Gone are the days of a 15 minute photo shoot for wedding pictures. More weddings are being held in picturesque venues that are a photographers dream, but can be a nightmare for your wedding guests. Yes, they are coming to celebrate your big day with you, but they can get a little bored waiting for dinner to be served while you and your wedding party are doing your photos. This is where having cocktail hour comes in. Your guests can visit the bar, have a few appetizers, and mingle while they are waiting for the party to get started.
At the end of your ceremony, have the bar ready to serve your guests. If you are having a full bar, you may want to just serve beer and wine and leave the liquor for during or after dinner. Have a few light appetizers set out so that guests have something to snack on as well. Even something as simple as chips and salsa go a long way to pleasing your guests. Ask your caterer about appetizer trays or even passed appetizers to be served during cocktail hour.
Having cocktail hour will also relieve a lot of stress off of you. While you are taking your pictures, you can enjoy yourself and not worry about if your guests are getting bored, hungry, or both. Less stress on you will make your wedding photos that much better.
Also remember, you can always extend your cocktail hour to your entire reception. Since cocktail style receptions are still big in wedding trends, save yourself some time and money and make your entire reception "cocktail hour".