Cocktail Hour: What It Is and Reasons You Need It

Including cocktail hour at your wedding may appear to be extra and unnecessary, but today, it’s become an essential part of the wedding. Cocktail hour is the short period of time between the wedding ceremony and the reception in which guests have a few drinks and mingle with one another. Despite the name, cocktails don’t have to be served if, for instance, it is a dry wedding. Tea, lemonade, and soda will do just fine!

There are usually appetizers present at cocktail hour as well, along with high tops for guests to enjoy their snacks. Cocktail hour is typically 60 minutes, but more time can be allotted depending on your needs. Now that you know more about cocktail hour, here are some reasons you should consider having it on wedding day:

 

Entertainment & Socializing

Cocktail hour gives your guests something to do in between the ceremony and dinner. Instead of waiting for you to finish up any photos after the ceremony, cocktail hour lets guests socialize with one another to pass the time. At some weddings, there are even games, such as corn hole, or other activities guests can do in the meantime!

Rebecca Renee Photography

Rebecca Renee Photography

More Photo Opportunities

With cocktail hour, you are free to enjoy all the photos being taken after the reception, without the stressful feeling of your guests waiting on you. As guests are entertained and distracted until dinner time, it will be understood that this time is reserved for pictures, so you can get all the different family combos you have in mind!

John Myers Photography

John Myers Photography

Lets Guests Explore the Venue 

By including cocktail hour in your wedding, guests not only have the chance to socialize but also to explore your wedding venue! If your venue has multiple spaces like we do here at Southall Meadows, your guests will have such a fun time exploring it in its entirety.

Photos by Ava Vienneau

Photos by Ava Vienneau

View more photos of our spaces here.

Snacks

Since your guests know they’ll be eating at your wedding reception, chances are they will come to your wedding hungry. With the wedding ending and dinner typically starting 60-90 minutes later, cocktail hour allows for guests to have some snacks that will hold them over until dinner time!

Lizzy Oakley Photography

Lizzy Oakley Photography

Check out some ideas for cocktail hour appetizers here!

Allows for Personalization

If you’re looking to add some custom touches in the drinks, food, or other decor in your wedding, cocktail hour is great place to get creative! One way you could do this is by working with your bartender to create a signature drink. Monogrammed napkins or barware can also go a long way in personalizing your wedding.

Asher & Emily Photography

Asher & Emily Photography

Click this link for signature drink ideas!

Gets Guests Ready to Party 

Cocktail hour lets guests decompress and get comfortable after the ceremony, but it also sets the tone for the rest of the night! Most couples like to keep the music low and mellow so guests can talk to one another with ease, but make sure your music matches the setting. You can tell your DJ you want a lively playlist during cocktail hour to keep energy high for the reception!

Meric Moments Photography

Meric Moments Photography

Thinking of opting out of cocktail hour? That’s okay! Depending on the size of your guest count and the vision you have for your wedding, it may not be for you. Remember that an enjoyable cocktail hour can be simple, and it doesn’t have to break your wedding budget. 

 

Cover Photo by Kassidy Marie Photography

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