Is Cocktail Hour a Wedding Essential?

Etiquette, Food & Drink
Wedding Cocktail Party FAQs

Photo: Lisa Lefkowitz

There is nothing more frightening than a hungry guest. Navigate the stickiest wedding food and drink dilemmas with a little help from our experts.

Is cocktail hour essential? We don't want people to fill up on hors d'oeuvres and not eat dinner.

A cocktail hour isn't just for eating and drinking—it also gives you time to organize the crowd. With cars to park and coats to check, people tend to trickle into an event, and the cocktail period ensures that everyone will be present when dinner is announced. Rather than eliminating your cocktail hour, try cutting it back to 45 minutes or scaling down the number of selections (for example, three types of passed hors d'oeuvres instead of six).

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