• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Etiquette

Would you hate 3 hour cocktail hours?

So My ceremony starts at 2PM at the beautiful wayfarers chapel in Palos Verdes, CA and when we wrap up it would be around 3:30PM - and people have about 30 minutes to arrive in the reception area, which is about 10 miles away. The aquarium that I want to have my reception will open the door at 7PM. So I don't want my guests wandering around, would you mind as guests having 3 hour cocktail hours? What are some fun ideas not to make guests bored? Cannot change the ceremony time with the chapel. Wish I really could do!
«1

Re: Would you hate 3 hour cocktail hours?

  • Three hours is way too long for cocktail hour.  Is there any way you can start the reception earlier?
    melbelleupdoeydojendemeyer
  • No thank you. I'd leave after an hour or so. 3 hours is way too long. A reception itself only lasts 3-6 hours usually.
    Daisypath Wedding tickers
    grumbledorePrettyGirlLostBlue_Birddoeydo
  • It should be limited to roughly one hour henceit being labeled cocktail hour. Three hours is much too long and unfortunately I am unsure of any activity that would change how long it is...

    grumbledoreBlue_Birddoeydo
  • No way would I hang out like that for 3 hours.  You need to get a later ceremony or go somewhere else for the reception.
    grumbledoreBlue_Birddoeydo
  • So My ceremony starts at 2PM at the beautiful wayfarers chapel in Palos Verdes, CA and when we wrap up it would be around 3:30PM - and people have about 30 minutes to arrive in the reception area, which is about 10 miles away. The aquarium that I want to have my reception will open the door at 7PM. So I don't want my guests wandering around, would you mind as guests having 3 hour cocktail hours? What are some fun ideas not to make guests bored? Cannot change the ceremony time with the chapel. Wish I really could do!
    I would be incredibly annoyed.  That is way too long of a cocktail hour.  How long is your reception then?  I'm assuming the standard 4 hours.  So that makes for a 7 hour reception plus 1.5 hours for your ceremony and a half hour travel time for a grand total of 9 hours?  Seriously?  That is insane.  Also, if the doors of your reception site don't open till 7 where are you planning on holding this cocktail marathon? 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    MGPPrettyGirlLostBlue_Birddoeydo
  • Where is this cocktail hours being hosted??

    Honestly, 3 hours is way too long for an interim reception (because that is what it is).
     Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • InkdancerInkdancer The Shire member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    In addition to other concerns, I'd be worried about guests' comfort. If they can't get inside to the reception hall before 7, what happens if someone needs to use the restroom, or if a guest's child scrapes their knee and is bleeding? Leaving people stuck outside for 3 hours sounds pretty unpleasant to me.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    eyeroll
    doeydo
  • I think you could maybe push your cocktail hour to 90 minutes at most. Can you have the doors to your reception open at 5:30? That's really probably the absolute latest you could do.
    Anniversary
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    1.5 hour ceremony, 3 hour cocktails and then a 4 hour event? No way, Jose. 

    grumbledoreBlue_Birddoeydo
  • I understand the desire to have the wedding of your dreams but unfortunatly a 3 hour cocktail is just too much!  I would say you could push to a max of an hour and a half if need be, but that should be it!  It really sucks to have give up the locations you want but unless you can shorten the gaps and have the reception venue available right away you may need a different venue.
    doeydo
  • Please change the reception time.  IF I was still there when the doors opened at 7, I'd be falling down drunk, which isn't how you want to remember your guests.
  • So My ceremony starts at 2PM at the beautiful wayfarers chapel in Palos Verdes, CA and when we wrap up it would be around 3:30PM - and people have about 30 minutes to arrive in the reception area, which is about 10 miles away. The aquarium that I want to have my reception will open the door at 7PM. So I don't want my guests wandering around, would you mind as guests having 3 hour cocktail hours? What are some fun ideas not to make guests bored? Cannot change the ceremony time with the chapel. Wish I really could do!
    Yes, I would mind.  Pick a venue that allows you to start your reception earlier or start your ceremony much later (at a different venue if necessary).

