I love cocktail hours at weddings. It’s always nice to have a drink or two and catch up with friends and family I haven’t seen awhile (especially when we’re assigned to different tables at dinner). We planned this action-packed, detail-studded cocktail hour for our guests—and we missed it. Since the hair and make-up stylists were running really late, we didn’t have time to take wedding party photos before the ceremony. So we wound up taking a ton of photos during cocktail hour. Then we took a few more photos with just the two of us. And then we snuck away to eat some dinner, so we could join our guests during dinner. Well, Mr. W scarfed down a whole lot of BBQ and mashed potatoes, and I nibbled on a piece of cornbread. More on that in a minute.
From the other side of the property where we were posing for photos, I could see that everyone was mingling and getting their drink on. The DJ was spinning tunes from times past (Louis, Aretha, Billie, Otis—okay, okay, and Michael Buble) and sparks were flying.
Teri had set out chairs in little clusters for guests to lounge on while they chatted and waited for dinner. (Told you guys—she thought of everything!!)
Guests also cozied up on the antique sofas and arm chairs that we rented.
Anyone remember the tiered wooden drink stand that Mr. W constructed? Anyone? Bueller?
Well, my sweetest cousin ever, K, helped unpack my crazy hoarder collection of mismatched vintage glassware, and she arranged all of the glasses on the drink stand the morning of the wedding. The glasses went like hot cakes—midway through cocktail hour, half had already vanished.
Over at the bar, the booze was flowing. Our venue was BYOB, and Papa Wallaby and Father-in-law Wallaby stocked the bar pretty well. They picked up many cases of beer and wine at Costco the week of the wedding (we had some family beer and wine tasting seshes—so much fun!), and they also organized the liquor.
So, about that…I rented three glass beverage dispensers along with our vintage furniture from A Style Collective. Mr. W and I picked out several mixed drinks we wanted to serve in the dispensers—classic margaritas, autumn sangria, and lemon drop champagne punch. The dads agreed to help mix the drinks before the wedding, and I was responsible for making some pretty signage. (Probs chalkboards. I had a whole Pinterest board for this purpose.) However, with everything else going on the weekend of the wedding, and running around like a chicken with its head cut off that morning…I completely dropped the ball on this one.
Each glass beverage dispenser was filled with a boozy signature drink, and they were displayed on the bar, all tempting and colorful. With no signs or labels.
I take full responsibility for what happened next. Many guests mistook the lemon drop punch for non-alcoholic lemonade, and the autumn sangria for apple cider. Soon, just about everyone was tipsy. My dad apparently had a reputation back in the day for mixing up some strong party punches.
I don’t have any pro pics of the bar, since our photogs were busy taking wedding party portraits. But you can get the idea from this guest photo—the glass dispensers are arranged on the white table in the background. Bees, if you have a similar bar set-up, don’t forget to label the drinks!
By the end of cocktail hour, the signature drinks were tapped out. A whole lot of beer and wine were consumed. The bartender was also mixing drinks with liquor, soda, and juices that the dads picked up on their way to the wedding. We provided a spread of appetizers—fruit, veggies, and bite-sized Persian favorites—for guests to snack on. Again, I don’t have a pro pic of this detail, but here’s our adorable little ring bearer chomping on some fruit:
Okay, so I’ve covered food, alcohol, music, conversation. Consider yourself briefed. Here are my favorite three photos from cocktail hour:
1) My brother’s girlfriend meeting my entire family for the first time.
In this photo she’s immersed in conversation with my grandma’s BFF (who’s basically a second grandma to us). Poor thing was probably majorly overwhelmed.
2) Best Man A photo-bombing this picture. And the next five pictures these guests snapped.
3) The furry wedding crasher.
When I was sifting through our pro pics, I came across a photo of three guests admiring a little furry pooch. There was a dog at our wedding?! Where was I? I vaguely remembering saying goodbye to two of my parents’ friends and them walking a dog on a leash, but it didn’t really register in my mind at the time that they had brought their pet to our wedding. Not that I have a problem with that—I L-O-V-E dogs and would’ve happily welcomed more furry guests at our outdoor wedding—but it was a first for me. Has anyone else seen a dog at a wedding before?
While all of this was taking place, Mr. W and I were posing for a few more portraits. We played some croquet:
…we played some cornhole (go Coogs!!):
…and we just stood around with goofy, lovesick smiles while our photogs directed us to strike different poses.
It was getting dark, Mr. W was getting hungry, and dinner would be starting soon. So without much debate, we snuck back into Oak Tree Manor to eat some dinner before we joined everyone else.
Teri loaded up a couple plates of food for us and brought us some champagne. (I can’t sing enough praises for her—our day-of coordinator rocked it!!) We sat at the antique wooden bar in the living room, perched on two bar stools, telling stories of what happened that morning and getting excited about the reception that was about to begin. It was such a short time—probably just 10 or 15 minutes—but such a special part of our wedding day, taking a quick break alone together.
The BBQ and mashed potatoes were incredible—seriously, delishhhhh—but I was WAY too excited to eat. While Mr. W finished off his whole plate and then mine (he generally eats like there’s no tomorrow—this is 100% normal), I nibbled on a piece of cornbread. So lame, I know. But I’m not the first bee to leave her dinner plate untouched. (I made up for it by scarfing down an insane amount of leftover cake the next morning, though )
And then, we heard the opening lines of one of our favorite songs—“She’s Mine”, by the soulful Brett Dennen—drifting in from the DJ’s set-up outside. The timing was impeccable. In the dim lighting of the Oak Tree Manor living room, Mr. W took my hand and we danced. It was, hands down, one of my favorite memories ever.
Miss a recap? Previously: