2012 was definitely the year of love, as my husband and I attended five weddings from August to December! By now, we feel we have memorized the general wedding ceremony and have mastered the art of leaving a guestbook message. Three of those weddings were Jewish weddings, so we definitely got our fair share of Horah time, and if I don’t do another grapevine for a couple more months, my feet (in heels!) will be OK.
No, really, weddings are fun, and we are lucky that members of our circle of friends and family are tying the knot and joining the Marrieds Club.
All this wedding-guesting, though, has gotten my husband quite a reputation as the Cocktail Hour Stalker. It sounds creepier than it is. What this means is that his favorite time of the whole Wedding Olympics is that glorious hour between the “I do” and the dancing: Cocktail Hour, AKA sixty minutes of miniature food items being passed around on trays, like a real life episode of Downton Abbey.
By the fifth wedding of the year in Chicago, our friends at the wedding checked in with my husband to make sure he was OK. Not because he’d fallen on aisle treatments. Not because he drank too much during the toasts. But to make sure he’d had enough of those coveted mac and cheese cups, or tomato soup shots and mini grilled cheese sandwiches duets, or beef satay wraps. Apparently, his consumption and approval of the hors d’oeuvre were a front-and-center concern.
Cocktail houring is basically an artform. If you have upcoming weddings on your calendar, here are some ways to enjoy this foodtastic time, as demonstrated by Husband Yenta (Yento?):
- There’s the obvious Stand At The Kitchen Exit method. After the ceremony, find the space between the exit and the kitchen. Make like a lion in the Serengeti and lie in wait. When the unsuspecting cocktail hour server appears with tray in hand, pounce.
- However, the above tactic won’t work if the servers get smart to your method. At the last wedding we went to, the servers sprinted out of the kitchen avoiding the area where people congregated to get their paws on the grub. In that case, head toward the back of the room. Servers will also tend to cover this section to accommodate some more sedentary guests, like older folks. I’m NOT condoning you steal appetizers out of the hands of senior citizens. I’m merely advising an additional location for prosperous appetizer consumption.
- Split up. Make alliances. This is serious business. Partner up with your wedding date or another friend in case the servers are onto your shenanigans. Each of you can take turns picking up appetizers and sharing them. Maybe you are on chicken skewer duty while your partner is in charge of bruschetta. Divide and conquer.
- Make friends with the servers. One of the servers at a 2012 wedding was a bit of a cranky pants. Every time we’d try to take an appetizer from her tray, she’d run away. She even began to appear from the kitchen with NAPKINS ON TOP OF THE FOOD to HIDE it from US. She was on a mission to keep food out of our hungry bellies. So instead, we found a young, cute, not-a-sour-puss server and told him that Scowly Face over there wasn’t stopping for us and could he help a sista out? His perfectly Crest-whitened teeth sparkled and I swore I heard a “ding!” when he smiled. Sure enough, all the mac-and-cheese cups were ours to enjoy for eternity… if the cocktail hour had gone on that long. Besties for life, yo.
- If all else fails, drink. It IS cocktail hour after all.