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Etiquette

Cocktail hour - bride and groom attend?

hi - we are having about an hour-long cocktail reception between the ceremony and reception (all at the same location). At a wedding I went to last month, the bride and groom didnt' attend cocktails (bc in jewish tradition they go spend time alone first) and then had their big entry at the reception. To be honest, I didnt' even notice they weren't at the cocktails bc i was in the wedding and having fun seeing a lot of old friends and relatives.
So, i'm thinking about our wedding, and wondering what the right call is. If we skip it, it's less time w/ our guests. But if we go to it, after our alone time, there's no "Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Jones" moment. And of course now, I can't for the life of me remember what other friends did....

Re: Cocktail hour - bride and groom attend?

  • Are you doing pictures after the ceremony? If so, then I'm assuming you would miss cocktail hour and then introduced at the reception.

    We are attending a wedding in May which will have a 2 hour gap because the B & G are allocating 2 hours for pictures off site and don't want to miss cocktail hour. I think the ceremony begins at 4 which will only be about 30 minutes long and cocktail hour at 7. The only plus I see to this is that everything is in the same location.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    We did pictures during that time, so no, we didn't attend. If you do pictures after the ceremony, you need to do one so your guests are not standing around twiddling their thumbs for an hour waiting on you. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • hi - we can't do the ceremony until close to sunset, so photos will be before. Which I'm fine with, so there's no rushing or holidng people up. The property where we're doing it is beauitiful, so I'd like time to take some nice shots in different places.
    What I REALLY want to do is take pic on our sailboat, which will be there, but I"m terrified of falling into the water in my dress..... hahaah. i'm a bit clumsy on the best of days.
  • Our ceremony and reception are at the same location are we are allowing an hour in between as well. We are going to take pictures at this time and make our grand entrance after the cocktail hour so no we won't be attending our either. We plan on saying greeting our guests on the way out of the reception.
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  • edited February 2013
    Chiming in- I went to a wedding last summer where the bride and groom had done their pictures before the ceremony as well. During cocktail hour, they came and drank and ate and mingled with their guests. Then they disappeared and then were introduced grandly with the wedding party. It was perfect actually, because it let the wedding guests know that the dinner portion of the evening was starting and to take their seats. So I think you can easily do both!
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its

    everything was at the same venue. After the ceremony and impromptu receiving line (aka the line to the bar), we took about 30 minutes of pictures.   We came back to the cocktail area, grapped a drink and some food.  Then we were introduced.







    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. 
  • In Response to Re: Cocktail hour - bride and groom attend?:
    [QUOTE]Chiming in- I went to a wedding last summer where the bride and groom had done their pictures before the ceremony as well. During cocktail hour, they came and drank and ate and mingled with their guests. Then they disappeared and then were introduced grandly with the wedding party. It was perfect actually, because it let the wedding guests know that the dinner portion of the evening was starting and to take their seats. So I think you can easily do both!
    Posted by orangehills[/QUOTE]


    This is what we're doing! We'll probably actually spend an additional 10 -15 min after the ceremony taking a few group photos.




  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We had our ceremony and reception at the same venue.  We did about 1 hour for cocktails during which we did our photos.  We got back about 40 minutes in and just showed up and grabbed a drink.  I took a few minutes to bustle my train, and then we mingled for a few minutes before dinner started.  We didn't get announced or have a grand entrance as we didn't want one.  Just showed up and joined the party
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  • We did photos before the ceremony, ketubah signing, ceremony, yichud (I'm just giving you these details since I take it you are planning a Jewish wedding), and then joined our guests for 40 minutes or so of cocktail hour, during which we did a few extended family photos.  Everything was at the same venue.  We were still introduced at the reception.  We lingered behind our guests and waited for them to sit down, and then our venue coordinator had us go into the room.  

    At every Jewish wedding I have seen where the couple does yichud/seclusion, they join the cocktail hour, just a little late.  

    I also have to say that I like having cocktail hours.  They're not just for pictures.  If I've been sitting, watching a ceremony, it's nice to have some time to walk around, chat, and snack before sitting down for dinner.

