Sharing in a couple’s special day, seeing the bride’s gown and witnessing how the families spent a small fortune are near the top reasons guests attend a wedding. The only two things that excite guests more are free drinks and good food!
Anyone who’s attended a wedding has either seen a guest enter the ceremony after the bride walked down the aisle or saw a guest at the cocktail or dinner reception whom they did not see at the ceremony. Hosting the cocktail reception prior to the start of a wedding ceremony is the perfect way to kick off an amazing day or night of celebrating your wedding with all of your guests!
Placing your cocktail reception ahead of the ceremony allows a few things to happen. Most importantly, it ensures that everyone will be present for the wedding ceremony! Barring unforeseen events, it’s safe to bet that an adult invited to a wedding (or any event) that offers them cocktails and hors d’ouevres at a certain time will be there…on time! If someone happens to be late, they’ll be arriving late to the cocktail hour instead of walking in while you’re reciting your vows. Often times when a person knows they are going to be late to a wedding, they say forget it and just arrive for the cocktail reception anyway.
Another plus to hosting your cocktail reception prior to the ceremony is that it gives guests a chance to mingle and loosen up a bit right away. This allows them to A) be attentive during a ceremony into which you put a lot of hard work and money and B) be ready to party and have a great time during your lunch or dinner reception. If you’re having an afternoon wedding, this is an especially important trend to incorporate. Guests are more uptight and feel self-conscious about cutting loose at an afternoon wedding reception. If you work on them early in the day (think mimosas, not scotch), they’ll have no choice but to feel like hitting the dance floor after the toasts!
Nowadays, many couples are opting to take their photos before the ceremony! Why not make the most of that time? Either way you slice it, 9 out of 10 brides and grooms are not going to be present for the cocktail reception because they’ll be taking photos. Therefore, weaving this trend into your wedding celebration isn’t going to take away any of the time that you’ll have to spend with your guests. Upon arrival to the lunch or dinner reception, guests may take their seats and the newlyweds can be announced right away! This means that everyone can eat right away. Eating right away makes guests very happy! Happy guests dance and party until it’s time to go home!
Brides and grooms focus a lot of attention and money (at least 40% of their budgets) on the food and beverages for a reason. They know deep down in that place of honesty that their loved ones are also coming for the perks and they do not want to disappoint them! In that same place, couples secretly hope that their reception will be the best and most memorable party ever! Giving guests a few perks up front will have them feeling anything but disappointed and will certainly put you in the running for that best party ever honor!
It goes without saying that if you are having your wedding ceremony in a church, this is a trend that you’ll have to modify.
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