Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour

My fiance and I are planning on having our ceremony and reception at the same venue. I would really like to join cocktail hour. We don't like the idea of being formally introducedit's just not us. My plan is to have the ceremony with a little bit of time in between the ceremony and cocktail hour for us to take pictures and still have time for apps and drinks and mingling. My big question is, how do you smoothly transition from cocktail hour to the reception without the grand entrance and still do your first dance? Please help!

Re: Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_bride-and-groom-at-cocktail-hour?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:51ce8753-a117-4f2f-8dd3-7fe5675aa100Post:08df69b1-4a52-4a93-b7f7-d91ac92e2fcd">Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour</a>:
    [QUOTE]My fiance and I are planning on having our ceremony and reception at the same venue. I would really like to join cocktail hour. We don't like the idea of being formally introducedit's just not us. My plan is to have the ceremony with a little bit of time in between the ceremony and cocktail hour for us to take pictures and still have time for apps and drinks and mingling. My big question is, how do you smoothly transition from cocktail hour to the reception without the grand entrance and still do your first dance? Please help!
    Posted by mcurcione[/QUOTE]

    We have the same situation.  We will leave the ceremony, take a few pics, then enjoy the 2nd half of cocktail hour.  Then when they open the doors to the reception, we will go back to the bridal suite until everyone gets settled in the reception.  We will then be announced and do our first dance.
  • Joan's plan is good. You need to provide something for your guests while you take pictures. It would be rude to have a gap with nowhere for them to go and nothing for them to eat/drink.
    image
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_bride-and-groom-at-cocktail-hour?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:51ce8753-a117-4f2f-8dd3-7fe5675aa100Post:08df69b1-4a52-4a93-b7f7-d91ac92e2fcd">Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour</a>:
    [QUOTE]My fiance and I are planning on having our ceremony and reception at the same venue. I would really like to join cocktail hour. We don't like the idea of being formally introducedit's just not us. My plan is to have the ceremony with a little bit of time in between the ceremony and cocktail hour for us to take pictures and still have time for apps and drinks and mingling. My big question is, how do you smoothly transition from cocktail hour to the reception without the grand entrance and still do your first dance? Please help!
    Posted by mcurcione[/QUOTE]
    How much time are you planning for in between the ceremony and cocktail hour?  Gaps are rude.  The entire point of the cocktail hour is to entertain your guests while you are taking pictures.  It makes no sense and is rude to your guests to wait to start the cocktail hour until after you take your pictures.  Either have the cocktail hour immediately after your ceremony ends and take your pictures before the ceremony, or have the cocktail hour immediately after your ceremony and take your pictures during cocktail hour. 



  • edited September 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_bride-and-groom-at-cocktail-hour?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:51ce8753-a117-4f2f-8dd3-7fe5675aa100Post:c2588e09-9a04-46e7-9c7f-4d6a67e60faa">Re: Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour : We have the same situation.  We will leave the ceremony, take a few pics, then enjoy the 2nd half of cocktail hour.  Then when they open the doors to the reception, we will go back to the bridal suite until everyone gets settled in the reception.  We will then be announced and do our first dance.
    Posted by JoanE2012[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>We're also doing this.

    </div>
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited September 2012
    2 of my DD's did first look pics and then all their pics prior to the wedding so they could attend the 2nd half of the cocktail hour.  Don't put a gap in your wedding and reception so YOU can attend the cocktail hour.  The whole purpose of it is to entertain your guests WHILE you are doing pics.
  • Joan's idea is best.

    Cocktail Hours exist to entertain your guests while the bride and groom are off taking pictures.  You should NOT delay the start of the cocktail hour so that you can be at the whole thing.  Creating a gap like that will be ill-received.  What will guests do when the ceremony and reception are in the same place?  Stand around?

    Start you cocktail hour immediately.  Join in about halfway through after your pictures are done.  When it's time to enter the reception, your husband and you will go off to a private room, everyone will be seated and you can be announced.
  • Thanks for your advice. Nothing is set in stone, the gap was simply an idea, but some of the places we're looking at do an hour and a half cocktail hour, so maybe that would be something to think about. But also, I said I didn't want to be announced. Any ideas on how togo from cocktail hour to the reception without doing that grand entrance?
  • You just don't go out and come back in.  There's no announcement if you don't want one.  Once cocktail hour is over your dj or coordinator can ask everyone to take their seats for dinner.  What's the issue?
  • Oops - sorry!  You don't have to be anounced.

