Originally Posted by letluva5412
Have any past brides had a late wedding ceremony? Ours is taking place at 6pm so we're contemplating of having a cocktail hour so our guests can be entertained while we take photos. I'm really against seeing the groom prior the ceremony. Any advice? Is the cocktail hour a waste of money? Should I just have the ceremony and then a reception time and leave the guests to do their own thing in between?
I had a late wedding ceremony as well, it was at 6 pm. We were thinking of having a cocktail hour to entertain our guests, but decided against it a few months before. Also, just wanted to preface that we are not particularly cheap people, so that wasn't our only reason for not having the cocktail hour - just practical )
In hindsight, I am so glad that we did, because our ceremony was delayed by about 10-15 minutes because the groom in the 5pm wedding had a panic attack and fainted!! Fortunately, we had a civil ceremony so we made up a bit of time, but in order to take advantage of as much sunlight as possible we had to motor down to the beach for our bride and groom photos (we had thought we would do our pics with family and friends first and then take our bride and groom pics afterwards).
Our pictures only took about 30 minutes and then as the light disappeared we headed back to the lobby to take some great shots with family and friends, using the grand staircase in the lobby as a backdrop.
So all of that was to say, that because of the sudden change in plans we were very glad we hadn't paid for the hour of cocktails, which our guests probably only would have had about 20-30 minutes of. Also, I think that most of the guests welcomed the mini break as an opportunity to freshen up in their room or to grab a drink from one of the hotel bars.
I guess the reality is, that unlike a wedding at home where guests likely don't have enough time to go home after the ceremony and before the reception, the rationale for a cocktail reception is really there.