When you're planning a wedding people like to tell you what you MUST have and do. Sometimes there are good reasons for these "musts" and sometimes it's just a matter of convention.

In this week's Ask the Expert column, a bride wants to know if she has to have a cocktail hour. Our expert explains the reasons behind the "hour" and offers an idea for how to have an elegant affair without a cocktail hour.

Read the column, then come back and tell us what you think, is a cocktail hour necessary?