African American Weddings

Cocktail hour

I just thought every wedding has a cocktail hour or some sort to give time for the wedding party to get the the reception. Well, there is a $660 difference in the catering packages we are looking at for our lunch reception, one with 3 appetizers and one without any. FI said at some point he wanted to go with the cheaper package, but I think it would be rude to have a photobooth, a advice board, and no food for a hour and 30. I going to ask if we can have a candy station, but I am not sure if we can do this. One of my BM suggested she attended a family wedding where there was no cocktail hour and guests went to find snacks on their own during the hour and 30 mins between the wedding and reception, where it was not a big deal for her and her husband to do this. So I post this to you ladies. Should I save money here or is the $660 worth it for 3 appetizers? Have you attended a no cocktail party reception, but there was a gap? Have you attending a cocktail party with drinks and activities only? Let me know your thoughts!
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Re: Cocktail hour

  • We are having a cocktail/social hour with bake goods and non-alcoholic beverages. To save money, we decided to serve food that our venue could not prepare so they allowed an outside vendor to prepare it….cookie bar, biscuit bar, and cupcake bar. Our biggest fear was that we would lose some of our guest if we did not provide them with something to snack on while we take our pictures. My cousin had a wedding and did not serve her guest anything during the two hours it took to take wedding pictures. Needless to say, a lot of her guest left and did not return to the reception. For us, a $660 difference in our catering package would be a significant cost. I would encourage you to press the issue of having a candy bar J You could also think about taking your pictures prior to the ceremony. This would prevent the gap or reduce the time gap in between the ceremony and reception.  

  • I haven't attended a wedding without a cocktail hour but I have seen on the wedding shows, cocktail hours with cocktails only. Could you possibly do "cheaper" appetizers? e.g. do they offer a fruit station or a cheese and cracker station? My cocktail hour only offers 3 appetizers and I am actually worried that that isn't enough food but my coordinator assures me that it is. It seems like it is more popular to have lots of food at a cocktail hour at east coast weddings (where I have mostly gone for a wedding). But you have to do what fits your budget. I also think you are right in possibly nixing the photobooth and have the cocktail hour. 
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  • I went to a wedding that had a cocktail hour with no food. The open bar started during the cocktail hour though.  I really don't think people missed the food.  The ceremony space and reception venue were a nice little distance away. By the time we got to the cocktail hour grabbed a drink and said hello to a few people it was time to go into the reception space.  
  • I don't think it's the worse thing in the world if you don't have food for cocktail hour. Honestly it seems like a new age thing at least where I'm from. When I was younger I don't recall anything like that and my mom didn't even know what cocktail hour was. I am also doing a cheese and fruit platter because that is in our price range. I would suggest asking about that. If that's not an option, do what you and FI can comfortably afford.
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  • I agree with other ladies saying do what's in your price range. We cant really afford  a huge cocktail hour so we are doing a "fiesta setup" with chips and different types of freshly made dips (salsa, pico de gallo, bean, guac). We are trying very hard to stay close to our budget. With you having photobooth and activities, you will be fine with just the candy. Esp since it sounds like people are traveling to get there. 
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  • Thanks ladies! I'm am feeling better about pushing the candy bar now and going with the lower package. I was reading on the other site too about how others also suggested serving soft drinks with a cake item or starting the guest on salad when we are 5-10 mins away. Also, terming it 'social hour' instead of cocktail hour, to inmply making connections with other and less on drinking. But with the activities and your reminder about cutting costs, I am looking at going with the lower package, start serving soft drinks and the candy bar. Esp since its lunch and not a dinner reception.
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  • M1ssJM1ssJ member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    I'm in the minority again but I think everyone else who said they didnt have a cocktail hour had some type of "nibblers" in that space. I dont know your budget or anything but the $660 really isnt a lot to keep ppl satisfied, especially if your picture break is an hour and a half! The only fear I would have with the candy bar is 

    1) Eating a bunch of sweets before a meal is not ideal

    2) You said you have a lunch reception which means your wedding starts earlier and there will most likely be people who have not eaten breakfast or had something very light in order to get to the wedding on time. Just having candy is kind of still putting their eating off.