    What about greeting guests as they transition between the cocktail hour and the reception?  You could stand at the door and greet them and simply seat yourselves when everyone else is in.

    Or, you could lead the way into the reception.  No announcement, just start the transition by bringing guests into the reception area with you.

    But really - no gap between end of ceremony and beginning of cocktail hour.  Don't worry about missing it part of it.  That's normal, appropriate, expected, and how things should go.
  • I agree with having a gap in between. We had a gap in between the ceremony and cocktail hour/reception since they were in two different places. We used this gap for pictures since my husband didn't want to see me before the ceremony. 

    On our programs, we gave our guests some suggestions for in between such as local places, casinos, restaurants, etc. Our guests really enjoyed the break in between because they experience the local town. And, we enjoyed our cocktail hour and thanked our guests for coming. I went to weddings with a gap, and it didn't bother me.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_bride-and-groom-at-cocktail-hour?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:51ce8753-a117-4f2f-8dd3-7fe5675aa100Post:e25ae23e-588b-4869-8b79-87fd4166ee06">Re: Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with having a gap in between. We had a gap in between the ceremony and cocktail hour/reception since they were in two different places. We used this gap for pictures since my husband didn't want to see me before the ceremony.  On our programs, we gave our guests some suggestions for in between such as local places, casinos, restaurants, etc. Our guests really enjoyed the break in between because they experience the local town. And, we enjoyed our cocktail hour and thanked our guests for coming. I went to weddings with a gap, and it didn't bother me.
    Posted by pink34562000[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>This is so unbelievably rude.  OP, don't do this.</div><div>
    </div><div>The entire point to a cocktail hour is to host your guests while you are taking pictures.  ESPECIALLY if your ceremony and reception is at the same location, it's inexcusible to plan a gap without hosting something to entertain your guests.</div><div>
    </div><div>My suggestion if you want to attend at least a portion of your cocktail hour is to do as many pictures as you can before the ceremony.  If you don't want to see each other, then do your separate pictures first (family/BP) and then take about 30 minutes after the ceremony to do your group pictures and your B&G portraits) then join your guests for the remainder of the cocktail hour.  If you are okay with seeing each other, then you can do all of your pictures before the ceremony and join your guests for the entire cocktail hour.</div><div>
    </div><div>If you don't want to be formally announced and do a big entrance at the reception, then you certainly don't have to.  When they open the reception area for seating, just enter with your guests and take your seats.  You can do a special 'announcement' if you want when you begin your first dance.</div><div>
    </div><div>Basically, you are hosts first.  So anything that doesn't affect your guests' comfort is completely up to you (ie, a grand entrance doesn't affect your guests, so it's your choice), but if it affects them, then you must consider their comfort before your own convenience (ie, you can't ask them to stand around with their thumbs up their butts with nothing to do just because you want to take pictures AND attend your cocktail hour).

    </div>
    Anniversary
  • I went to a wedding with a small gap between the ceremony and reception- about 45 minutes-an hour?- but the ceremony and reception were about 15-20 minutes away from each other and the blocked hotel rooms were about 10 more minutes away from the hall (25-30 from the church). This  gave guests time to check into the hotel and take the shuttle over to the reception hall. We didn't stay in the hotel, it was very close to home. We waited int the parking lot for about 20 minutes, but were the very first ones to arrive.

    The reception venue had a strict time limit and guest weren't allowed to enter before the set "start" time. I think that locking the door prior was rude on the venue's part (We had to wait to use the bathroom!), but  I think that this "gap" was not to the point of rudeness.  I think it was to accomodate traffic, mingling outside of the church and getting on the shuttle.

