What to Consider When Choosing Cocktail Hour Music

First, what is Cocktail Hour?
Cocktail Hour is when your guests begin their arrival at the reception site. Usually this happens within 30–60 minutes of the end of your ceremony. Example: if your ceremony ends at 3:00, count on cocktail hour to start around 3:30 – 4:00. In addition, as its name states, Cocktail Hour usually lasts about an hour.

Well, what’s the purpose?
The purpose of cocktail hour is to occupy your guests while you are getting photographs taken (at either the church or some other location nearby). Its other purpose is to buy you and your Bridal Party time while you arrive at the reception site to get ready before the big dinner/big party.

What will my guests do?
During Cocktail Hour, your guests will find their dinner seating, sign your guestbook, drop off gifts/cards; they will be able to enjoy drinks and hors’dourves, and catch up with family and friends. With this in mind, you want music playing during the Cocktail Hour to set the mood for the rest of the evening.

Ok, what music do you recommend?
Anything can qualify as a good Cocktail Hour song, but it is recommended that your Cocktail Hour music should reflect your tastes and personalities.

If you typically enjoy listening to folky/bluegrass music, then we recommend incorporating that in to your reception’s soundtrack. If you enjoy musicals, we could work together to sneak some musical numbers during your evening. You get the idea.

What actually works?
Remember, when it comes to music during Cocktail Hour, Dinner and/or Dance time, you are in complete control. We can recommend what typically works and what does not work (we will probably tell you that certain genres should NEVER be played during any portion of a wedding reception).

We are the experts, but keep in mind that this is your once-in-a-lifetime event and we are here to make sure your evening is a memorable one. 

Here’s a great start to a playlist that we use as a building block for our weddings whenever we can. We think it blends a great mix of classic and contemporary, while preserving an upscale feel.

Air – La Femme D’argent
Paolo Conte – Via con me
Stan Getz – The Girl From Ipanema – Stereo Version
Sidney Bechet – Si tu vois ma mère – From ”Midnight In Paris”
Mélanie Laurent – Je connais
Dean Martin – Sway (Quien Sera) – 1997 – Remastered
The New Stan Getz Quartet – Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars)
Michael Bublé – Save The Last Dance For Me
Peggy Lee – Fever – 1998 – Remaster
Mel Torme – Comin’ Home Baby
Beth Rowley – You’ve Got Me Wrapped Around Your Little Finger
Ray Charles – Night Time Is The Right Time
Floyd Cramer – On The Rebound
Brenda Lee – Sweet Nothin’s – Single Version
Beth Rowley – A Sunday Kind Of Love
Percy Faith & His Orchestra – Theme From “A Summer Place”
Vince Guaraldi Trio – Since I Fell For You
Melody Gardot – Your Heart Is As Black As Night
Madeleine Peyroux – J’Ai Deux Amours
Doris Day – Que Sera Sera
Francoise Hardy – Suzanne
Ella Fitzgerald – They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Tony Bennett – I Left My Heart in San Francisco – Single Version
Nat King Cole – L-O-V-E – 2000 Digital Remaster
Louis Armstrong – A Kiss to Build a Dream On
Michael Bublé – Home
Bobby Darin – Beyond The Sea
Frank Sinatra – Fly Me To The Moon – Remastered ) [The Frank Sinatra Collection]
Julie London – Cry Me A River – 1991 – Remaster
Michael Bublé – Feeling Good
Harry Connick, Jr. – It Had To Be You (Big Band and Vocals)
Michael Bublé – Haven’t Met You Yet
Sam Cooke – (What A) Wonderful World
Nancy Wilson – The Masquerade Is Over
Van Morrison – Moondance
Van Morrison – And It Stoned Me

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