Your wedding day certainly won’t lack for celebration. Between the ceremony itself and the reception that follows, you and your guests will be spending the better part of the afternoon or evening mingling together and celebrating your new union.
So the addition of a pre-ceremony cocktail hour might sound a bit unnecessary. But you shouldn’t dismiss the idea out of hand.
Including a pre-ceremony cocktail hour in your wedding day schedule offers some very real benefits. More than simply adding another hour of fun and celebration to the day, there are very real practical reasons to add a pre-ceremony cocktail service to your itinerary.
Before you finalize your wedding day schedule, let’s look at a few key reasons why you might want to include a pre-ceremony cocktail hour in your plans.
Added Fun and Hospitality
When it comes to your wedding day, there’s really no such thing as too much celebration. A pre-ceremony cocktail service helps to get the day’s events off to a festive start. Moreover, it gives your guests a chance to meet and mingle prior to the wedding ceremony itself.
Remember, many of your wedding guests may be meeting for the first time, and a short meet and greet gives everyone a chance to get to know each other better before the wedding services start.
We all have friends and family members who are habitually late for important events. As much as we love them, they are always running behind the clock. It may be your wedding day, but like it or not some of your guests are going to be late to the party.
The pre-ceremony cocktail service gives those late comers a natural buffer. This will help take the stress off of the chronically tardy, and will ensure that when that all of your guests are present when you and spouse to be take your walk down the aisle.
There’s never any real shortage of photo opportunities on a couple’s wedding day. That being said, it can be difficult for photographers to get clean portraits of the bride and groom and their wedding party.
During your pre-ceremony cocktail hour, your guests can mingle and enjoy themselves while you and your wedding party pose for portraits.
Because this is all happening prior to the ceremony and reception, everyone in the wedding party will be fresh faced and camera ready. Gowns and tuxedos will be crisp, makeup will be fresh and free of tears, and your wedding pictures will come out perfectly.
Tips for Your Pre-Wedding Cocktail Hour
If a pre-ceremony cocktail hour sounds like something you want to add to your wedding day itinerary, there are a few things you should keep in mind. These few tips will help your cocktail service come together without a hitch, and will ensure that your wedding day get’s off to a fabulous start.
- The Bride and Groom – The bride and groom should reserve their entrance for ceremony itself. So it will fall to the Maid of Honor and the Best Man to act as hosts during the cocktail hour. They will be your representatives, and should be fully prepared to meet and greet your guests.
- Keep It Simple – You will want to keep the cocktail service simple. After all, the real party begins with the reception. Choose a few signature drinks, preferably with low alcohol content. Something like a Mimosa is perfect for this. Also, be sure to include at least one non-alcoholic cocktail in your bar menu. Most of your guests will want to keep a clear head for the ceremony, and will be looking for something refreshing rather than strong.
- Keep it Structured – A pre-ceremony cocktail hour should be well structured. Set a time limit, and stick to it. No more than an hour should be allotted to the cocktail service.
The pre-wedding cocktail service is becoming very popular with couples, and is a fabulous addition to the wedding day festivities. It’s a wonderfully hospitable way to welcome your guests, while creating a celebratory mood that gets the day off to a perfect start.
When planning your wedding, don’t forget to consider adding a pre-ceremony cocktail hour to your schedule. Your guests will love it, and so will you.