(Closed) Night Before Wedding Cocktail Party

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Do people generally think an open bar at a welcome party is expected?

    Yes, you need to cover this or not have the party.

    No, people will catch on when they see "B&G ordered some appetizers."

    Something else, I'll explain.

  • Post # 2
    1593 posts
    Bumble bee

    I personally wouldn’t be expecting an open bar the day before the wedding. I also wouldn’t want to drink too much the day before the wedding and I think it’s perfectly reasonable to not want guests to get drunk the day before your wedding and show up hungover. They can go crazy at the wedding. I wouldn’t want the cocktail party to overshadow the wedding in anyway. But maybe you shouldn’t call it a cocktail party because that to me implies cocktails haha. Maybe call it a welcome party and put that it’s cocktail attire.

    Post # 3
    1510 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2018

    I think it just all depends on how you word it. I would just put a little note on your wedding website and spread the news by word of mouth; definitely don’t send any sort of official invitation. If you send an invitation, then it’s like an event you are hosting.

    You can say something like “The bride and groom will be at such-and-such bar/restaurant on Friday night from 8-10 to grab a bite to eat and mingle with friends. We would love to see you if you want to stop by after you arrive in town!”

    Keep it casual and optional and you won’t have any problems.

    Post # 4
    348 posts
    Helper bee

    View original reply
    abwcmo :  I did this when I was married before, but covered apps and alcohol. If you’re in the US and expect guests to pay for drinks, you shouldn’t act like it’s an official, hosted event. Don’t put it on any paper invites or website and just mention to ppl casually that you think a few ppl might get together at x location that night. I had ppl mention unofficial after parties to me in the same way and drinks weren’t covered and it was fine.

    Post # 6
    1730 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    We did this, but we covered everything. I agree that if you’re not going to fully host, don’t word it as an “official” event on your website or anything like that. I’d just spread the word informally and let poeple know you’re meeting up at a given bar/restaurant the night before and they’re welcome to join!

    Post # 7
    433 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2018

    I went to a “welcome reception” for a wedding last weekend and it was mostly beer and wine. There were some snacks on a table, but we basically joined the bridal party at the same venue after their rehersal dinner. Beer a wine were paid for, and there were snacks, but this event was “official” and came with an insert in the invitation. If you aren’t paying for things then just spread the word that bridal party will be meeting up at a location after the rehersal to socialize with friends the night before the wedding, and people can come if they want.

    Post # 8
    694 posts
    Busy bee

    As long as you treat it as a casual ‘we’ll be here at this time, stop by if you can!’ kind of party, I think you don’t have to cover drinks.

    We did a similar thing before ours. It was very well attended

    Post # 9
    612 posts
    Busy bee


    I understand that there are many regional differences, but where I am, it’s expected that a rehearsal/welcome dinner is hosted. What about bringing in a few cases of wine? That’s what we did. We wanted the vibe of the dinner to be low-key, and for people to save their energy for the wedding. Our venue was fine with us bringing in a good amount of red and white wine, and they supplied soft drinks. Everyone was happy.

    The topic ‘Night Before Wedding Cocktail Party’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors