While the ceremony and reception almost always get the attention they deserve when it comes to planning a wedding, sometimes certain other portions of the day get overlooked, namely the cocktail hour. It makes sense, too, as there don’t tend to be any real pivotal moments happening at that time.
But make no mistake, we’ve been doing wedding videography in NJ for a long time and the cocktail is very important. That’s why the planning of it deserves just as much time and thought as does any other part of your wedding celebration, and why you can never have enough insight on making yours better. So, read on for a few tips for doing just that.
1. Choose your foods wisely.
First of all, for your sake as well as the sake of your wedding videographers and/or photographers, it’s best to choose easy-to-eat foods for your cocktail hour. We don’t just mean finger foods, either. We also mean that you shouldn’t choose snacks that are going to make for a messy eating situation.
After all, there’s plenty more celebrating to do after the cocktail hour and you don’t want to ruin your clothes nor your pictures or video. So, try to keep things simple and clean, and from there, you should also consider choosing snacks on the lighter side rather than foods that will fill you and your guests up too early.
On top of all that, it’s also important to mention that your cocktail hour is the perfect time to try out some more “unique” food ideas, as you don’t want to force guests to try something new for dinner. If they don’t like it, they won’t have any other options, but the cocktail hour is a different story.
2. Make it about more than just snacks & cocktails.
While most guests will appreciate the opportunity to relax, have a drink or two, and get a few snacks in them to quell their appetites, that doesn’t mean that that’s all your cocktail hour can provide. It can be about more than drinking and eating. In fact, many guests will appreciate having the option of doing some kind of activity at this time, too.
It could be some type of lawn game if your cocktail hour or entire celebration is taking place outdoors, some kind of mingling game, you could have a photo booth set up in the space, etc. The point is that activities like these often don’t take much to plan, and giving your guests some options is always a good idea.
Also, depending on your venue, you may have some other options in terms of what those activities can be. For example, if you and your partner are celebrating your big day at a winery, then you may be able to allow your guests to take a mini tour should they want to during your cocktail hour.
3. Allow your guests to get all the info they may need.
Your cocktail hour is the perfect time to give guests any further information they may still need. For instance, if your reception will be taking place somewhere else on the grounds, then you may want to strategically place a sign somewhere around your cocktail hour location so guests can get an idea of where they’re going next.
The same goes for any other reception-related information they may need, such as table cards. If you have them out somewhere within or near your cocktail hour space, then your guests will have the opportunity to figure out where they’ll be sitting during the reception and won’t have to worry about it anymore.
Lastly, having your guestbook placed somewhere in your cocktail hour location is also always a great idea. That way, not only will your guests be more likely to take the time to sign it, but they’ll also have more time to craft their messages.
Our NJ wedding videographers know how important the cocktail hour can be.
The bottom line is that you can absolutely plan a plain old cocktail hour, complete with a little bar and some run-of-the-mill treats. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that your cocktail can be a lot more than that, and if you plan it right, it can be just as memorable a portion of your wedding day as any other. We hope these tips help. Good luck and have fun!
About Us: Live Picture Studios has been doing wedding photography and wedding videography in NJ, NY, PA, and CT for years, and we don’t just document details, we create to inspire. Check out our photo gallery and video gallery for some examples.