So you’ve decided what time to have your ceremony, if you are having a first look and what time you will start getting ready. That only leaves two more parts to your wedding day, cocktail hour and your reception! I bet now more than ever your day is starting to feel like it all coming together, the day you have dreamed of for so long.
Maybe you are wondering what is a cocktail hour or why people have one. If you are having a first look with your soon to be spouse then cocktail hour serves as a chance for you to get to visit with your guests in a relaxed enviroment. Getting to visit with them before your reception means that they are less likely to interrupt you while you are eating or while you are living it up on the dance floor.
If you aren’t having a first look then cocktail hour is a chance for your guests to be entertained while you get to take the most important photos of your entire day! This is the time where you get to take your husband and wife portraits, the ones that will hang on your walls for years to come. Some couples prefer this route, though it usually means more interruptions from guests who want to congratulate you on your new marriage!
But How long should cocktail hour be?
Cocktail time needs to be long enough to occupy your guests for whatever time it takes to get all of the photos you were not able to get before the ceremony. This typically means family formals, some bridal party photos (maybe all if you weren’t able to schedule any before the ceremony) and your couples’ photos. In all, you need to schedule at least an hour and a half.
If you imagine thirty minutes for family, bridal party and newlywed photos each that give you just enough time to get those out of the way before the party can start. If you are traveling offsite for your newlywed photos or want more time for those specifically, you may want to add additional time so that you don’t feel rushed!
Cocktail hour may not be necessary if you have long gap of time between your ceremony and reception if they are in different places. For example, if you ceremony is at 1pm and your reception is at 6pm, you may not need a cocktail hour. If you are having everything at one location, I highly recommend it!
Check back next week for the final piece before we put it all together, Part Five – The Reception
If you haven’t checked out the previous posts for creating a timeline, head to the following links to get started with the most important part, the ceremony!
Creating a timeline is stressful and one of the top questions I get from my couples. I hope this series will be helpful in taking a little of the stress off of your wedding planning plate! If you need more help, or have questions I would love to connect! OR if you’d like to find out more about becoming a #CourtneyPaigeCouple head back to the home page and fill out a contact form and I will be in touch!
For more help or questions I can be reached at the links below: