Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Cocktail hour before ceremony

We are considering  the cocktail hour before the ceremony is this a good or bad idea?

Re: Cocktail hour before ceremony

  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    What's your entire timeline? Need more info to provide good advice.
    Generally as long as you accompany munchies with alcohol you're fine; in other words, don't only serve drinks pre-ceremony.
    ________________________________


    OliveOilsMom
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    We are considering  the cocktail hour before the ceremony is this a good or bad idea?

    I went to a wedding like that. It was casual and there were appetizers and wine available before the wedding and a great reception.

    BUT I agree with @thisismynickname ... can you give more details?
  • What's your entire timeline? Need more info to provide good advice. Generally as long as you accompany munchies with alcohol you're fine; in other words, don't only serve drinks pre-ceremony.
    Cocktail hour at 6pm. ceremony at 7pm and reception at 7:30 we are serving with wine and beer crudites, fresh fruit, Artisan cheese and a  Bruschetta bar
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers



    What's your entire timeline? Need more info to provide good advice.
    Generally as long as you accompany munchies with alcohol you're fine; in other words, don't only serve drinks pre-ceremony.

    Cocktail hour at 6pm. ceremony at 7pm and reception at 7:30 we are serving with wine and beer crudites, fresh fruit, Artisan cheese and a  Bruschetta bar


    Can I come? ;) As long as you're properly hosting them at the reception, I think you're fine.
    SP29
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    What's your entire timeline? Need more info to provide good advice. Generally as long as you accompany munchies with alcohol you're fine; in other words, don't only serve drinks pre-ceremony.
    Cocktail hour at 6pm. ceremony at 7pm and reception at 7:30 we are serving with wine and beer crudites, fresh fruit, Artisan cheese and a  Bruschetta bar
    Can I come? ;) As long as you're properly hosting them at the reception, I think you're fine.



    ***BOXES**

    Dinner will be served at the reception, correct?
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    What's your entire timeline? Need more info to provide good advice. Generally as long as you accompany munchies with alcohol you're fine; in other words, don't only serve drinks pre-ceremony.
    Cocktail hour at 6pm. ceremony at 7pm and reception at 7:30 we are serving with wine and beer crudites, fresh fruit, Artisan cheese and a  Bruschetta bar
    Your lack of punctuation is confusing.  Are you serving wine, beer, crudités, fresh fruit, cheese, and bruschetta for the 6-7 pm cocktail hour, or is that what you're serving for the reception part starting at 7:30?



    [Deleted User]
  • Viczaesar said:
    What's your entire timeline? Need more info to provide good advice. Generally as long as you accompany munchies with alcohol you're fine; in other words, don't only serve drinks pre-ceremony.
    Cocktail hour at 6pm. ceremony at 7pm and reception at 7:30 we are serving with wine and beer crudites, fresh fruit, Artisan cheese and a  Bruschetta bar
    Your lack of punctuation is confusing.  Are you serving wine, beer, crudités, fresh fruit, cheese, and bruschetta for the 6-7 pm cocktail hour, or is that what you're serving for the reception part starting at 7:30?
      yes, for the cocktail hour a full sit down dinner will be served at the reception.
  • I don't understand why you wouldn't do ceremony at 6, cocktail hour at 6:30, and dinner at 7:30. Is your ceremony in the reception space? I feel like it will be difficult to get people to go from mingling/talking/eating/drinking to sitting watching the ceremony and back again. Interrupts the flow.
    image
    BostonLilly12InLoveInQueens
  • I don't understand why you wouldn't do ceremony at 6, cocktail hour at 6:30, and dinner at 7:30. Is your ceremony in the reception space? I feel like it will be difficult to get people to go from mingling/talking/eating/drinking to sitting watching the ceremony and back again. Interrupts the flow.

    No the ceremony is at a different venue!
  • I think it's fine.   I'd make sure that the food is very easily consumed with minimal utensil use but I like this.   My only concern would be executing this with the venue change for the reception.   I don't know that I love the concept of serving alcohol to guests to ask them to go drive somewhere else so soon. 
    OliveOilsMomSP29
  • I don't understand why you wouldn't do ceremony at 6, cocktail hour at 6:30, and dinner at 7:30. Is your ceremony in the reception space? I feel like it will be difficult to get people to go from mingling/talking/eating/drinking to sitting watching the ceremony and back again. Interrupts the flow.

