Happy Hour: How long should I stay if invited for cocktails?

Q: When you are invited for cocktails, how long should you stay?



A: “Cocktail hour” is the terminology used for the period preceding dinner during which drinks and hors d’oeuvre’s are served.  An hour is about the time you would stay, assuming the invitation is for before the dinner hour.  If it is after the dinner hour and it is really a party, it would be expected that it would last for at least two hours.  Therefore, timing is everything.


  1. patricia riley

    when is it appropriate to use both sets of parents names on a wedding invitation? when is appropriate to only use the bride’s parents names?

    • Elizabeth

      It is more “traditional” to use only the bride’s parents’ names, because traditionally the bride’s parents were responsible for hosting and funding the wedding. This was because the marriage advantage was considered to be the groom’s (this is why women would come with a dowry and men would not). However, in modern society this thinking no longer holds, and both parents are often named on the invitation because the bride and groom want to acknowledge both sets of parents, and/or they are both funding or hosting the wedding. It is not true that both parents must split the cost of the wedding in order to be listed. One set may not be contributing as much, but the bride or groom still wants them listed as hosts, and that is proper as well.

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