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Reception Host Wedding Cocktail hour

Wedding Cocktail hour

Wedding cocktail hour

The wedding toast to newly weds is the moment that occurs after the civil ceremony and before the wedding reception. Often made like a welcome cocktail, it allows the newly weds to thank their relatives who have attended the marriage ceremony but who may not have been  invited to continue the celebrations with them. Usually a buffet is displayed with hors d'oeuvre, cheese and crackers etc... Traditionally, dry champagne is served for the toast or even wedding punch. You can also think of cocktails alcohol- juice or alcohol- fizzy drinks. But remember that it is important to have drinks flowing and pay attention to mix with lot of non-alcoholic drinks to avoid your guests being merry too early.


The quantity of canapés, depends on how long the cocktail hour will last. In your planning, calculate around 9 pieces for a wedding toast cocktail of an hour, 12 for one hour and a half and 15 for three hours. The average budget for a cocktail is of 10 to 20 £ per guest. As the cocktail is usually made standing up, it better not to make it last too long. Plan to have few seats, at least for older guests.

Traditionally, the parents of the newly married couple are in charge of opening the festivities. This is the right moment for the newly weds to be congratulated by all the guests and taking good care to talk to each of them who are not expected to attend the reception later. For practical and correct  etiquette, it is not recommended to make the cocktail hour at the same place than the reception. It is quiet delicate to ask some people to leave while others are staying!

In other regions, the welcoming cocktail replaces cocktail hour. Only people who have been invited to take part in the reception also can attend. It may take place in the same reception hall or an outdoor patio. In this case you might serve more nourishing piece of canapés as the starters. Then follows the main course at table, which will save you some time and money. The newly weds can also invite some of their relatives to come a little bit later to have the dessert with them and participate in the dancing party. But be sure you give the right time for those guests to come in order to allow the other guests to finish their meal before they arrived. And also, make sure you foresee enough dessert to please everyone.