Details matter when hosting a wedding.
Have you ever attended a wedding and either got frustrated about something, or thought to yourself, “I would have done it differently?” We probably all have at one point or another, so when you are finally in the position of planning your own wedding, keep all those things in mind! Here are some thoughts about the cocktail hour.
The food at the cocktail hour is sometimes the highlight of the night! All those delicious choices! Almost every wedding I have been to, no matter the size, has a complete lack of adequate seating or high-top tables offered to the guests. It is so difficult to hold a plate of food and a drink with nowhere to put it down to actually enjoy it all. I know the theory is that this is the time for the guests to just mingle about, but then offer plenty of hightops to rest our drinks on. And older guests might feel more comfortable with a seat, so if you have Grandma and Grandpa or Aunt Lilly that will be tired, maybe request a reserved seating sign to save a table for them.
Another night highlight is the bar service. Many times the hosts are paying for an open bar which is a sure winner for their guests! But nothing is more frustrating than spending most of the cocktail hour standing on line at the bar, because it is either undersized or understaffed. Make sure to discuss with the venue how many bartenders they staff for both the cocktail hour and the reception. Ask how experienced their bartending staff is. No one wants to ask for a drink that the bartender is unsure how to make. The bar tab is a major ticket item in your total venue’s cost, so you want to make sure you get the most out of it.
The cocktail hour is really rough on any of us with severe food allergies. As a person with Celiac disease, I have learned to be comfortable with wedding food when it comes to the reception itself. Usually you can discuss allergies with your server and feel confident your needs will be met. The cocktail hour is another story. Honestly, I don’t think since I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac have I eaten anything beyond fruit and shrimp cocktail. Nothing is labeled, and those stations that do have servers rarely have someone who is certain about what is in the ingredients. Although I’m sure I could always find the maitre’d to inquire, it usually feels like too much of a hassle. If you have guests with food allergies, please ask your venue if signs noting the major allergens could be posted at the stations. I know for a fact that would be a welcomed sight for many!