Wedding Reception Forum

Cocktail Hour

Our ceremony and reception are at the same venue. We will be having the ceremony outside on the patio area and then we will move inside the room for the reception. No food or drinks are allowed outside of the main room and there are no other rooms for guest to go (This is at a park).

Is there any way to have a cocktail hour? Can it be in the same place that guest will be eatting dinner? How soon should we serve dinner after cocktail is over?

Cocktail - 1 hour
Dancing - 1 hour
Eatting dinner?

Or Cocktail, then dinner, then dancing? I'm so confused.

Re: Cocktail Hour

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    Our cocktail hour will be in the same space as the reception room.  I like it better that way because it's not in a small crowded space and there is plenty of space for people to sit (for obvious reason).  Nothing is worse than being in a small croweded room with no chairs trying to balance a plate, a purse, and a glass.  Just have it all in the same room and let it flow.

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    I'm using hypothetical times, for reference purposes, since I don't know what time your ceremony is, but I would do it something like this:

    5:00pm -- Ceremony
    5:30-6:30 -- Cocktail hour (guests can mingle, get a drink, some appetizers (passed or buffet style, talk to your venue)
    6:30 -- Dinner (your DJ or MC can announce that dinner is being served, and ask guests to take their seats, if necessary)
    7ish (or immediately after dinner) --  Cake cutting and immediately go into dancing and the rest of the reception activities.

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    We're not doing an "official" cocktail hour, but our ceremony and reception are at the same place (my parents' farm), and we're planning to have an unofficial cocktail "half hour" while my FI and I are taking pictures. So, for us, that basically just means that after the ceremony, the guests will go to the tent where the reception is and the bartender will start serving drinks while my FI and I take pictures at the ceremony site and also around the house, etc. The caterer won't start serving dinner until my FI and I are done with our pictures, which will probably take 20 minutes - and that in-between time will serve as a cocktail hour. I honestly don't think cocktail hours are essential and how soon after cocktails dinner is served really depends on what time the ceremony starts. If it's getting too late, I feel like some guest would start to get restless from hunger!
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    since you have restrictions like that just roll it all into itself.  sprinkle dancing through out-not just 1 hour after dinner (dancin right after dinner wh ile full? no thanks!!)


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