@beckys98 You still walk down the aisle!
The groom and I don't see each other yet, but we do mingle. He's in a separate room/area with the men (women can visit him as well, but it's usually a bro show). Meanwhile, the bride is sitting in a chair (veil not down yet), think throne-like, and everyone comes to her. Says hey, etc.
Guests are eating and drinking during all of this.
Then the "bro show" walks (more like dancing) the groom in to where the bride is. Groom puts the veil over her face and the "bro show" takes him outside. The guests go into the ceremony area, gets themselves settled, etc. Then, groomsman walk. Then groom (usually with both parents). Then bridesmaids. Then Bride (also with both parents).
My SO was so against this whole notion of cocktail hour first... until I took him to a wedding. He LOVED it. Then we went to a catholic wedding, with a full mass. The bride was an hour and half late to the ceremony. He decided right then and there we HAD to do it with cocktail first.
I think there are definitely ways for you to do cocktail hour first, and then the ceremony. I think it's nice, because you get some food in you first. If I can help in any way, let me know!