New York City Wedding Planners Weigh In: Are Cocktail Hours On The Way Out?

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Cocktail hour out?! That’s insane! Cocktails are always in!” I tend to agree with you on the importance of the perfect cocktail, however the truth is that cocktail parties might be on their way out.

Back in the day, cocktail parties were used to give the guests something to do while the bride and groom grabbed their bridal parties and immediate family and stole away for some uninterrupted photo ops. However, with recent trends bringing weddings to less of a spectacle and more of a DIY affair, cocktail hour has become less relevant.

With the economy (yep, I said the “e” word and I do apologize) the way that it is, couples are becoming more focused on what they absolutely need at their weddings rather than what they think they might like. It is becoming more and more common that today’s bride and groom are footing the bill for said ceremony so they tend to be a tad more conscientious about what they’re spending their money on. Weddings are becoming more intimate, more casual. In fact, a wedding with a sit down dinner and white glove service is a pretty unique find these days. Many receptions are featuring passed hors devours and a signature drink.

Now, while these trends are great (and usually easy on the wallet) they completely take away the need for a cocktail hour. However, while many couples are nixing cocktail hour between the ceremony and reception, the wedding after party is picking up speed (this is certainly something that we LOVE)! If you have already been married, or are in the middle of planning, you know that so many venues ask that your reception is over by a certain hour (usually between eleven and midnight) so that they can get started on cleanup and turn it over for the next party. It’s understandable, but a total buzz kill- which is why the after party has become the place to be!

No matter if it’s a select few invited up to one of the hotel suites or everybody (of legal drinking age, of course) heads over to a local bar, it’ll be exactly what your guests need. Whether you choose to join them or start your honeymoon early is up to you but I say, if your guests want to party, you let them party!

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