Monday, October 7, 2013

Wedding Details: In Between the Ceremony and Reception

One of the parts of the wedding that I got the most compliments on was also the part that I put the least amount of effort into and the part that I was most worried about.

Cocktail Hour
While the wedding party goes off for pictures after the ceremony, in other weddings there's usually, I guess, cocktails.  There are snacks and mingling or sitting at your table looking at the chocolate kisses and restraining yourself from burning the silverware over the candles.  That's how the weddings I've been to have been like.  And it's usually a nice time when you can talk and make noise and not have to sit still and listen to a pastor for a while.

The venue for my wedding (a historic train depot) had limited space.  We were using the museum room for the ceremony, then the reception would be on a large lawn.  The only area left for a cocktail hour was a smaller lawn on the other side of the building.  A few brainstorm sessions birthed the ideas of board games and a popcorn machine.  I figured we could have some tables and chairs around, too, but that's about all I had when it came time for the wedding week crunch.

What panned out was, as the guests told me, perfect.  Even the DJ commented that it was a great idea.  "Most people think the reception is only dancing, but I like what you did there with the carnival theme."  I wasn't going for "carnival," I was going for "garden party," but whatever the interpretation was, I know the goal was met.  People had something to do, people had refreshments, and people had fun.

My DIY cocktail hour! | Lindsay Eryn

This is what it looked like!

 Two young girls in attendance said it was the most fun wedding they'd ever been to, and I suspect it was because of this part.  I know it's not the biggest deal, but that made me really happy.  I wanted people to enjoy the ceremony and the party afterward.  Mission accomplished.

Budget-friendly cocktail hour alternatives for your wedding | Lindsay Eryn
Budget-friendly cocktail hour alternatives for your wedding | Lindsay Eryn

Budget-friendly cocktail hour alternatives for your wedding | Lindsay Eryn

Thankfully, the mission was accomplished without me having to go crazy.  We rented the popcorn machine, bought the kernels, oil, and seasonings.  We made blue cones for holding the popcorn, and I purchased white tablecloths in bulk, cups, and drink dispensers.  The tables and chairs were already at the depot available for us to use, and the rocking chairs came from my husband's mother and the corn hole sets came from his uncles.  The games came from my own house.   (We've gathered quite a collection over the years.)  I'd originally wanted to have music, too, but it became something I couldn't afford the effort or reasoning on, so that got cut 2 weeks before the wedding, and people were fine without it!  How awesome is that!  I'm so, so pleased, and I wasn't even there to see it much.

Budget-friendly cocktail hour alternatives for your wedding | Lindsay Eryn

{ All photos property of Sarah Becker Photography }


  1. What a fantastic idea! That 'between' section can be super boring (and awkward if you don't know anyone but the actual couple getting married!). I'm going to suggest this to my sister!

    x Jasmine

    1. AH!! When is your sister getting married?! I'm sure you'll be busy, but I hope we get to see some pictures!


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