    The couple took picutres during this time and skipped the cocktail hour, giving them about 2 hours ish for pictures. I think that if there is a short gap to allow for travel time 20-60 minutes depending on your situation, that's fine, but don't make guests wait for an hour in the parking lot just so you can get your photos taken and still get some of the cheese and crackers.
     Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_bride-and-groom-at-cocktail-hour?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:51ce8753-a117-4f2f-8dd3-7fe5675aa100Post:731563ec-5f66-43cb-a441-302b2471f32b">Re: Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour</a>:
    [QUOTE]Joan's idea is best. Cocktail Hours exist to entertain your guests while the bride and groom are off taking pictures.  You should NOT delay the start of the cocktail hour so that you can be at the whole thing.  Creating a gap like that will be ill-received.  What will guests do when the ceremony and reception are in the same place?  Stand around? <strong>Start you cocktail hour immediately.  Join in about halfway through after your pictures are done.  When it's time to enter the reception, your husband and you will go off to a private room, everyone will be seated and you can be announced.</strong>
    Posted by Joy2611[/QUOTE]

    This is exactly what we did, although our ceremony was at a different location than the reception. The cocktail hour started as soon as our guests began to arrive. We did some photos with our families, some photos alone, and joined the cocktail hour already in progress.

    FWIW, we did most of our photos (all photos with the wedding party) before the ceremony.
    my read shelf:
    Meredith's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
    40/112

    Photobucket
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_bride-and-groom-at-cocktail-hour?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:51ce8753-a117-4f2f-8dd3-7fe5675aa100Post:e25ae23e-588b-4869-8b79-87fd4166ee06">Re: Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour</a>:
    [QUOTE]I agree with having a gap in between. We had a gap in between the ceremony and cocktail hour/reception since they were in two different places. We used this gap for pictures since my husband didn't want to see me before the ceremony.  <strong>On our programs, we gave our guests some suggestions for in between such as local places, casinos, restaurants, etc</strong>. Our guests really enjoyed the break in between because they experience the local town. And, we enjoyed our cocktail hour and thanked our guests for coming. I went to weddings with a gap, and it didn't bother me.
    Posted by pink34562000[/QUOTE]

    A gap is incredibly rude.  Why would I want to go to a restaurant when I'll be eating at the reception?  A casino?  When I'm dressed to the nines?  No thank you. 

    OP - The best thing you can do for your guest is to NOT have a gap.  Take pictures before the ceremony or during cocktail hour.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_bride-and-groom-at-cocktail-hour?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:51ce8753-a117-4f2f-8dd3-7fe5675aa100Post:52f94c10-48fe-40c2-8a2d-5585f0fe38ea">Re: Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour : A gap is incredibly rude.  Why would I want to go to a restaurant when I'll be eating at the reception?  A casino?  When I'm dressed to the nines?  No thank you.  OP - The best thing you can do for your guest is to NOT have a gap.  Take pictures before the ceremony or during cocktail hour.
    Posted by JoanE2012[/QUOTE]

    Our guests enjoyed our wedding, even the gap portion of it. Some of our guests were so excited to win money at the casino. And other guests told us about the fun coffee house or bar they went to in between.

    Perhaps at other weddings, the gap doesn't work. In our case, having the gap worked out fine. I have been invited to plenty of wedding when there was a gap. I have not found it at all rude.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_bride-and-groom-at-cocktail-hour?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:51ce8753-a117-4f2f-8dd3-7fe5675aa100Post:26173463-5935-4d5f-b3e9-062ab0ac1a73">Re: Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Bride and Groom at Cocktail Hour : I really doubt that. I hate gaps and I don't know anyone who doesn't find them annoying. People are just polite and won't tell a bride to her face that part of her wedding was inconvenient and annoying.  All of the weddings with gaps I've been to have been "Church gaps," which is when the time that the church was available for the ceremony was much earlier than the reception. I find those to be annoying, but I what you and OP are talking about is flat out obnoxious. Part of having decent manners is understanding that sometimes you cannot have everything that you want while not acting like a jerk at the same time. If you don't want to see each other before the wedding then you're going to have to miss some of the cocktail hour for pictures. All of the other options are selfish and rude to your guests.
    Posted by HoorayForSoup[/QUOTE]

    Let's agree to disagree.
  • We just pretty much showed up.  No fanfare at all.  Our ceremony was in an outdoor garden.  Cocktail hour followed immediately at a second venue a 5 minute drive away.  DH and I stopped for a quick drink at a bar in between the two, for maybe 15 - 20 minutes.  We pulled up to the recpeption venue down by the Lake, got out of my convertible and walked in.  It's funny, I don't remember any "oh look!  the bride and groom are here [thunderous applause]" or anything. W

    We just sort of pulled up and joined the party.

    Now, our wedding was pretty much a big party start to finish.  We had a preception, cocktail-style party in the garden for an hour before the ceremony.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards