Last year one of our couples let us revolutionize cocktail hour and I may never go back to the old way of doing things! Here’s how we did it:
This timeline came to be because the couple wanted to have a private Ketubah signing with a smaller group of family members. While they did that the rest of their guests enjoyed the first 30 minute cocktail hour. And guess what? They LOVED it.
The ceremony was even more joyful because guests had already settled into the party. Family that hadn’t seen each other in ages had embraced and caught up.
It was almost like getting to eat dessert first. I love anything wrapped in puff pastry so cocktail hours have always been my thing. I make friends with a server and let them know to find me with every tray of delicious bites that come out of the kitchen.
Even if you’re not ready for a pre-ceremony cocktail hour or if your ceremony is off-site (in which case this flow won’t work as well) I wouldn’t be shy about extending cocktail hour to a full 90 minutes. People love to chat and mingle and if you have access to outdoor space guests will linger there as long as they can so embrace it.
1. Unique Escort Cards. Even if you do something simple for the card itself, have fun with the linen and try laying them out on a round table. I love this look and it allows guests to move around the table easily
2. Fun Signage. For just a few dollars you can add signage to your bar or food displays that ooze personality. Some of our recent favorites:
3. Games. At the end of the day, we’re all kids at heart. We’ve used everything from life-sized Jenga to croquette to a few Trivial Pursuit cards sprinkled on high-top tables. They break the ice and get people laughing.
4. Unique Entertainment. Music can often get lost during cocktail hour. Unless you have the budget for at least a 4-5 piece band I tend to opt for a great playlist as background music and put the dollars into some type of live entertainment: a caricaturist, a roaming magician, a palm reader, a live poem writer. Whatever you’re in to try to incorporate it into the day. Most of the time I’ll add some great signage and call this the “favor”. Everyone gets to enjoy it and there’s no waste.
5. Killer Bar. Bars are one of the first places I spend extra design dollars. Everyone will visit the bar so it is one place you can make a statement no one can miss.
Take the FREE and start planning a wedding that feels uniquely you.
The truth is I hated planning my own wedding. I felt like I was going it alone and was surprised by how hard it was to find partners who embraced my vision. Thankfully, the guy was worth it and that experience is what led me to become a wedding planner. After a decade of planning luxury weddings I am bringing my process to you.