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Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Hour

So, due to money constraints and a few too many heavy drinkers in my family, we are planning to keep alcohol to a minimum- as in champagne for toasting and that's about it. The problem is, we are still wanting a cocktail hour to provide time for pictures and to allow the staff to transform the ceremony ballroom into the reception ballroom (since they are in the same place). 

What can we do to make the cocktail hour classy and fun? We'll be serving a few hors d'oeuvres- it just seems weird to serve cups of punch for an hour.

Alternatively, if we DID do alcohol for just the cocktail hour, would it seem cheap to cut everyone off after that hour?
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Re: Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Hour

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    I think it would be a bit odd to have alcohol for just the cocktail hour. 

    Some options:
    Lemonade, pink lemonade, iced tea, sweet tea, fruit flavored teas
    Jones sodas
    Coffee, tea or hot chocolate bar (different flavors, add ins like chocolate flakes)
    Sodas and a few couple juices - guava, mango

    Punch, water and maybe soda are fine as well - try to offer at least water in addition to the punch.
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    If you're having a dry reception, you should probably have a dry cocktail hour.  If you want to make it fun, look into some "mocktail" recipes.
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    I would just skip the alcohol during cocktails too.  I would be inclined, maybe, to down more drinks than I usually would because I know the liquor runs dry after the first hour.

    Not saying that I am super classy or anything but I bet some of your guests would do the same thing.
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    LasairionaLasairiona member
    First Comment
    edited February 2010
    Why do people think that punch is the only non-alcoholic beverage available anywhere? You are only limited by your imagination.

    Popular non-alcoholic drinks:
    Lemonade (can be flavored with strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, lavender, etc)
    Iced tea (sweetened or unsweetened, also available as chai which can be served hot as well)
    Coffee/espresso (available as mochas, cappuccinos, etc. Non-coffee drinkers can have steamers made if they choose)
    Hot cocoa (flavored with anything)
    Juices
    Sodas (espresso bars also offer Italian sodas)
    Water

    I agree with Aerin that it makes no sense to serve alcohol at a cocktail hour preceding a dry reception.
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    Well, my fiance will thank you all. He REALLY didn't want any alcohol and thought I was being silly about it all. Turns out I was!

    I really love the mocktail idea- and never even thought about cappuccinos or italian sodas!
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    Blueyed228Blueyed228 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited February 2010
    If you are skipping the alcohol because of money, why not do a signature drink?  You can do one for the cocktail hour, and then a different one for the reception.  It keeps cost at a minimum and allows you to offer something other than champagne.

    You could even skip the champange (do sparkling cider or something) and add that money to the alcohol budget.  I think people would appreciate the alcohol over the champagne.

    If that doesnt work for you then I would skip offering alcohol for just the cocktail reception.  If you are going to have it for part of it, you should have it available (even if it turns to cash bar) for the whole thing.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_non-alcoholic-cocktail-hour?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:cc3c7c25-21c5-4aad-89fe-4a5d998c2c19Post:cd40c3e8-d6d1-42dd-888e-9572a4878146">Re: Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Hour</a>:
    [QUOTE] If that doesnt work for you then I would skip offering alcohol for just the cocktail reception.  If you are going to have it for part of it, you should have it available (even if it turns to cash bar) for the whole thing.
    Posted by Blueyed228[/QUOTE]
    It is considered very rude to make your guests pay for anything themselves at the reception, and defeats the point of being a guest. A proper host does not offer anything they cannot afford to serve for any period of the event they are hosting.
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    I think a "dry" wedding is fine. I think the prior posters suggestions would make for a fun alternative.

    If you do "mocktails", you could offer virgin frozen drinks as well. If you know someone who can be a bartender for cheap, you could have a blender or two on hand and make frozen mixed drinks like pina colada, etc. You'd just need to provide some frozen fruits for that. These can be offered in the appropriate glasses.

    Good luck. Don't worry about not having alcohol.
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    Virgin frozen drinks are a great idea too.
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    I was positively addicted to virgin strawberry daquiris in high school, I'd order one from my dad's restaurant every time I went in.  It was basically just a strawberry smoothie, but mmm, so good...
    This is a neglected planning bio.
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    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
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    I'm kind of in the same boat, with only serving non-alcoholic drinks (except dad, who is paying for the wedding and is an elder in our church said NO drinks at all) so we are also doing something like a mocktail, with a little more class.. martini glasses for adults, something a little cuter if the kids want their own "slushie". You're not alone sister!!
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