Post # 1
as our date draws nearer, i am starting to get a handle on the timeline for the big day.
we have a 2.5 hour gap between the ceremony and cocktail hour. not ideal, but with most guests coming from out of town plus the 35-minute travel between locales, the gap gives them time to drive and check in/freshen up so i am not too worried about our guests.
the Bridal Party is a different story. we will have 3.5 hours to take pictures and travel to the ceremony, including the time while the guests are at the cocktail hour.
Fiance and i were talking last night about the possibility of just attending the cocktail hour along with our guests. my only worry is would we have to make small talk with everyone at the cocktail hour AND at dinner too? small talk is the worst of the worst. no way i want to do that twice! and would it make that whole “introducing for the first time mr. and mrs. bostongirl27 and bostonguy27” way less special?
would love to hear opinions on this!
Post # 3
I would really like to attend our cocktail hour, but I haven’t figured out how to logistically make it work. I guess I’ve been imagining the “big entrance” in my head, but it’s really not that big of a deal. Maybe we’ll just skip it.
Post # 4
My cousin and his bride attended their own cocktail hour (after they were done with pics, it was still going on), and they still did a big entrance when everyone was seated at the reception. It was pretty awesome, I think, because they didn’t have a receiving line so it allowed them to mingle with guests before the reception, so during the reception they weren’t worried about who they had or hadn’t talked to yet, and they were able to have fun! It didn’t take away from the “big announcement” thing at all, IMO. We had all already seen them at the wedding, so we knew what they looked like and everything. I liked it! And if I was doing a formal sit down dinner reception I’d do the same thing.
ETA: I think it really worked well because the cocktail hour and reception were in different areas (same building). I think it might not have worked as well if it was all in the same room. I think it would have been weird if they left the room, then had a big entrance into the same room they were just in talking to people.
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2013 - B&B
I voted other
My wedding is all in one location, and my wedding timeline is a little different than many others… our cocktail hour is BEFORE the ceremony! We are having a few of our hors d’oeuvres and some drinks available for guests to come, relax, mingle, and Fiance will be out and about with his groomsmen for that time. I will be inside relaxing while a few of my girls rotate in and out.
Before this cocktail hour even begins we’ll have already done photos
And then after the cocktail hour we will have our ceremony and then jump right in and start the party up! Which is hors d’ouevres and many more drinks. We did this for logistical reasons, and we also did it because we want people feeling happy and bouyant from our ceremony to be able to just walk over to the tent and keep the party going on that “ceremony” high lol.
Post # 6
We didn’t attend our cocktail hour because we were getting pictures done.
Post # 7
we didn’t have an official cocktail hour, but yeah, my husband and i were there for the “pre-dinner festivities”. we finished with pictures early and it didn’t really make sense to hide out until we could be formally introduced. i didn’t want to miss a minute of my wedding day. it went by sooo fast!
Post # 8
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
We attended our cocktail hour and loved it. Our entire wedding weekend was structured to maximize the amount of time we spent with our guests. Besides, our cocktail hour food and alcohol was effing amazing. There was no way I was missing out on it.
Post # 9
@Fall_In_Love22: This. It seems like most people I know who had a cocktail hour did so because they wanted the guests to have something to do when they were taking pictures.
Post # 10
Assuming you will have family & friends at your wedding, I wouldn’t necessarily consider talking to your guests ‘smalltalk’. It’s not like your wedding is a work event!
Consider the cocktail hour time to mingle with your closest friends & family. Save your ‘hellos’ to family friends and people you don’t have much to talk to about until the reception.
Post # 11
The only reason we are doing a first look is because we want to attend our cocktail hour! It’s my favorite part of weddings!
Post # 12
Heck yes! We did a First Look and wedding party photos before the ceremony specifically so we could join our guests for drinks during the cocktail hour. We just made our grand entrance as Mr. & Mrs. directly into the cocktail hour after signing our marriage certificate. It was super awesome – everyone was already giddy with drinks, appetizers, and mingling, and everyone got to crowd around us and come up to us to welcome us after our big introduction.
Post # 13
I plan to attend our cocktail hour
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor
Our hair and makeup artists were 2 hours late, so they were wrapping up hair and makeup just a little bit before the ceremony. We were able to squeeze in a first look and our family portraits during that time, but there was no way there was enough time for pictures with the wedding party. So during our cocktail hour, we did those photos, and then we snuck off to eat some dinner (so we could join everyone else at dinner and not be stuck eating at our own sweetheart table the whole time). We missed every minute of cocktail hour, but since we were present for the remaining 4 hours of the reception, I don’t feel that bad about it.
How many guests are you expecting? It took us at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half, to make the rounds and talk with every single guest during dinner. And we had ~120 guests. If you are expecting more than that, you might want to start making your rounds during cocktail hour, so you don’t cut into dance time after dinner!
Post # 15
@Wonderstruck: That’s exactly why we did it. We already had the “Catholic gap” so we wanted to have something for our guests to do. We didn’t see eachother before the ceremony, so most of our pictures were after. We wanted as much time as possible, so we didn’t go to cocktail hour.
Post # 16
We are actually planning on doing a quick bar-hop with the bridal party for some extra fun pictures. Cocktail hour will be going on at the reception without us! Barring bad weather, there will be yard games and other fun stuff to keep them occupied. We will only be gone for just over an hour. 🙂
Our rehearsal dinner is basically going to be a party before the party where we will see most of the out of town guests and many of our friends and family, so I don’t feel bad about not being there! We picked our bridal party for a reason and want to spend some quality time with them on our big day!