    Chips n Dip, breads, cheese and crackers, grapes and cheese , are all fairly inexpensive
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  • Not to be defensive, but to explain more for more insight. The three appetizers we may pay for are small things: wings, warm cheese and chips, fruit. At the venue, the bigger package allows you to have three items, the lower one does not have any appetizers. So if we wanted to add any appetizers to the lower package, we would have to buy five appetizers, which would like the lower package higer than the package with three. There is a five appetizers minimum outside the higher paackage. We can not bring appetizers because they can provide those. So I was going to try to get around all this by having a third baked item for this social hour to go with the soft drinks. If food is needed, we can serve the salad early and inform the wedding party they will miss salad, so sweet rush is avoided. Which is a point, since the favor is cake.
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  • Or ask the venue they could serve the work a bit later. Another idea from the other site was to provide guest with directions for the reception and make it clear we will have a no food social hour by listing some food locations for appetizers. I have thought a few times about a pastry and juice table at the church before the ceremony. Maybe I will add that if I cut cost here, as juice donuts and fruit provide by us can be cheap. Just have to clear it with the church.
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  • I'm always hungry and very impatient. so if there you were taking pictures for an hour and a half with no food, I would probably leave and go get something to eat. I understand wanting to save on your budget but as a guest, they have an hour and a half while pictures are being taken, then the 10-15 minutes it is going to take everyone to get seated, 10 minutes for bridal party entrance, first dance if you are doing that immediately. So it can potentially be 2 hours before they get to eat. 

    That's a LONG time. 

     

  • Good point. My BM suggested pushing our day timing up to allow people to go get a little something. So having the reception not immediately following to reduce waiting time to 15 mins. I will be mindful of the timeline of traditions until after we eat, good call.
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  • M1ssJM1ssJ member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 100 Love Its Name Dropper
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_african-american-weddings_cocktail-hour-1?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:400Discussion:b5be7e1a-5d1e-482f-b1e5-76ed6b04803ePost:a99120d9-96ab-4675-b8de-cc321c2ee452">Re: Cocktail hour</a>:
    [QUOTE]Good point. <strong>My BM suggested pushing our day timing up to allow people to go get a little something. So having the reception not immediately following to reduce waiting time to 15 mins.</strong> I will be mindful of the timeline of traditions until after we eat, good call.
    Posted by keyaira04[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>I don't understand what this means. So you would shorten the time you are taking pictures to 15 mintues? When would you take pictures? Do ppl have to drive to the reception venue? </div><div>
    </div><div>Another , cheaper option, may be having "snack bags" at the ceremony. FI and I are having paper bags with a fruit, pastry and juice for people to grab on their way to the venue , I'm a teacher so we're tying it in by making them look like lunch bags. It's super cheap , Dollar tree bags, and in bulk little snacks.</div><div>
    </div><div>Could you have something positioned outside of the ceremony?</div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div>
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  • In Response to Re:Cocktail hour:[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Cocktail hour:Good point. My BM suggested pushing our day timing up to allow people to go get a little something. So having the reception not immediately following to reduce waiting time to 15 mins. I will be mindful of the timeline of traditions until after we eat, good call.Posted by keyaira04I don't understand what this means. So you would shorten the time you are taking pictures to 15 mintues? When would you take pictures? Do ppl have to drive to the reception venue? Another , cheaper option, may be having "snack bags" at the ceremony. FI and I are having paper bags with a fruit, pastry and juice for people to grab on their way to the venue , I'm a teacher so we're tying it in by making them look like lunch bags. It's super cheap , Dollar tree bags, and in bulk little snacks.Could you have something positioned outside of the ceremony? Posted by M1ssJ[/QUOTE]

    I like the snack bag idea. I Think this is a good compromise.
  • In Response to Re:Cocktail hour:[QUOTE]I'm in the minority again but I think everyone else who said they didnt have a cocktail hour had some type of "nibblers" in that space. I dont know your budget or anything but the 660 really isnt a lot to keep ppl satisfied, especially if your picture break is an hour and a half! The only fear I would have with the candy bar isnbsp;1 Eating a bunch of sweets before a meal is not ideal2 You said you have a lunch reception which means your wedding starts earlier and there will most likely be people who have not eaten breakfast or had something very light in order to get to the wedding on time. Just having candy is kind of still putting their eating off.Chips n Dip, breads, cheese and crackers, grapes and cheese , are all fairly inexpensive Posted by M1ssJ[/QUOTE]
    I was thinking this... And alcohol and sugar is the quickest way to be drunk as hell. Not that I know from experiences or anything... Lol
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  • I can't edit... What about nuts and chex mix types of things. That's better than none or candy. You could make a cute idea out of it. Like mix with ribbons tied around it in little baggies.
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