    And you've already asked this on another board, right?  And that's the same answer you received.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    doeydo
  • I think is beyond an etiquette issue, and is more of a common sense thing. Aren't you concerned your guests might get bored/confused and then leave? Or, if they knew they were heading into a 3-hour cocktail hour, they might choose to skip the first 2 hours of it, which means the place would be empty and even MORE boring for the folks who actually arrived at start-time. This has bad-idea written all over it. Your church sounds great, and an aquarium sounds like a fun venue, but you need to change your plans. Something's gotta give.
    rvg22golden1215
  • No no no.  A 3 hour gap is rude and I would either skip your ceremony, or just decline the entire event.  If you have so little concern for my time, then I'd assume you really didn't want me to be there in the first place.
    Blue_BirdRebeccaB88doeydo
  • I'm all for extended cocktail hours... I just went to a wedding where it was 90 minutes and everyone lovedd the extra time for finger foods, conversation and drinks but I'm sorry - 3 hours is too long.
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 2013
    That is pretty long, and a bit late for dinner to start, depending on how much food you are providing during the cocktail event. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. 

    If there was enough food and drink to last, in an appropriate venue and everyone attended, I probably wouldn't mind, because I could eat and drink and chat with my friends. Not much different than hanging out socially at a friend's house. Guests should also be able to drink responsibly and not show up to the reception already drunk (that's on the guest, not you); but be sure to offer pop, juice, punch, etc as alternatives. 

    But if there were only a few nibbles of food that lasted an hours worth of time and hardly anyone was there, it would suck. I also still think 7 pm is a bit late to start dinner if guests have been at your wedding since 2 pm.

    I enjoy weddings and related events, so I wouldn't consider a long event rude (I like to make a day out of it). What I would consider rude is being left hanging as a guest- twiddling my thumbs hungry and waiting for the reception to start, not being properly hosted. 

    I might get flamed on this, our cocktail "hour" is 2 hours (technically 105 minutes). Ceremony, cocktails and reception are all at the same venue, same room. Ceremony is at 3:30-4:00. For 15-20 mins after, the room will be changed over, so we will be doing a receiving "line" with our guests during this time (thanking them for coming to the ceremony, welcoming them to the reception). Cocktail time starts with apps, punch and bar, along with our second photographer taking guest photos that will make up our guest book. Reception starts at 6 pm, with dinner right away. Night ends at 1 am (late night buffet at 11 pm). 

    My dad recently went to a wedding with his SO- an extended family member of hers. The couple had a traditional catholic ceremony at 1pm. The couple then hosted a full lunch at the church for all guests from 2-5 pm, I believe. Then the reception (for all guests) began at 5 with appetizers with dinner at 6, midnight buffet at 11 or 12. The entire event was complete with an open bar. My dad said the wedding was way over the top, and all everyone did was eat, but guests were hosted the entire time and no one left early. 

    I don't know if there is an etiquette breach there, as the guests were hosted the entire time. But as you can see from above posters, many may not be interested in making a day of it. 


  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    3 hours is too long for a cocktail hour, even one fully hosted, if it's the gap between the ceremony and reception.
    doeydo
  • SP29 said:
    That is pretty long, and a bit late for dinner to start, depending on how much food you are providing during the cocktail event. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. 

    If there was enough food and drink to last, in an appropriate venue and everyone attended, I probably wouldn't mind, because I could eat and drink and chat with my friends. Not much different than hanging out socially at a friend's house. Guests should also be able to drink responsibly and not show up to the reception already drunk (that's on the guest, not you); but be sure to offer pop, juice, punch, etc as alternatives. 

    But if there were only a few nibbles of food that lasted an hours worth of time and hardly anyone was there, it would suck. I also still think 7 pm is a bit late to start dinner if guests have been at your wedding since 2 pm.

    I enjoy weddings and related events, so I wouldn't consider a long event rude (I like to make a day out of it). What I would consider rude is being left hanging as a guest- twiddling my thumbs hungry and waiting for the reception to start, not being properly hosted. 

    I might get flamed on this, our cocktail "hour" is 2 hours (technically 105 minutes). Ceremony, cocktails and reception are all at the same venue, same room. Ceremony is at 3:30-4:00. For 15-20 mins after, the room will be changed over, so we will be doing a receiving "line" with our guests during this time (thanking them for coming to the ceremony, welcoming them to the reception). Cocktail time starts with apps, punch and bar, along with our second photographer taking guest photos that will make up our guest book. Reception starts at 6 pm, with dinner right away. Night ends at 1 am (late night buffet at 11 pm). 

    My dad recently went to a wedding with his SO- an extended family member of hers. The couple had a traditional catholic ceremony at 1pm. The couple then hosted a full lunch at the church for all guests from 2-5 pm, I believe. Then the reception (for all guests) began at 5 with appetizers with dinner at 6, midnight buffet at 11 or 12. The entire event was complete with an open bar. My dad said the wedding was way over the top, and all everyone did was eat, but guests were hosted the entire time and no one left early. 

