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Planned Cocktail Hour for First Night? Is this necessary?

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#1 PhillyGal

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    Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:13 AM

    My fiance and I are expected close to 80 people at our DW in Jamaica! My mom mentioned that she wants to have a cocktail hour for all our guests the night the majority of people arrive (thursday). I told her that she didn't need to rent out a separate bar/area and that we could just tell our guests we'd be at one specific place from say 6-8 and they should come meet us for a drink if they'd like, but my mom would rather have all the guests meet each other in a more private atmosphere. We are already doing a pretty big welcome party with a band and everything the 2nd night we get there, so I don't know if this is totally necessary.

    On one hand, I'm thinking, maybe she's right - it would be cool to have a place for everyone to go that's just for our guests - for like an hour. But on the other hand, I'm thinking, why should she put out the money if she's putting so much out for the reception.

    But she feels really strongly that the guests should be entertained and have things to do, since they put all this money out to be there already.

    What is everyone doing on the first night that most of the guests will be there? What are your thoughts on this situation? Should I just have the cocktail party, since my mom wants to pay for it anyway?

    #2 1elephant

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      Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:19 AM

      we only had a rehearsal dinner, and the wedding, but we wound up hanging out every night regardless of whether we had things planned or not. personally, i'd leave it less formal - yes, they're shelling out money, but it's their vacation, and may not want a planned activity every day/night.

      #3 Alyssa

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        Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:23 AM

        I think it is so nice of your Mom!!!!

        but on the other hand as someone who has been a guest at a bunch of DW's - you really want some time for yourself to just relax - i would suggest being careful not to 'overplan' for your guests and make them feel obligated.

        people are on vacation too KWIM?

        #4 dmarie17

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          Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:25 AM

          Wow, I wish my mom were that generous!! Thats really nice of her to offer. Here are my thoughts (sorry, I am a dork and make all my decisions this way)
          Pro: Cocktails are fun
          Pro: It's nice to visit with people in a private atmosphere
          Pro: People will be entertained

          Con: $$
          Con: You are having a welcome party the next day and don't want to make guests feel like they don't have time to themselves... especially after they fly in and may be exhausted. They are here for your wedding but it's also a vacation for them.
          Con: I looked up your resort and it is awesome.. people are going to have problem finding free ways to entertain themselves!!

          So, in my extensive research here (jk!) I would say that it's not necessary. If your mom wants to do something for entertainment for the guests, maybe put together an excursion that people can do if they want to. Maybe go to Dunns River or a Rum tour or something.
          Good luck!!

          #5 PhillyGal

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            Posted 10 August 2008 - 05:28 PM

            Thanks everyone.

            My mom actually just called me to tell me that maybe it isn't such a great idea to have a planned cocktail party. But i do think that on the "itinerary" that we're putting in everyone's OOT bags, we can put that we're hanging out at such and such bar from such and such time, so after you're all unpacked, please feel free to stop by and have a drink... this will make people not feel obligated, but if some people are like, "hmmm, what should we do now?" it will give them an option... right?

            Also, I told my mom that i think that the hotel won't be so crowded anyway (we're still technically going to be there in off-peak season) so with a wedding crowd of 80 people, we'll pretty much take over the place so privacy issue won't be a big deal, I doubt...

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