  • In Response to Re: Cocktail hour - bride and groom attend?:
    [QUOTE]Chiming in- I went to a wedding last summer where the bride and groom had done their pictures before the ceremony as well. During cocktail hour, they came and drank and ate and mingled with their guests. Then they disappeared and then were introduced grandly with the wedding party. It was perfect actually, because it let the wedding guests know that the dinner portion of the evening was starting and to take their seats. So I think you can easily do both!
    Posted by orangehills[/QUOTE]

    I really like this option. I never understood why the B&G should feel like they need to hide from guests during cocktail hour just so they can be 'annouced'. If I invited you to my wedding, I want to see you. I get wanting some time with your brand new spouse, I just don't think that you should feel like you are shunned from the cocktail hour. You can still be introduced after guests are seated at the start of dinner. 



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  • We're doing a first look, but we still want some pictures at the reception venue (ceremony in a chruch about 10 minutes away) because we rented a 54 Bentley and the reception venue has some really great outdoor space for pcitures with it. We're planning to finish those up pretty quickly though, and then go to the later half of cocktail hour. We'll just be introduced before dinner. 
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited March 2013
    In Response to Re: Cocktail hour - bride and groom attend?:
    [QUOTE]If you don't have anything to do during the hour I never really understand the purpose of a cocktail hour. I would just move on to the reception. If you can go I would.
    Posted by scribe95[/QUOTE]
    To me, the cocktail hour is usually the best part of a wedding!  Most of the time the food is better and I like to try all the apps and stations.
    OP - My DH and I left the ceremony, went to the bridal suite, had a glass of champagne, bustled my dress and then went and enjoyed the cocktail hour with our guests.  
    When it came time to transition to the reception room, we went back to the bridal suite while everyone got seated and then we were formally introduced into the reception.  It all worked out great!
  • In Response to Re: Cocktail hour - bride and groom attend?:
    [QUOTE]Chiming in- I went to a wedding last summer where the bride and groom had done their pictures before the ceremony as well. During cocktail hour, they came and drank and ate and mingled with their guests. Then they disappeared and then were introduced grandly with the wedding party. It was perfect actually, because it let the wedding guests know that the dinner portion of the evening was starting and to take their seats. So I think you can easily do both!
    Posted by orangehills[/QUOTE]

    This is exactly what we are doing, and we are having a (mostly) Jewish ceremony. We want to spend as much time visiting with our guests as possible, and enjoy the cocktail hour food. 
  • OjitosVerdesOjitosVerdes member
    250 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited March 2013
    In Response to Re: Cocktail hour - bride and groom attend?:
    [QUOTE]Chiming in- I went to a wedding last summer where the bride and groom had done their pictures before the ceremony as well. During cocktail hour, they came and drank and ate and mingled with their guests. Then they disappeared and then were introduced grandly with the wedding party. It was perfect actually, because it let the wedding guests know that the dinner portion of the evening was starting and to take their seats. So I think you can easily do both!
    Posted by orangehills[/QUOTE]

    I'm 4th-ing this suggestion! Personally, we don't want to miss a second with our guests, many of whom are coming from really far away, nor do I want to miss the food, our cocktails or our Spanish guitarist! I'm actually really uncomfortable with the grandiose intro, but FI is into it as is our wedding party, so this is how we're planning on doing both the cocktail hour and intro. 
  • I personally will probably go to cocktail hour for a bit after having a few moments alone with my new hubby since are not doing a photographer at all and we are still being Introduced at the reception ...
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  • This is what we are planning on doing.  Pictures, ceremony, receiving line, cocktail hour  then dinner.

    In Response to Re: Cocktail hour - bride and groom attend?:
    [QUOTE]everything was at the same venue. After the ceremony and impromptu receiving line (aka the line to the bar), we took about 30 minutes of pictures.   We came back to the cocktail area, grapped a drink and some food.  Then we were introduced.
    Posted by lyndausvi[/QUOTE]
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  • we did all of our pictures before hand so we joined our guests at cocktail hour.
  • I have the same dilemma that you have and after reading all of the comments, I am now super confuse on what to do LOL!

    If it's according to what I want, I want to do all of the suggested...spending time w/ my husband, join my guests for cocktail hour, eat yummy appetizers, drink good wines, and take awesome pictures. 

    Alas, we only have 1 hour of cocktail hour. I think I am just going to play it by ear on this one and do what our hearts content at that time with the exception of taking some night time pictures so we'll have both day and night time pictures with just us. 

    I'll keep you inform if that works in the next 25 days Thebaysidebride! :)
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