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The Ceremony, Then...?

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Originally Posted by amzavala View Post

So, I have lots of dumb questions: Do you think a cocktail hour with hors d'oeuvres after the ceremony followed by a 3-hour reception is excessive? They offer a 1.5 hour reception or I could skip the cocktail hour. When does the champagne toast usually take place, during the reception or immediately after the ceremony?
I'm attaching my DJ's reception planner. It might help some you brides since it has his timeline recommendations on cake cutting and other parts of the reception. We did a lot of customization for our wedding, however. We had the speech/champagne toast during dinner. First dance and mother/son dances were immediately after dinner. We didn't cut the cake until several hours into the dancing part of the reception.

I definitely do not think a cocktail hour with 3-hour reception is excessive. Its what we initially planned, but we ended up paying our DJ to stay an additional 2 hours because everyone was having so much fun (so we ended up having a 6 hour reception + an after party). People who've traveled to a tropical location for a wedding will want to party for a LONG time!



Reception Planner.doc

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We are leaning towards not having a cocktail party. We are expecting a very large group...and bypassing the cocktail party will save a lot of money. We will probably direct guests to gather at one of the hotel bars for the 1 hour period the cocktail hour would normall take place during...and then all head to reception site together.

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I think that it is not excessive at all. In fact it may give your guests some direction if you do decide to take pics then. I am also at the Royal and there are PLENTY of things for your guests to do if you don't have a cocktail hour. You can put in your ceremony program what to do after until the reception starts.


I am doing a cocktail hour just because my ceremony is at 2 pm and reception is at 6pm. (I didn't want it this way but there was a HUGE mishap with communication and my ceremony was cancelled at 4-boo!) Anyways this will give my guests something to do with that 4 hour break.


However, this is a great place to save money if you don't do one (it is an all inclusive!). Direct your guests to the lobby bar or to Pelicanos and have a signature drink waiting for them! It is fine either way. Hope this helps!

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We are doing:


45mins Ceremony at 4:00


1.5 Hour Private Cocktail party: 5:00 - 6:30


2.5 Hour Dinner: 6:30 - 9:00


45min Band Mariachi Band (MAYBE) 9:00 - 9:45


After that people can do as they please =)


I didnt want the day to be too short because people came a long way to be here ,however my fiance and I hate dancing so this way we don't have to. The people that want to can go to the hotel club at after the band.

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