Post # 1
We are just starting to think about the timing of our day. Our minister told us she would do the ceremony whenever we want, which is great, except maybe if she had a specific time this would be easier to figure out lol.
Here are the details. Our church is about a 20-30 minute drive from our reception. We’re planning on having photos taken AFTER the ceremony, and the photos will be taken near the reception site.
We have the restaurant (reception venue) from 4pm onwards (til closing at 2am or something). I want dinner to be around 6:30 or 7pm.
Right now our plan is 2pm ceremony (about an hour), 5pm cocktail hour. Is this reasonable or should we start our cocktail hour earlier?
How long should a cocktail hour be?
Post # 3
or ceremony is about 30 mins long, starting at 1:30. Our cocktail “hour” starts at 4 and goes til 5:30 when dinner will be served. then, we dance. sweet.
so, what i’m saying is, I think a 2 pm ceremony with a 5 pm cocktail hour start is just fine.
Post # 4
Either way, you’re going to leave a lot of down time in between.
I think a good length of a cocktail hour is an hour to be perfectly honest. It gets really long (and people tend to drink too much) if it’s any longer than that.
It’s probably a better idea to say the cocktail hour starts at 5:30 or 6pm and let your guests find another activity in between. Otherwise maybe mention that the cocktail hour is from 4-7pm so guests don’t feel like they have to go for 3 hours before the reception begins.
Post # 5
Our cocktail hour is set for about 1 hour 15 minutes. Like you, we are doing photos during this time and our reception and ceremony locations are about 45-60 minutes apart. I wanted to squeeze in more time so we are not rushed with photos but am also trying to plan dinner to begin before the sun goes down so I had to deal with 75 minutes. I think anywhere from 1 to 2 hours is fine for a cocktail hour.
Post # 6
Do you think we should start the ceremony later to have less of a gap?
Post # 7
Ours is an hour, from 7pm to 8pm. I think an hour and a half is fine…2 hours is pushing it, and people are going to end up drinking and eating a lot more at cocktail hour. If you can push your ceremony back a little, I think that would be good. And it sounds like either way, people will have a gap–even if you have the cocktail hour at 5, dinner at 7, the ceremony will be over at 3, and so people will have about 2 hours before cocktail hour starts?
Post # 8
We have a cocktail “hour” going from 4 – 5:30 pm too.