Why You Should Have Food at Your Cocktail Hour

As much as your wedding is about you and your soon-to-be spouse, it’s also a celebration with friends and family. To keep your guests entertained and satisfied throughout the festivities, it’s important to consider the transition between the ceremony and the wedding reception. Luckily, this cocktail hour provides the perfect opportunity for your guests to refresh themselves with drinks and light bites. Here’s a guide to help you set the cocktail hour menu for your big day.

What Are the Benefits of Serving Food at the Cocktail Hour?

After you and your spouse walk down the aisle, you’ll need some time alone to take photos, congratulate each other, touch up your hair and makeup, and simply take a minute away from all the action. Providing your guests with a snack-filled cocktail hour lets you take your time and avoid feeling rushed during this period. 

Food at the cocktail hour also lets your guests feel more comfortable after hours of getting ready and traveling to the venue. They can enjoy the interval without feeling unpleasantly hungry or impatient. Plus, while they enjoy hors d’oeuvres and mingle with other guests, your team will have time to prepare the reception space and finish making dinner. 

How Should I Serve Food at the Cocktail Hour?

You should ideally provide enough cocktail hour snacks to hold your guests over for an hour until the wedding reception, where they’ll get a full dinner, drinks, and dessert. If you’re serving bite-sized hors d’oeuvres, for example, you’ll want to allow for about eight to twelve bites per guest. 

You can set some out on a table for attendees to scan and graze while they wait while servers circulate with others on trays. It’s best to offer an assortment of different textures and flavors, making sure to accommodate those with dietary restrictions. Choose a mixture of heartier and lighter foods, so guests can also customize their experience based on their hunger level. For example, you might want to serve shrimp or prosciutto for bigger appetites and cucumber finger sandwiches or potato croquettes as lighter snacks.

Be sure to also have some servers assigned to pick up toothpicks, napkins, and small plates as guests finish each snack, so you can keep the space clean and trash-free. It’s also a good idea to have accessible garbage cans to cut down on litter.


If you’re looking for a professional caterer to plan your cocktail hour menu, contact www.zcateringaz.com or The Cottage Wedding Venue. This charming space is located in downtown Gilbert, AZ, and can accommodate wedding receptions of up to 150 guests. Their caterer will also take every detail into account, from your cultural heritage to your dietary preferences, to plan a menu that leaves everyone satisfied. To learn more about their wedding packages, visit them online. You can also call (480) 747-0756 to arrange a visit.