Understanding the Cocktail Hour


Cocktail Hour

The cocktail hour is a mysterious period of time between the ceremony and the big celebration. Sometimes it isn’t even an hour. What is the cocktail hour all about? The name gives away that some cocktails will be involved. This is highlight moment on the timeline is about so much more than the bar. The bride and groom disappear from the main event and everyone is left to some bar surprises and a small glimpse of the celebration to come. The cocktail hour is the prelude to the perfect celebration, and we are sharing tips to make yours spectacular.


The Purpose of the Cocktail Hour


Weddings are unique, but all have a basic structure that involves a cocktail hour sandwiched between the ceremony and the reception. This is a time for guests to enjoy entertainment, drinks, hors d'oeuvres and a social experience. While they await an invitation to dine in the reception area, there are moving pieces in motion behind the scenes. If your ceremony space and reception area require a flip, the transition will be in process. If they are separate spaces, it is all about the finishing touches. The newlyweds will take a moment for a private toast, hors d'oeuvres and wedding photography. If the bride will be changing her dress, this will be the opportunity. The bride and groom get a reception area reveal while everyone awaits the grand entrance.

Cocktail Hour

Timing the Cocktail Hour


The timing of the cocktail hour is always the break between the two important segments of your wedding day, but not always an hour-long event. Some couples plan a shorter break of half an hour to forty-five minutes. A shorter cocktail hour is usually an attempt to reduce bar costs and shorten the timeline. Keep in mind that if you shorten the cocktail hour, you will be shortening the time allocated for wedding photography and the big reveal of the reception area before the guests are invited to dine. It might make more sense to keep the hour or add fifteen minutes. The time of your ceremony will ultimately dictate the time of day for your cocktail hour. It is your wedding day and your timeline. Make sure you have a wedding day coordinator to manage the timeline.


Dry Weddings


Not every couple chooses to serve alcohol. What is a cocktail hour without cocktails? It is a different type of celebration. You might choose to stock the bar with healthy and fun beverages. If you are considering a dry wedding, try to think beyond lemonade, tea and coffee. Serve up fruity splashes of punch that bubble over with carbonation and make it exciting. You can also serve mixed drinks without the alcohol.


A Cocktail Hour Without Alcohol


Without the alcohol, your party will have a different dynamic. The deejay and coordinator will have a little more work to get the event flowing. Getting guests to step out of their comfort zone without the influence of alcohol might involve dancing activities and dancing games that would place a large number of guests on the dance floor in a way that makes them feel connected with a group. Consider planning karaoke events, caricature artists, a magician, comedy show or a photo booth experience.

Crystal Ballroom Clearwater

Crystal Ballroom Clearwater


Crystal Ballroom Clearwater is an all-inclusive event and wedding venue that designs and stages your cocktail hour to match your vision. A meeting with a professional wedding designer is part of every package. Pick and choose your colors, décor and floral designs from the design studio. Stock your bar the way you want and get creative with your signature drinks. Crystal Ballroom provides bar services, banquet staff and bartenders to make the experience flawless. Beyond the cocktail hour, Crystal Ballroom customizes the décor and designs in an entire wedding venue, from the ceremony space to the reception ballroom. Just bring imagination, and let the wedding professionals create your dream wedding at Crystal Ballroom Clearwater.

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