    No the ceremony is at a different venue!
    wait, so cocktail hour at reception location, drive or walk to ceremony location, then back to reception location?  Or are you saying that cocktail hour and ceremony would be at one location, then the reception at a second location?
  • I've attended a wedding where this was done albeit all in one location. As guests arrived the bar was open and there were appetizers out. Short ceremony with guests at their tables. Then another half hour or so and dinner started. It worked well and it wasn't that hard to get everyone to their tables, the officiant just asked that everyone be seated. It fit the couple, they really wanted everyone to eat, drink, and celebrate so this was a good way to do it.
  • kaos16 said:
    I don't understand why you wouldn't do ceremony at 6, cocktail hour at 6:30, and dinner at 7:30. Is your ceremony in the reception space? I feel like it will be difficult to get people to go from mingling/talking/eating/drinking to sitting watching the ceremony and back again. Interrupts the flow.

    No the ceremony is at a different venue!
    wait, so cocktail hour at reception location, drive or walk to ceremony location, then back to reception location?  Or are you saying that cocktail hour and ceremony would be at one location, then the reception at a second location
    Cocktails and ceremony at same venue and  the reception is at a different venue.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I've attended weddings with a pre-cocktail hour.    It worked great.  It varied, but basically the guests walked in and had a drink, maybe munched on something.  Then they called us to the ceremony area.  Had the ceremony and then went back to where the reception would be.


    Now if the ceremony is at a different venue, yeah, that is odd.  I do not understand how that would work really.    Unless the different venue, is actually a different area within the same venue.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think it's fine, as long as you're able to properly set up food and drinks at two completely separate locations. 

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I agree with Banana about serving drinks so soon and then asking people to drive to a second location.  If this was all at the same location, I would think this is fine.

    Another thing other people haven't brought up is when are you having your pictures taken?  Are you doing a first look and having 100% of your photos done before the ceremony?  If so, that is fine.  But if you and your FI will need to have further pictures taken after the ceremony, then you need to go back to the ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner order.  Your guests should never be waiting for you, without some sort of refreshments.

    holyguacamole79
  • kaos16 said:
    I don't understand why you wouldn't do ceremony at 6, cocktail hour at 6:30, and dinner at 7:30. Is your ceremony in the reception space? I feel like it will be difficult to get people to go from mingling/talking/eating/drinking to sitting watching the ceremony and back again. Interrupts the flow.

    No the ceremony is at a different venue!
    wait, so cocktail hour at reception location, drive or walk to ceremony location, then back to reception location?  Or are you saying that cocktail hour and ceremony would be at one location, then the reception at a second location
    Cocktails and ceremony at same venue and  the reception is at a different venue.
    Will people have to drive? Why is cocktail hour not at the reception venue? This is so weird and has so many potential problems.
    image
    holyguacamole79InLoveInQueens
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited December 2015
    I agree about the driving issue post drinking.

    If this were all at the same venue, I'd say go for it!

    A friend got married this past summer- ceremony and reception at one venue. The bar was open half an hour before the ceremony started so guests could grab a drink prior to sitting down. Then there was a cocktail hour post ceremony while pictures were done, then dinner reception.

    I didn't grab a drink because I thought, "Am I *allowed* to have a drink while watching the ceremony? That seems weird". But then after I thought I should've grabbed a glass of wine ;)
  • edited December 2015
    No one will be driving. The reception is 0.7 miles from the ceremony location. we will offer transportation for that. ceremony and cocktails will be at the ceremony site. Dinner and after party will be at the reception site. Pictures will be done during the cocktail hour so no one will have to wait on us. This is the ceremony site.
    Photography Amanda Sudimack  Artisan Events   wwwartisaneventscom   View more httpstylemeprettycomvaultgallery21860

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    I think it sounds fine. I'm just curious if you're using this pre-ceremony cocktail hour to do pictures, why not have it after the ceremony and do pictures then? 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
    image
    OliveOilsMomInLoveInQueens
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I like your plan. That's a gorgeous ceremony site.

    Will the guests leave their cars there and be shuttled back after the reception? 

                       
  • I actually like the plan a lot! I'm considering doing the cocktail hour before my ceremony as well. It seems like a great way to get people relaxed and do some introductions before the serious stuff happens. Also a lot of our friends tend to be latecomers, so they won't miss/interrupt the ceremony if they happen to be late :P 

    And I agree, your ceremony site is gorgeous!
  • I want to do this too and think its a great idea! We are having a small wedding, about 50 people, so kinda casual, laid back and everything all at the same venue. Our wedding is on a Fri evening so I want my guests to come and have a drink, mingle and relax after working all week.
  • My fiance's cousin did this for his wedding two years ago and it went really well. They had a bar and plenty of finger foods and canapes, and the bride and groom came out and mingled with everyone before leading them to the (very casual) ceremony. Afterwards they went immediately to the reception where they were provided with a full meal. 
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