(Closed) Never-Ending Cocktail Party…Invitation Wording

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2014


Are you having dinner after? Typically entree choice is only included for a pre-ordered plated meal (not buffet, not heavy appetizers, etc.)

I suggest writing something like “reception to follow” (or something similar and simple) on your invitation to indicate what will be happening. A cocktail hour is just that – a defined period of time. It might be easier to just call it a reception 🙂

Post # 4
9145 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

“Cocktail Reception to Follow”?

Post # 5
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

If the reception is cocktails only you should write “Cocktail Reception to Follow”


You need to let your guests know that a formal dinner will not be served so they can grab dinner before the ceremony if necessary.

Post # 6
8151 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013


At the end of your invitation write:

Cocktail reception to follow

Post # 7
3736 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

How about “A Cocktail Reception and Dancing to follow?”

Post # 8
609 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

is it just me or does that still sound like a cocktail hour then reception? That is what I would think from reading that. Is it possible to write that, but then spread the word by word of mouth? I was a guest at a wedding this weekend that ended up wtih a 2.5 hour cocktail hour and then just pasta for dinner. It was a bit suprising and if I had known there was not more to eat I would have gone wild during the long cocktail hour.

Post # 9
11284 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@danielle703:  state “cocktail reception” on your invite.  i have been to many weddings like this and they all stated it this way.  i was prepared for no sit down dinner.

Post # 10
9556 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Will there be hors d’eouvres at this never ending cocktail hour? If so I would say “Light  /Heavy hors d’eouvres, cocktails and dancing to follow”. Light/Heavy depnding on what is being served.

Post # 11
1876 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

If there will be enough food to constitute as a dinner then I would just say “Reception to follow”. If not, I would say “Cocktail reception to follow” 

Post # 12
925 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@JenGirl:  I agree. Something like “Light hors d’oeuvres, cocktail reception, and dancing to follow.”

Post # 14
2665 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

@danielle703:  Maybe you could call it “cocktails and tapas reception” since tapas sounds more substantial than hors d’oeuvres?  Are there tables to sit at,  or only standing cocktail tables? 

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