A fab new trend that we are totally on board with for weddings is couples actually attending their cocktail hour! After all, who wants to miss out on all the mixing, mingling, and amazing cocktails? Especially after so much planning went into making sure that it would be the perfect kick-off celebration to your reception? Wondering how you can pull off actually attending your cocktail hour and having an amazing time while you’re there? We are breaking it down in the post below!
Coordinate Your Timeline With Your Photographer
One of the biggest reasons couples usually miss out on their cocktail hour is because they are taking their wedding portraits or family formals. However, your professional wedding photographer is a master of timelines and this is definitely not their first rodeo. When you get to the phase of coordinating your photography timeline with them, be sure to communicate right away, that you plan on going straight from your ceremony to your cocktail hour. That way they have the ability to move around the timeline for your portraits and family formals.
It’ll definitely take some coordinating, so it’s important to be open to their suggestions. For example, they may suggest adding in a first look to your timeline earlier in the day. That way they can piggyback off of this time to also capture your wedding portraits. Curious how you can still grab those family formals with your parents, grandparents, and siblings? You have a few options! The first is to schedule them after your cocktail hour but before your official dinner service! The second is to reduce the amount of portraits you are taking. As opposed to a slew of one-on-one portraits, you are now looking at one or two large group-sized photos that feature everyone.
Make it a Non-negotiable
Deadset on attending the fantastic cocktail hour that you painstakingly planned with amazing drinks and fab small bites? You have to make it a non-negotiable. That means telling everyone around you, including, but especially your wedding vendors, that you 1000% plan on attending your cocktail hour, no matter what! This will give them ample time to move around anything else that was “supposed” to reside in its time slot. For example, room reveals, portraits, and gift exchanges, can all be moved to different portions of your day. If you’re focused on creating an experience-based wedding, find the wedding vendors who will best understand your vision, because baby, they will move mountains to make it happen for you!
Add In A Can’t-Miss Wow Factor
Still worried that making it a non-negotiable won’t be enough for everyone to understand what you’re trying to achieve for your day? Having a “can’t miss wow factor” moment or vendor service during your cocktail hour is the perfect “excuse” to get you there. Like telling anyone and everyone who will listen “We absolutely have to attend our cocktail hour because it’s the only time the bounce house will be set up for the night!”. Or, “We are having our fireworks display during cocktail hour because city ordinance won’t allow it later in the night!”. Like there’s any way you’d miss out on either of those?
Whether you are going big with one of the wedding activities that we mentioned above or you’ve decided to set up your photo booth during cocktail hour as opposed to your reception, having a dedicated activity that is happening during your cocktail hour is the perfect excuse to make sure that you and your partner don’t miss out!
Create a Fun Lead In
One way to get you and your partner to the cocktail hour at your wedding is to have you lead the way, LITERALLY! Let your guests know via the message board of your Guestie event, that once you are pronounced you will be walking down the aisle and straight into your cocktail hour on the patio, at the courtyard, or wherever your cocktail hour is being held!! It’ll be a fun way to create a celebration train with you leading the way and everyone you know and love coming in directly behind you. How is that for skipping right to celebrating? If music is a big part of your wedding day, have your cocktail hour band or DJ kick things off with a fun song to welcome in the party before everyone heads over to the signature drinks and deelish bites!
The Best Way to Enjoy Your Cocktail Hour
So we worked on getting you to your cocktail hour, but now you want to have an amazing time while you’re there. Fair enough. Nobody wants to spend the precious moments of their wedding day running around making introductions. Or worse, making sure everyone is taken care of and having an amazing time. Instead, how amazing would it be for you to head straight to the bar?
On your way there you catch a bird’s eye view of all your different friend groups already mingling. Your family members are all having an amazing time, and they’re already acquainted with your new in-laws. That sounds like a dream scenario, right? If you want to skip over the bouncing around making sure that your college friends have met your cousins and that your grandma isn’t sitting in a corner alone with your favorite aunt, you can introduce your guests to each other ahead of time through your Guestie event. Then once you arrive at your cocktail hour, you’re only concern will be whether you’re heading directly to the small bites or signature cocktails!