Post # 1
Our wedding and ceremony will be in the same place, so after the ceremony we were going to have a short “cocktail hour” to do a recieving line and mingle, and give guests a chance to find their seats and get comfortable. The ceremony woud be at 5 and cocktail hour would be from 6:00-6:45 and dinner would be at 7. During that time there will be an open bar since we have it all night.
Im from the midwest and have never been to a cocktail hour with food until i moved to NY. My family is used to drinks and mingling until dinner starts. But his family and our friends from NYC are used to the elaborate cocktail hours they have here. Even adding just fruit or cheese and crackers will cost us a few hundred dollars with our venue, which is not something we really want to pay since we are having a late night buffet and huge servings at dinner.
So do you think we need food since its such a short period of time?
Post # 3
I tend to think it’s never a good idea to serve alcohol without at least some snacks to go with it. Alcohol on an empty stomach is no good.
Post # 4
I personally think just drinks is fine, especially since it is a very short time frame.
I have been to elaborate cocktail hours at NJ weddings, and usually people eat enough they are not hungry for dinner. It would probably be easier to just have drinks so people don’t have to carry plates or napkins, etc. They can just stand and mingle.
Post # 5
What time are you actually starting dinner service? I know the dinner reception starts at 7pm but is that the time you are opening up the buffet?
I tend to think there should be food with a cocktail hour – but, if you can’t afford it, it’s a good thing there is a short gap between ceremony and reception.
Post # 6
It may be best to have a little something to eat during cocktail hour if you are serving alcohol. Not necessarily anything elaborate, but something for the person/people who have an empty stomach and are consuming alcohol. If necessary, maybe you could eliminate a little bit from the late night buffet and move the funds toward a little something during cocktail hour.
Post # 7
Edit to add: The last wedding I went to had beer/wine at the cocktail hour and cheese/crackers, salmon/pate type finger foods. I didn’t eat any of it, because flies were sitting on it. That said – having a couple of drinks and standing around during cocktail hour was just fine (without food).
What I would have preferred (over food) was a chair to sit on!!
Post # 8
I’d suggest at least cheese and crackers. Alcohol on an empty stomach isn’t a good thing.
Post # 9
I would have at least cheese and crackers, if not a couple different horsdourves or however you spell that LOL. Your guests will likely be hungry…
Post # 10
yes. if you get them drunk without feeding them, it will only result in tears for you when a drunk uncle goes crazy at the reception. It’s not a short period of time. They probably left the house at 4, meaning they last ate at 3, you give them booze, then they really won’t eat again until 7:30 until the meal is really served.
If expense is the biggest issue, could you hand out cookies right after the ceremony? That way it’s BYOC instead of paying upchages at the venue.
Post # 11
just a heads up – we had so much food during our cocktail hour that guests were a bit antsy as we sat down for first course – they all ended up dancing and getting wild DURING the formal sitdown section of the evening. Having “light” appetizers is highly recommended from this bride 🙂
Post # 12
I’m with the folks in the light appetizers/cheese and crackers camp. We had a few passed apps at our cocktail hour and our guests still ate all their delicious dinner. I think people also appreciated having a bit of a snack since it had propbably been a while since their last meal before the ceremony.
Post # 13
My ceremony is at 5:00pm and I am planning on serving dinner at 6:00pm. The cocktail hour for me will only last maybe 40 minutes in between ( we are having a VERY short ceremony). I don’t plan on doing apps, but if the guests had to wait over an hour then I would have provided something small to nibble on.
Post # 14
Yes you should serve food. If your ceremony starts at 5 that means that guests probably haven’t eaten anything since lunchtime – maybe 2 PM at the latest. That means it will have been between 4-6 hours since the last time they ate. They will have just sat through a ceremony and will be antsy and starting to have drinks and will have to wait another hour or more to have a true meal. People will want food – at LEAST (like, bare minimum) have cheese and crackers and a fruit display.
Post # 15
Drinks + empty tummy = potentially unruley guests
Post # 16
Thanks ladies. We are going to do fruit and veggies.