yes, we did an unofficial cocktail hour and it turned out great and I'm so glad we decided on doing that. Did you watch the link to the video I posted. That might help you see how ours worked. Right after the ceremony we all drank our champagne they gave us and said our hellos and got congratulations from all of our guests, then we all went down to the beach bar/beach for our "cocktail hour." The mariachi band was there and played standing next to the beach bar while we started pictures with our families and the bridal party. We told the photographer before hand we wanted pictures with the mariachi band so she made sure to tell them when to get in the pictures. They played the WHOLE time we were taking pictures!! HA!! They were a huge hit with everyone. All of our guests enjoyed watching us take pictures too so I'm really glad we decided to do this instead of having a cocktail hour at the jacuzzi or something.
Well our reception got poured on right in the middle so it got extended, but we didn't pay for it. We all moved to the lobby once we got rained on and while they were setting up the ballroom. Then we moved to the ballroom and they extended us an extra hour. If you're not much of a dancing crowd, I don't think you'll need to do an extra hour. We were done with our major stuff (first dance, cake cutting, dinner, toasts, etc) with in the first hour. So you'll have 2 hours for dancing. There is also Desires and I believe the music starts there around 10pm.
Originally Posted by loripanori
Savs, your pictures are fantastic. I especially love the pictures with the mariachi band on the beach. Did you basically have all of your guests gather at the Barracuda bar after the ceremony for an "unofficial" cocktail hour (i.e. unpaid for, lol) and have the mariachi band play there for a while, and then come down to the beach for a few photos? Or were they playing on the beach? Just wondering, because I think we'd like to incorporate the mariachi band into some of the beach pictures like you did, it looks fantastic. We're also planning on having our first dance right when we arrive at the reception, I like that idea a lot. Still not sure what to do about the rest of the reception/dance, as we're very much not dance people, and we'll be a fairly small group. Anyway, still a few months to figure that out, haha. Did you opt for a longer reception or just the 3 hours? And how much time did you have between the ceremony start and reception start?
Thanks for all of your help.