Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pre-Cocktail Hour

One of the newest trends that I’m starting to see pushed by all the wedding magazines and online wedding sites is the cocktail hour before the wedding. Now all of us are familiar with the cocktail hour after the ceremony. It is a time for the guests to mingle and loosen up a little bit while waiting for the bride and groom to finish pictures.

As a planner, I love the cocktail hour (we even do non-cocktail, cocktail hours). It’s a great way to keep your guests happy while waiting and not have the reception practically over by the time the bride and groom arrive. It is also a great time to show those childhood montages that are so popular now.

The newest trend however, is the cocktail time before the actual ceremony. Guests are invited to come an hour earlier and served cocktails while waiting for the wedding to start. Of course this is not going to happen if you are getting married at the church, at least not on the church grounds, but if your ceremony is at a site this is a possibility. I can see both the good and the bad of this. It does give you an hour before the ceremony for the guests to arrive, cutting down on those last minutes guests holding up your walk down the aisle. It does give the guests a little while to relax after the drive over, especially if they have come some distance. If you’re at an outdoor site that is warm it is certainly nice for your guests to have a cool drink.

On the other hand, guests walking into the ceremony drinks in hand, does not lend itself to the formality of the occasion. And lord forbid, someone gets drunk and loud during the ceremony. From the planners view, getting guests to leave the bar and go into the ceremony might not be the easiest challenge.

All that being said, I have done this at one site here in Greenville and it worked out just fine. So it’s really up to the bride and groom. Just something to think about.


Adriane said...

I am doing this for my wedding to give guests time to arrive. Do you have suggestions on how to word this in an invitation?

Susan Sanford said...

Hi Adriane,

The proper way to handle this, is to enclose a small card with your invitation, that simply states: Please join us for a pre-ceremony cocktail hour at three o'clock.


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