The cocktail hour is what sets the mood for the entire evening at the wedding. It is the start of your celebration so you do not want to miss it if at all possible! The cocktail hour is a time you can customize everything! From the drinks to the outdoor lounge areas. Be sure to have plenty of food, and that the lines for the bar will not be too long. Making your cocktail hour fun and fast will leave your wedding guests viewing it favorably.
1. Have the cocktail hour right after the wedding.
2. Attend cocktail hour…(this means you need to do your photos before the ceremony)
3. Passed hors d’oeuvres because this way they don’t sit in the sun, or get flies on them outside.
4. Stick to one hour, if it is too long everyone gets restless, eats, and drinks to much
5. Have it be an open bar, but choose some wine, beer, and have a signature cocktail for people to drink
6. Consider having a coffee station depending on the time of day
7. If you have a sign in book, photobooth, or lawn games this is a great time for people to be doing them
8. Have some music playing
9. Be sure to have places for people to sit and relax (get creative, give it character and your own flare)
10. Make sure you have an indoor/outdoor location or tent
11. Try to incorporate your theme or colors, get the mood and atmosphere set for the rest of the night
12. Give your guests the Maine experience by doing something like a raw oyster bar
Editors note: This post was originally published in 2011 but has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehension.