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Ariella
Savvy March 2021

In between wedding & reception ideas

Ariella, on August 13, 2020 at 3:15 AM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 27
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I need ideas for what to give guests to do during the time that the wedding party takes pictures!


We are having our wedding at a church then moving to another location 10 minutes away for our reception. I’ve been googling and everything says cocktail hour but, there’s no alcohol at our wedding. Then some say have interactive activities but, the attire is black tie, so I don’t think anyone will want to do active stuff in a long dress. I definitely don’t want anyone to be bored or annoyed while waiting. Help please! Lol

27 Comments

Latest activity by Yasmine, on August 17, 2020 at 6:53 AM
  • KiwiDerbyBride
    VIP May 2015
    KiwiDerbyBride ·
    • Flag

    You can have a “social hour” rather than cocktail hour. Appetisers, soft drinks, mingling. I’m not going to get into a black tie wedding without alcohol (black tie is a lot more than just a dress code, it’s a level of hosting with its own set of rules).

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  • Ariella
    Savvy March 2021
    Ariella ·
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    Well it’s not that I don’t want to pay for it, it’s just that we are Christians and only a small small majority of the people we are inviting drink. So overall it would be a waste.
    • Reply
  • Ariella
    Savvy March 2021
    Ariella ·
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    But also, thank you for the social hour suggestion!
    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Rockstar August 2019
    Rebecca ·
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    Cocktail hour is just a name used to refer to the time between the ceremony and dinner.

    Most venues/caterers will provide you with a menu for appetizers for that hour.

    • Reply
  • Yasmine
    Rockstar October 2020
    Yasmine ·
    • Flag

    Serve some appetizers! You also serve fruits, vegetables and dips, etc.

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  • Margaret
    Rockstar October 2020
    Margaret ·
    • Flag

    Have a cocktail hour with "mocktails" and offer appetizers

    • Reply
  • Annika
    Expert November 2020
    Annika ·
    • Flag

    Hey!! We aren't serving alcohol either since my family doesn't drink and his family rarely does (and if they do it'll be a problem lmao) plus it was very expensive. What we are doing is a "mocktail" hour! I LOVE everything lemons, and it's a part of our theme so we are having a lemonade bar with different fruits and syrups to add! We will still have our own custom recipe boards and a "bartender" but everything is non-alcohol!

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  • V
    Master July 2019
    Veronica ·
    • Flag
    Like others have suggested just have a cocktail hour without alcohol. My brother and his wife didn't have alcohol at their wedding, but they still had a cocktail hour. During that time, apps & non-alcoholic drinks were served and the candy bar and photo booth were open. Guests also mingled with each other.
    • Reply
  • Leanne
    Rockstar September 2020
    Leanne ·
    • Flag
    Have non-alcoholic punch and apps at the reception location. That way no one is lingering at the church while you guys do portraits.
    • Reply
  • Jana
    Rockstar October 2022
    Jana ·
    • Flag
    Serve appetizers and nonalcoholic beverages. Your caterer still calls it a cocktail hour. It has nothing to do alcohol.


    There should not be a gap longer than it takes to drive to the reception venue. Guests will mingle and eat at the cocktail/social hour while you finish pictures. They will not be bored unless you go overtime. Can you get some pictures taken before the ceremony? You can still do the first look down the aisle but it cuts down on the post-ceremony photo time so you can get to your cocktail hour to greet guests.
    Also for those with a "Catholic gap" it can easily avoided with some simple planning. No guest wants to sightsee, shop, go back to the hotel, in formalwear. They want to go to the reception as quick as possible. Nowadays many venues are opening earlier to avoid any gaps beyond driving time.
    • Reply
  • Melle
    Rockstar June 2019
    Melle ·
    • Flag
    You don’t need alcohol. I didn’t have any at mine for cocktail hour so I called it social hour
    • Reply
  • Meghan
    Rockstar October 2019
    Meghan ·
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    Exactly this!

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  • Hanna
    Super June 2019
    Hanna ·
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    I have never heard of a black tie wedding without alcohol before, but that's a different issue and to each their own. I agree with the others that you can have a social hour with appetizers, etc.

    • Reply
  • Vicky
    Super January 2020
    Vicky ·
    • Flag

    You don't need alcohol in general, but if you're having a black tie affair then you do need to serve alcohol - and not just some alcohol, but hosted full bar, top-shelf liquor. If you're not having a true black tie affair, as it sounds like you're not, then you shouldn't tell your guests how to dress.

    Have a social hour with food and drinks between your ceremony and reception.

    • Reply
  • C
    Expert December 2021
    Casey ·
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    tenor.gif
    As usual, Vicky is spot on!
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  • Amanda
    VIP December 2020
    Amanda Online ·
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    BOOM.

    100% agree. I have attended many black tie events and NONE of them were dry. This above suggestion is spot on. Additionally, there are many Christians who consume alcohol and I found that comment rather distasteful.

    • Reply
  • Ariella
    Savvy March 2021
    Ariella ·
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    I’m sorry if you found it distasteful but, none of either of our family drinks, which is who makes up the majority of our guests. If only 5-10 of out of the 125 only drink openly, it would be a waste to have a full bar. I’m not judging others on if they want to serve alcohol & are Christians. But -personally- my family doesn’t due to the fact that we are Christian (to each their own, & again not judging) Thank you for your suggestion
    • Reply
  • Ariella
    Savvy March 2021
    Ariella ·
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    Oh okay perfect! I didn’t know that, thank you!
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  • Ariella
    Savvy March 2021
    Ariella ·
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    It would be a waste of money since way over half of my family doesn’t drink, or openly drink at least. Alcohol doesn’t need to occur to have a black tie affair as we can still have top notch appetizers, mock tails and other fancy desserts. It would be different if only my groom & I didn’t drink, but for this case, it stands for most. Thanks for your suggestion
    • Reply
  • Ariella
    Savvy March 2021
    Ariella ·
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    I understand, it would be different if only the groom & I didn’t drink & deprived other just because of us. but it stands for most of the guests attending. Thanks for your suggestion!
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