Post # 1
we are having a smallish not traditional wedding. Only about 70 people. Everything will be in the same room.
With our banquet package, we get 2 separate cocktail/open bar hours. The rest of the night will be free beer, wine and soda.
I would love to have a cocktail hour before the ceremony, while the wedding party has some pics done.
I would like our guests to come in and find their seats, then go to the bar and get a drink or two, and mingle!
Then they will be told the ceremony is about to start…we have a short, fun, ceremony performed by a friend, with all our friends giving cheers and raising their drinks to us as we become man and wife.
Then have the second cocktail hour with apps.
After that hour, the buffet will open and dinner can start.
Timeline would go:
4pm-5pm cocktails and seating
5:30pm-6:30pm cocktails and appetizers
Does this sound ok? I know I’ll have to put some sort of wording in the invite to explain that the ceremony will not start till 5.
Post # 2
Sounds fine to me. Just ensure that you communicate that you are having a pre-ceremony cocktail hour, so those who choose to do so, can arrive closer to the time of the ceremony.
Post # 3
I did something very similar and it worked great. My crowd was bigger, about 175 people, and the wedding was also in one room (a large historic dance hall). On the invitation it said “Doors open at 5:30 for pre-wedding cocktails and appetizers. Ceremony begins at 6:30.” Dinner was served around 7:30 so after the short 15 min ceremony, people continued cocktail hour and mingling until the buffet dinner was served. It flowed very naturally and people enjoyed it. I think your timline will work out fine. People generally arrived anytime between 530 and 615.
Edited to add: If you’re not against the bride and groom seeing each other pre-ceremony (we weren’t), it was great for the groom and I to be able to greet and chat with the guests prior to the ceremony for an hour. It gave us time to talk to people we hadn’t seen in a while without the rush of everything going on after the ceremony (dinner, dancing, etc.)
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
I mean it sounds kind of unnecessary. In my experience people use cocktail hour to mingle so there’s no need to have them show up an hour before your ceremony even starts for that. Unless you plan on mingling with them? Then I kind of get it. It also sounds like too much alcohol prior to a substantial meal. But maybe someone more experienced will have advice. I’ve never even heard of two cocktail hours.