Today, we are talking all about how to make the most of your cocktail hour – a topic absolutely near and dear to my heart. I know to some, cocktail hour might seem like you’re paying a lot of money for a party you can’t attend. I promise that is not always the case. A cocktail hour is a great buffer between your wedding ceremony and reception, and as you create your timeline, you absolutely can join your guests in the celebration. After all, your wedding reception can often feel a bit more structured (at least before the dancing). A cocktail hour is often a great time to incorporate additional mingling time with your guests.
As a top Georgia wedding planning firm, we have been doing this for a long time and I promise you, we will do whatever it takes to make your wedding day vision a reality. And if that means attending cocktail hour, or just planning something for your guests to do while you prepare for your grand entrance, we’ve got you covered. For more information about working with us head here for our wedding planning services, or if you’re ready to start planning your own special day, contact us right away.
Having a first look is something that we recommend for many reasons – if you are curious, we talk about the pros and cons more in this post here. The short version is: we highly recommend having a first look to not only take the edge off, but also allow you to be completely present during your wedding ceremony. It’s hard to feel all the feels as you’re walking down the aisle and you have 200 of your closest family and friends staring at you.
Another advantage of having a first look is that your timeline often has a little bit more flexibility since all the photos can be taken before the ceremony. Oftentimes, our couples will do family portraits and photos with their wedding party before the ceremony even starts. Then, the ceremony can flow effortlessly into the cocktail hour where the wedding couple can enjoy mingling with their guests before the party starts. Doesn’t that sound good?
Not only is having a signature cocktail fun, but it can also actually help you cut down on liquor costs. We love to encourage our couples to use their signature cocktail as a way to encourage their guests to try something new and connect with you more. I love when our couples share their OWN favorite cocktail with their wedding guests. It doesn’t need to be fancy or even match your wedding colors (although we will certainly never say no if you want to do something a little extra!).
You know that your wedding is going to end up on everyone’s Instagram, right? Now more than ever, our couples are asking us for Instagram-worthy wedding decor and some fun backdrop spots for their guests to take photos. Everyone loves a bar cart or fun photo booth to keep them entertained! You might also want to consider live music during the cocktail hour (it’s sure to be enjoyed!). Hiring a live painter is also a fun way to incorporate something different into the event (and provide you with a keepsake you will treasure forever).
Last but not least, make it comfortable with lounge furniture. Traditionally, couples chose higher tables for cocktail hour, so their guests could stand around and enjoy passed hor d’oeuvres. Now, we are seeing a huge shift toward incorporating lounge furniture because our couples’ primary concern is that their guests are comfortable – especially their elderly guests. They don’t necessarily want to sit at high tables or stand around for an hour before their reception table is ready. When you start to think about making the most of your cocktail hour, first consider who is on your guest list.
We hope you have enjoyed these few short tips to making the absolute most out of your cocktail hour. Ultimately, your wedding is only one short day and we want to make sure that from getting ready photos to the very last dance of the night, you and your guests are enjoying every single minute. This should be a day to remember for the rest of your life. If you’re looking for someone to guide you through the many intricacies of planning a wedding, make sure to get in touch with us here. We love to work with couples all over Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond. For real wedding inspiration, you can also check out our portfolio here. We love to brag about our gorgeous couples!