Wedding Etiquette Forum

Please help: what to do for "cocktail hour" at a DRY site!

Silverelf2015Silverelf2015 member
10 Comments 5 Love Its
edited July 2015 in Wedding Etiquette Forum
I think my post title says it all: What should we do for our guests during a "cocktail hour" when the venue does not allow any alcohol, or even anything remotely resembling a bar? 

We will be taking pictures during that hour. 

I need ideas, and budget-friendly ones at this point as we're close to the date and pretty much all spent out, but we want to be correct about it. 

Thank you in advance! 
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Re: Please help: what to do for "cocktail hour" at a DRY site!

  • You can have a social hour and just serve non-alcoholic beverages and apps. 
    SP29Fosmoh
  • Have drinks and food.  Depending on your budget for this part of your reception, you could keep it simple - tea, lemonade, water, etc. or you could do something like mocktails and spritzers (with juice, drink mixes and sodas) or gourmet sodas.  Throw is some apps and I think you are good to go.  Classic apps can always be good - cheese & crackers, veggies & dips, fruit, maybe something like meatballs or skewers of chicken.  It really depends on what your set up is and how conscious of food safety you need to be.


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    Anniversary


  • I like these ideas! I was thinking of some kind of light appetizers (like crackers and cheese, fruit) so I'll go with my gut on this. As long as people won't be offended by the lack of alcohol (it's a community/religious venue), I guess we're good. It's mostly families with children anyway. 
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    food and beverages. "Cocktail Hour" is just a term designating the time prior to the reception starting. It doesn't have to include actual cocktails.
    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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    SP29
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Alcohol is never required. As long as you have some beverages and food to nibble on you're good.

    Cheese/cracker, fruit, veggie and meat trays will be budget friendly. You could also do chips and dip.

    Water/ coffee/ tea/ soda/ lemonade or iced tea for beverages.
  • I've been to a bunch of weddings like this where the "cocktail hour" is at the dry ceremony site. I think even the most boozy people will understand that a religious space is often not appropriate for alcohol. Like the PPs said - just have light food and non-alcoholic beverages available and you're good to go!
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    And just to add to all of the above, whenever I have gone to a wedding it was never listed anywhere that a cocktail hour was going to occur.  It is just kind of a known thing that for a bit after the ceremony some drinks and apps will be served because the couple is off taking pictures.  So it is up to you what kind of drinks and apps you will be serving.  Since you are having a dry event just serve non-alcoholic options and you are good to go.

  • I think my post title says it all: What should we do for our guests during a "cocktail hour" when the venue does not allow any alcohol, or even anything remotely resembling a bar? 

    We will be taking pictures during that hour. 

    I need ideas, and budget-friendly ones at this point as we're close to the date and pretty much all spent out, but we want to be correct about it. 

    Thank you in advance! 
    I'm a little confused by the bolded. How are you supposed to serve drinks? And I mean like water and lemonade? Does your venue prohibit certain containers like beverage dispensers? Can you only have coolers with canned soda? Do they prohibit root beer or cans that look like beer? I'm confused. 


    In addition to the appetizers as suggested by others, I would set up a "display" (not calling it a bar) with infused water, soda, juice, and coffee. Alcohol is never required.
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  • It will be a display, yes. What I meant was we can't bring in and set up an actual alcoholic bar, because it's a religious space. The caterers are taking care of beverages. 

    Thanks everyone :)
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  • FosmohFosmoh member
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    I think it depends on the time of day but i love the idea of tea and coffee.
    You can get a lot of different flavoured teas. 
    My sister is a huge tea drinker and for her wedding she borrowed all sorts of tea pots from family and friends and put a pot of tea on each table during her reception.

    You could maybe do something similar and set up a table with small appetizers and different flavoured teas.  ice tea as well.

    Davids Tea and Teavana have a bunch of flavoured teas that can be served hot or cold.  a lot of the fruity/berry teas are caffeine free and can be served cold (so if you have children attending they may prefer that and the parents may like that it's caffeine free)

    I'd be sure to label the teas so people know what's what (SOME teas can't be taken with certain medications or isn't recommended when pregnant etc, or people want to avoid caffeine)


    SP29
  • dalm0mdalm0m member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    AS long as you can serve people something to drink & something to nibble on it will be fine.  Inside a religious instution, I doubt most people would expect booze. 
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