few snacks being passed around on trays. If there is a pasta bar and cake that sounds more like a buffet style reception to me.
Post # 6
I echo what Katie127 said. “Two hour reception to follow.”
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
You have pasta, alcohol and cake so to me it qualifies as reception. However, I’ve realized some have specific expectations when they think of wedding receptions. DJ, announcements, dancing, speeches, etc., If its a simple occasion without all the fluff I would say dinner and drinks to follow as suggested above. How I wish we’d worded it this way…
Post # 8
I would suggest just saying cocktail reception. Also, depending on the size, you can always email people more concrete details once you’ve nailed things down.
Post # 9
I think given your wedding is on NYE and you do not intend to entertain your guests all night (which is typical for a NYE wedding), you DO need to clearly state “cocktail reception 7:30-9pm” or whatever your planned time is. That way, your guests will know they are not being invited to a full NYE event and can make other plans to ring in the new year at midnight.
One question- your ceremony is at 5:30 and the reception starts at 7:30….is there a full mass or long travel distance between venues? Because to have a 1+ hour gap between a ceremony and a short cocktail reception seems inconsiderate.
Post # 10
dgirl715 : the reception/cocktail hour ENDS at 730.
Post # 11
rosebyanyothername : How is pasta, salad, and breadsticks not dinner? “Dinner” sounds much more accurate for this scenario than “cocktail reception”. People might think they need to eat before. Plus, beer and wine aren’t really cocktails. There’s nothing wrong with just beer and wine, but it’s misleading to call that a cocktail reception. And when you add food, that’s dinner.
Post # 12
jellybellynelly : Thanks, I misread the OP.
Post # 13
Daisy_Mae : In our house that’s not dinner. And you are absolutely right you can’t call beer or wine cocktails. oy.
Post # 14
GettinGarza2017 : Thanks to all the well intentioned feedback. I opted for a separate enclosure that says “join us for Pasta & Pinot”