A cocktail hour to remember

Although as the bride or groom, you won’t get to participate in your cocktail hour, it is an important element of your wedding day. Your I Do’s are over, and the party is about the start, but before it does, you have this space to fill for your guests. While your wonderful photographer is capturing these special moments for you, consider planning something special for your guests as they await for your return. There are a range of options from simple to elaborate and something out there for every budget.


Showing your slide show during your cocktail hour can be one of the easier options for your guests. Collect pictures of you and your fiance with members of your family, wedding party, and guests throughout your life. Put these pictures together with some of your favourite songs in the background, and voila, you have a wedding slide show! This can play on repeat while your guests mix and mingle.

Eye/I Spy

Okay, okay, give me a chance to explain. I’m sure your memories of eye spy involve a car ride that was too long, going somewhere you didn’t want to go, while hoping you saw a punch buggy before anyone else, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Just like me and you, Eye Spy can act mature when it has to.  Instead of spying a highway sign, or a deer on the side of the road, you can have your guests look for polka dot tie, funky socks, or a special moment with the bride and groom. The Knot has a great example shown here:

You can have disposable cameras throughout your venue (you know those things with the film that you bring to the person behind the counter to develop), or if you have a wedding hashtag, you can have your guests post these eye spy moments there.

Caricature artist

While you and your squad are getting pictures taken, your guests can have their own taste of the spotlight at your venue. Having a caricature artist (or a few if you have a larger wedding) is a great way to keep your guests entertained with these fun, exaggerated drawings. You can have the artists stick around for after dinner too to keep the fun going all night!

Lawn games

If some or all of your wedding will take place outside, playing lawn games is a great way to get the party started! Check out this list of lawn games from Style Me Pretty, including this bride playing horseshoes. Games like this, and corn hole are games that your guests will likely already know how to play, and are easy to set up, and they can be played with a drink in one hand!


If you really want to wow your guests, you might consider having performers at your cocktail reception. Is it taking place in an open space with high ceilings? You can hire aerialists to amaze your guests with silks, hoops, or swings.

A human table, like this one from Strolling Table, is another great way to impress and entertain your guests. Never heard of a human table? No, it’s not that yoga move you tried, but good guess! A human table is a customizable, interactive way to both serve and entertain your guests. A costumed person is in the middle of the table, surrounded by appetizers or cocktails, and they walk around your venue serving your guests.

We hope we gave you some great ideas for your cocktail hour. There are so many options to chose from based on your budget and theme, and as long as your guests have fun, you did great. Gold star! Do you have an idea for the cocktail reception that we didn’t talk about today? Let us know your ideas, or send us your pictures!


The pictures above are not our own, and we have referenced the owners and sites they are featured on within the post above.

Originally posted July 11, 2016


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