Wedding Reception Forum

Cocktail Hour/Reception Separation?

So after watching HOURS of wedding shows, I have had it drilled into my head that we should have a cocktail hour. Most of the weddings I've been to didn't have one and we kinda had to go fend for ourselves during the 1-2hour lull. I'm doing anything too fancy, just a few cold finger foods and spiked punch while we take pictures downtown.

BUT we're most likely getting a VFW or American Legion hall since we're on a tight budget. We haven't booked one yet, but the floor plan is usually plain and simple: walk in the door, BOOM! There's the hall. They're also pretty small, too small to split the room.

So is it wrong/tacky to just have the cocktail hour and the reception in the same room? Is there a way to mark the difference? Should I care? Or would I be better off not having one at all?
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Re: Cocktail Hour/Reception Separation?

  • I am having the ceremony and cocktail hour in the same room.  I have seen everything take place in one room before as well.  We are setting up our ceremony on the far end of a ballroom with the cocktail hour set up behind it.  I like the idea of having a longer aisle to walk as well.  

    I would play around with the floor plan and see what you can do.  You can also ask someone who coordinates events there if they've done anything similar in the past.  They've seen the room set up so many ways and so many times they will be a big help.

    I really believe having something for guests to do is important.  If absolutely everything is in the same room you might consider taking pictures before the ceremony, but I would not get rid of a cocktail hour even if it's not in the traditional sense.
    I married my best friend on July 8, 2011
  • I really wish my church would allow us to use they're hall. There's so much space down there and it can be sectioned off. They said something about insurance. Ugh.
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  • Our cocktail hour/reception will be in the same hall.  There won't be any seperation or anything.
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  • Our wedding is the only one I can remember where the cocktail hour and reception weren't in the same room, whether the wedding was very casual or pretty fancy.  And that was really just because our ceremony and reception were on the same site and that's how the caterer does things at our venue in the time they have allotted to set up - they set up outside first, then finish setting up the food and such inside during cocktail hour.

    The only difference between the two is usually what food is out on the buffet table.  You'll befine having them in the same room.
  • Most of the weddings I've ever been to have them in the same room.  That way people can come in and find their seats and get settled.  Then they grab a drink, some food and either work the room or sit at their table and chit chat with the people there. 
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  • I work wedding receptions every weekend, and honestly I see more combined. When they are in seperate locations there is a lull in the party with the transition.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Most of the ones I've attended were in the same room.






    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. 
  • It's fine to have them in the same room and pretty common. If I had to guess I'd say slightly less than half the weddings I attend have them in the same room. I actually prefer separate rooms, but that's just personal preference.
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