Cocktail Hours During Pandemic

Our Dearest Brides and Grooms,

It is strange times that we are navigating. There has been much talk of what you can and cannot do for your wedding  and I believe that to be disheartening.  We are seeking to bring you hope for your wedding. To give you all the things you can do. I ask that you consider all these changes from Covid19 as an opportunity to add more to your wedding; to build it up and add to your dream. If you are having trouble figuring out what these dreams looks like, please reach out and let us dream together. I will be specifically addressing the cocktail hour of your wedding but please check out the links to several other blogs from my fellow planners for a full wedding perspective of what you can do in light of Covid19. We still have unlimited potential, more space for opportunity, the return of classic white glove service, and the potential to share your story with your guests like never before.

More Photo Time!

What does this look like for your wedding? First consider this, your guest count will be down because of venue limitations to enforce social distancing and because of guests desire to continue to observe quarantine. This is good news! It means you have a bigger budget and more room to work with at your venue! We have two major goals to keep your guests safe in cocktail hour. The first is to minimize the proximity of the guests to each other. Have no fear, this does not mean duct tape and 6 foot spacers in your cocktail hour. It means we need to spread out the attractions and locations that guests might normally congregate at. Give them a reason to stay spread out. Guests naturally do not like to wait, so if there is a line make sure there are plenty of fun places for them to go that do not have a line. Some suggestions for this would include adding multiple bars, spreading out your guest sign in and gift tables, adding a letter writing station, and adding a photo board.

Letter Writing Station
Photo Credit:

The second is to keep guests from touching the same items. This gives you a chance to give your guests a few gifts, if you have a photo booth get props that are affordable that they can take home, maybe get the pens at the letter writing station engraved with your hashtag. Also, if there are items that need to be used by guests make sure to have sanitizer wipes and hand sanitizer available nearby.

A photo Scavenger Hunt. If you have one or several hashtags let us show them, and your venue off. Create a Photo Scavenger Hunt during your cocktail hour with a hashtag sign at each location and challenge guests to get photos at each. This will keep them moving, spaced out, and reduce lines at the bar and food stations. Avoid props to keep guests from touching the same surfaces or have sanitizer wipes available to wipe them down.

What does this look like for appetizers? Grazing Stations and such are out. However, appetizer stations where a server is passing off items served in a vessel to the guests should be okay. Servers should have a mask and preferably gloves as well. Tray passed appetizers should also be okay if they are in a souffle cup or other serving vessel and handed to individual guests in stead of guests touching multiple servings or the trays. For the bars and water stations we can just up our game. Open multiple bars and have servers serve all the guests their drinks regardless of if its wine, beer, water, or soda. Again minimizing contact. All of this will add the feeling of being waited on hand and foot and elevate your wedding to an even classier affair.

If your venue is big enough hire some moving musicians playing in different parts of the venue, each one can then draw a small crowd also positively enforcing social distancing.

Finally, my absolute favorite idea. Use this opportunity and create a story or memory lane respectively sharing your story as a couple or honoring fallen family members if you so choose. Set this up in an area off of the main congregating locations so that guests are naturally being spaced apart. Make sure that you have adequate signage and announcements from the DJ so guests can easily find all of the fun locations.

Story Lane
Photo Credit:

Along with adding and extra bar, roving musicians, a photo scavenger hunt, or a story lane, maybe consider extending your cocktail hour as dancing maybe limited or better replaced with live entertainment later in the evening. Just make sure you speak to your Caterer and Planner to make sure there is plenty of food and drink to last the extended cocktail hour.

Wishing all the couples out there the best. We hope you can see all of the wonderful opportunities out there to take these strange times and use them to elevate your wedding .

Best Regards,

The Meridian Team

Check out the next blog in our series written by Ebeling Events

Planner Power Perspective Links:

Blog 1 – Dress Shopping by Ink and Rose Events

Blog 2 – Wedding Day, What to Expect Upon Arrival by Cassie Howard Events

Blog 3 – Wedding Ceremonies During Pandemic by Nahid Global Events

Blog 4 – Cocktail Hours During Pandemic by Meridian Events

Blog 5 – How Reception Service May Change For Weddings During Pandemic by 

Ebeling Events

Blog 6 – How Receptions May Change Aesthetically During Pandemic by

The Blushing Details

Blog 7 – Cancelling Or Postponing Your Wedding by

Kiss and Say I Do Events


Perfect The Event

Blog 8 – Wedding Day Insurance Coverage by

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