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How Important Is a Traditional Cocktail Hour?


Colleen and Iz Wedding Kitten Cocktail Hour Shot by Fuck Yeah WeddingsPhoto Credit:

OMG, sooo taking a different avenue this evening for Friday feels… With a Friday feel-ine situation! After I read about the story on multiple sites, I had to cover it here! And I’m obsessed. Maybe because my son is sooo in love with kitties these days, ‘meow meows’ are everything in our household, but this cocktail hour / or lack thereof really killed me. And apparently it’s killed A LOT of people 😻😻😻. Why wouldn’t it? It’s absolutely amazing.

So, here’s what happened, according to Buzzfeed!

The fur-lights, if you will!

Colleen and Iz Kitten Hour Photo Shot by Fuck-yeah-weddings

  • Iz and Colleen are cat people, and when we say cat people, it’s an understatement!

  • They have two adopted adult cats with special needs at home, so, unfortunately they couldn’t make it to the wedding. Yet, in their absence, the ladies still celebrated them with the best damn cock-tail hour we’ve ever heard of!

  • Colleen shared that they wanted their cats there in spirit (and honestly, we’d rather kittens than actual spirits!), so they joined forces with a local animal shelter and invited 6 of the cuddliest guests to their party. They were picked because they were super social and vibed SO WELL with the guests.

  • After an hour, the fluffy ones left (their protection was of utmost importance), and the rest of the party could commence.

  • And yes, all six kittens were adopted post-wedding. Even though they were too tiny to be scooped up and brought home that day.

Colleen told Buzzfeed that “we wanted guests to have something to do during the family picture taking time, and were too broke to have a cocktail hour.” So, the best case scenario was kitten cuddle time, and we wish we could have been there to sneak in all the snuggs! Prior to their special day, Iz and Colleen made a donation to the Seattle Animal Shelter and they asked that guests do the same in lieu of wedding gifts. 

Colleen and Iz Kitten Hour Shot By Fuck Yeah Weddings

Firstly, we echo their guests in loving this claw-some update to traditional cocktail hour - and definitely agree that every wedding should have a mandatory kitten hour. That’s what Colleen told Buzzfeed, and it’s sooooo spot on, we can't. 

Secondly, it got us thinking about animals coming to the wedding. If the furry friends can calm a couple down before they say their vows, then it’s totally worthwhile and if they need something to occupy guests while they handle ‘hellos’ and formal portraits, then more power to ‘em!

And finally, what does this say for cocktail hour in general? Is it even necessary/required/set in stone?

Our verdict? 


Colleen and Iz Kitten Hour Shot by Fuck Yeah Weddings

If you want to have a traditional iteration of cocktail hour, with signature cocktails, action stations, high-top tables and mixing and mingling time, then by all means do it. The pre-reception status quo soiree has been in place for as long as we can remember, and we can never say no to bites and bevs. That being said, we’re all for breaking rules, because no bride or groom should ever feel beholden to what’s already been done or proven popular in the past.

So, we came up with a few ideas if you’re not into cocktail hour as it’s come to be known in the traditional sense.

Start the reception right away. 

If you’re planning to do most of your formal pictures pre-ceremony, then there’s no reason why you can’t accelerate your timeline and go straight from your vows to your first bows as Mr. & Mrs., Mrs. & Mrs., Mr. & Mr. Your nearest and dearest are ready to eat, drink, and be merry (now that you’re married), so let them get to it!

Let your guests go for an hour. 

Don’t feel like you need to hold your guests ‘hostage.’ For the most part, everyone is an adult, so they can handle themselves! And if that means needing to bide their time for an hour or so before the real party begins, then they can certainly do it. Checking in at the hotel, taking their littles home to their sitter, running out to the nearest mall to buy some flats for later, all of these things are perfectly normal errands and ones that can definitely help out guests scrambling for time. 

Colleen and Iz Kitten Hour Shot by Fuck Yeah Weddings

Offer fun mocktails. 

Iz and Colleen shared that they were ‘too broke’ to afford a cocktail hour, and that’s sooo understandable. If you’re unable to move forward with a cocktail hour because of the expense, premium spirits ain’t cheap, see if your venue can offer craft mocktails instead! You can still do signature sips and food, but it doesn’t have to come with the top-shelf price tag.

Let the bridal party play 'game master.' 

And come up with some fun games (not exactly like bridal shower games, these ones wouldn’t be that lame 😳 #sorrynotsorry) that all the guests could play together / form teams / etc. before the reception kicks off. If you want to involve a charitable component, too, you can organize a playful auction. With bids going towards a first dance with the Best Man, a drink with the MOH, a dance off with the couple of the evening, etc. All in good fun, of course!

Invite some wedding crashers. 

Take a cue from Iz and Colleen and treat your guests to some face time with the finest four-legged creatures around! Kittens, puppies, bunnies, reptiles, whatever. There’s no doubt that your guests will be smiling hugeeeee and feeling good once they head into your reception. Pet therapy FTW!!!

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