    I don't know if there is an etiquette breach there, as the guests were hosted the entire time. But as you can see from above posters, many may not be interested in making a day of it. 


    Dinner doesn't start at 7.  The doors to the reception venue are opened at 7.  It's probably at least a half hour until dinner is served.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I get that. Dinner could be starting anytime after the doors open. Perhaps the kitchen staff will be prepared already and dinner begins at 7:15 pm, maybe dinner won't be until 8. We weren't given a dinner time, so I used 7 pm as a ball park figure. 

    Either way, a dinner at 7 pm or later is late if the event started at 2 pm. There are cultures where dinner is not eaten until after 8 pm, but much less common in North America. 
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    After 3 hours of doing nothing but drinking and only eating appetizers I would be drunk and ready to go home and go to bed. 
    image
    CLI242009doeydos-aries8990
  • SP29 said:
    That is pretty long, and a bit late for dinner to start, depending on how much food you are providing during the cocktail event. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. 

    If there was enough food and drink to last, in an appropriate venue and everyone attended, I probably wouldn't mind, because I could eat and drink and chat with my friends. Not much different than hanging out socially at a friend's house. Guests should also be able to drink responsibly and not show up to the reception already drunk (that's on the guest, not you); but be sure to offer pop, juice, punch, etc as alternatives. 

    But if there were only a few nibbles of food that lasted an hours worth of time and hardly anyone was there, it would suck. I also still think 7 pm is a bit late to start dinner if guests have been at your wedding since 2 pm.

    I enjoy weddings and related events, so I wouldn't consider a long event rude (I like to make a day out of it). What I would consider rude is being left hanging as a guest- twiddling my thumbs hungry and waiting for the reception to start, not being properly hosted. 

    I might get flamed on this, our cocktail "hour" is 2 hours (technically 105 minutes). Ceremony, cocktails and reception are all at the same venue, same room. Ceremony is at 3:30-4:00. For 15-20 mins after, the room will be changed over, so we will be doing a receiving "line" with our guests during this time (thanking them for coming to the ceremony, welcoming them to the reception). Cocktail time starts with apps, punch and bar, along with our second photographer taking guest photos that will make up our guest book. Reception starts at 6 pm, with dinner right away. Night ends at 1 am (late night buffet at 11 pm). 

    My dad recently went to a wedding with his SO- an extended family member of hers. The couple had a traditional catholic ceremony at 1pm. The couple then hosted a full lunch at the church for all guests from 2-5 pm, I believe. Then the reception (for all guests) began at 5 with appetizers with dinner at 6, midnight buffet at 11 or 12. The entire event was complete with an open bar. My dad said the wedding was way over the top, and all everyone did was eat, but guests were hosted the entire time and no one left early. 

    I don't know if there is an etiquette breach there, as the guests were hosted the entire time. But as you can see from above posters, many may not be interested in making a day of it. 


    I think it's on the hosts if they leave their guests to their own devices for 3 hours to drink and eat snacks.  What else are they supposed to do but drink, eat the snacks, and mingle (which will get really old after an hour)?  I'm not going to get drunk in an hour, but I might in 3.

    It's rude, period.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers

    I think it's on the hosts if they leave their guests to their own devices for 3 hours to drink and eat snacks.  What else are they supposed to do but drink, eat the snacks, and mingle (which will get really old after an hour)?  I'm not going to get drunk in an hour, but I might in 3.

    It's rude, period.
    I agree with this. If you leave me in a room for 3 hours with nothing but snacks and drinks what they hell do you think is going to happen?

    grumbledoreBlue_BirdRebeccaB88doeydo
  • SP29 said:
    I get that. Dinner could be starting anytime after the doors open. Perhaps the kitchen staff will be prepared already and dinner begins at 7:15 pm, maybe dinner won't be until 8. We weren't given a dinner time, so I used 7 pm as a ball park figure. 

    Either way, a dinner at 7 pm or later is late if the event started at 2 pm. There are cultures where dinner is not eaten until after 8 pm, but much less common in North America. 
    I wouldn't normally think 7PM - my cocktail hour starts at 7 and dinner will be at 8. But my ceremony is at 5:30, not 2. That would definitely be a long time between lunch and dinner, but I'd probably be full on apps by 7 with a 3 hour cocktail hour, so it's not that bad.

    Anniversary
    doeydo
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards