The Ultimate Guide To Cocktail Hour

The Ultimate Guide To Cocktail Hour

Your cocktail hour sets the tone for the rest of your event. Think about it, you have all your friends and family together with the added fun of apps, snappy drinks and mood making music. Here’s how to pull it off like a pro:

Today, many bridal couples are less interested in formal portrait photographs and prefer the photographer to capture more candid pictures. Other couples choose to have formal photos taken before the wedding. These approaches reduce the time needed for photography and allow the bride and groom to enjoy part of the cocktail reception with their guests. Colin Cowie Celebrations, Photo by Colin Miller

Upon arrival at your reception or cocktail hour, offer two signature cocktails. They can be pre-made and elegantly served with a beautiful garnish. Print up the recipe and give it a charming name that resonates with your guests. Colin Cowie Celebrations, Photo by Colin Miller

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The cocktail hour should whet guests’ appetites for the meal they are about to savor with a few carefully chosen, tasty appetizers and good beverages. This is not a time for a constant stream of heaving, filling hors d’oeuvres.  Colin Cowie Celebrations, Photo by Colin Miller

Avoid buffets at a cocktail reception, except when serving a type of appetizer where the actual service is a focal point, such as an oyster bar where oysters are being shucked to roder, a caviar bar with its accompaniments of crème fraîche and minced onion, or a smoked salmon station where a waiter is slicing the salmon.Colin Cowie Celebrations, Photo by Fan Jiang

For most cocktail hours, I advise serving two to five types of appetizers, and limiting the time to forty-five minutes to one-hour maximum. As with the rest of the menu, the cocktail party appetizers should be balanced to vary taste, texture, temperature, and color, and planned so as not to repeat ingredients that will be featured in the dinner to come.  Colin Cowie Celebrations, Photo by Colin Miller

-Colin Cowie

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