Chef's Blog

Must-Do's for Wedding Cocktail Hours

Published November 25th, 2019 by Chef's Catering

The wedding cocktail hour makes a great transition between the ceremony and a sit-down reception. Guests get to stand, mingle and talk with old and new friends in a whole different way from the two more structured events. Here are some tips for giving your special attendees an in-between time they’ll love.

1. Options for Sitting and Standing

Some folks welcome the opportunity to mill about but others don’t. Be good to both. Have a mix of high and low tables. Cluster some chairs and possibly sofas with side tables for the living room feel. Provide stand-up high tops for drinks and appetizers. Don’t crowd the room; leave some open area to walk about in.

2. Differentiate from the Reception

Use some of the same decor but with a twist. If you have wedding colors, try featuring just one of them with a variation for the second. If there will be a DJ and dancing later, use soft background jazz or employ a singer with acoustic guitar.

3. Creative Drinks

Gin and tonics are fine, but how about a station or three where you serve exactly one cocktail? Make it something people don’t see every day. Beer and wine flights are another creative idea. And don’t forget the teetotalers; offer them more than soda and bottled water. A mocktail or flavored lemonade is always a hit. And everyone, drinker or not, loves to pour a refreshing glass from a vessel of fruit-infused water.

4. Food Stations

Servers bearing trays are elegant, and a long buffet table is workable, but both tend to bunch guests around the food. If there are several smaller tables, even if they’re in addition to long tables and server, it’s easy for your friends to pick up a snack or two without having to think much about it.

5. Food Choices

Have some vegetarian and/or vegan choices and label them clearly. Check in advance for guests with allergies or special dietary needs. Have a “safe table” for those who prefer to avoid certain foods. Also, see if you can work local specialties into your offerings.

6. No Cash Bar

Most people don’t mind spending a few bucks for drinks, but the hassle of taking out and passing around money sets the wrong mood. If budget is a concern, stick to beer and wine and maybe a couple simple liquor choices.

Creating the perfect wedding cocktail hour can be a chore, but you don’t have to do it yourself. In Rochester, call on Chef’s Catering to tend to every memorable detail of your wedding and reception. Contact us to help you create the celebration you’ve dreamed of.

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