Cocktail hour at weddings can often be seen as just a filler between the ceremony and the reception. But if you ask me, it’s one of the most important parts of the big day! Here’s why you should seriously consider making your cocktail hour a long and leisurely affair.

Your cocktail hour at your wedding should include YOU!

First and foremost, a lengthy cocktail hour provides a much-needed break for both you and your guests. After all the excitement of the ceremony, everyone can take a deep breath, grab a drink and relax for a bit before the real party begins. It also gives everyone a chance to catch up with each other and mingle, making it a great opportunity to connect with those you may not have seen in a while.

Plus, it’s a great way to add a little extra flair to your wedding day. You can use the time to serve signature cocktails, offer delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, or even include fun activities like lawn games or a photo booth. The possibilities are endless, and it gives you the chance to really showcase your personality and make the event feel even more special.

Another benefit of a longer cocktail hour is that it can give your photographer some extra time to snap some great candid shots of your guests. You’ll love looking back at these photos and seeing everyone having a great time and making memories together. Look – if you’re going to pay for a cocktail for your guests, you should enjoy it too!

And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good drink and a bite to eat before dinner? A long cocktail hour gives your guests a chance to enjoy some delicious treats and drinks, and get their taste buds ready for the main meal. It’s a great way to ensure that everyone is in high spirits and ready to party the night away.

Best Maui Wedding Venues for a long cocktail hour


But what about the venue? Well, if you’re planning an oceanfront wedding in Maui, you’re in luck because there are some truly amazing oceanfront wedding venues to choose from. From stunning beachfront properties to breathtaking cliffside locations, there’s no shortage of options for your special day.

One venue worth considering is the Olowalu Plantation House. An expansive property located ocean-front in Olowalu, on the way to Lahaina, this venue has the best whale watching during the months of December through April. Imagine sipping a cocktail with your guests while watching breaching whales! Doesn’t get any better than that!

Another fantastic oceanfront venue in Maui is Merriman’s Kapalua. This place has my favorite Mai Tai on-island and some of the best food there is. But the best part is how close it is located to the ocean! We can get amazing photos by the rocks or, again, you can sip that delicious Mai Tai and watch some whale action!

When it comes to planning your cocktail hour, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you want to keep it simple with passed hors d’oeuvres and drinks or add a touch of excitement with a live band or interactive activities, the possibilities are endless. And if you’re looking to create a truly memorable experience for your guests, consider serving a specialty cocktail that’s unique to your wedding day. A signature drink can be a fun way to bring a personal touch to the occasion, and it’s a great conversation starter for your guests.

How Long Should Your Cocktail Hour last at your wedding?

I like, well, an hour. Here is a sample timeline of what an hour cocktail hour would look like with the first dance and speeches after sunset:

4:00 – Ceremony
4:20 – Ceremony ends, transition to family portraits
4:45 – Cocktail hour begins and family portraits are done
5:45 – Cocktail hour ends and guests are seated for the first course
6-6:45 – Sunset portraits
6:30 – Sunset proper (I shoot about 15 minutes post-sunset)

This gives my couples an entire HOUR to mingle with guests and thank them for coming.

So there it is: a case for cocktail hour. Do yourselves and your guests a favor by setting aside dedicated time to spend som quality time with them.


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