(Closed) Do we need food for our cocktail hour?

posted 7 years ago in Food
Post # 3
2313 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

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
4046 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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
7174 posts
Busy Beekeeper

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
2442 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

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
7174 posts
Busy Beekeeper

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
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’d suggest at least cheese and crackers.  Alcohol on an empty stomach isn’t a good thing.

Post # 9
595 posts
Busy bee

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
335 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

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
527 posts
Busy bee

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
38 posts
  • Wedding: September 2011

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
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

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
500 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Drinks + empty tummy = potentially unruley guests

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