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What Happens During Cocktail Hour? MMW 165



What goes on during the Cocktail Hour? Or as some venues call it, Pre-Reception. That time between the Ceremony and Reception.

This part of the day is integral for a number of reasons but mostly;

  1. To give you time to have photographs and refresh
  2. To give guests a drink and some food

Honestly, after your ceremony and all the nervous energy and then hugging and kissing everyone and having 100 small conversations you will be ready for taking some time away.

Some of you might be thinking you want to be with everyone for that duration and enjoy that time or I paid for those food and drinks so I want to enjoy them. But trust me. Just take at least half of that time. Once you are in the reception there is at least 5 hours of people wanting to talk and touch you or photograph you.

You will thank me later.

So take time to head off for some photographs, have a drink and celebrate with your bridal party or just with the two of you alone. You might even need to drive to your photograph location or next venue.

Just have time to refresh.

Take an esky or picnic basket so you also get to enjoy all the drinks and food you ordered for the guests. Most venues will organise this but some venues you will need to ask.

Guests also desperately need this cocktail hour. It is like their happy hour. The moment they are now waiting for now they have seen you walk down the aisle.

They are often thirsty and starving. They have spent time getting ready, travelling to the ceremony, waiting for your arrival and then the ceremony time. So usually it has been a good couple or sometimes even a few hours of not eating.

So, feed your guests no matter what. Especially don’t give them drinks without food. They will be drunk before you arrive to the Reception.

But don’t overfeed them. You want them to look forward to the main meal and not be too full and not eat it. So, it is a balance.

Some people think an hour is too long but it truly flies by. They are mingling, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom and sometimes looking around the venue.

If it’s longer than an hour spread the food out so they have something to look forward to or going on. Or have the guest book or your guest book alternative out already so they can get started.

Live music can also really make that hour more enjoyable and entertaining and really create a beautiful ambience.

If outside you could have lawn games or ice cream being served.

This Pre-Reception time is also great for allowing people to be late or getting lost if they have to travel between the ceremony and reception.

So don’t discount this cocktail hour. It’s important for you getting married and your guests.


Recommended Podcast Episodes:


Download the Free Manage My Wedding App - HERE! 

Plan Your Dream Wedding Workshop is available for replay HERE!





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AT THE BEEP - the audio guest book for weddings and parties.
You can find all the information for At The Beep at:

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