Once the vows have been said and the rings exchanged, it’s time to party! Before the reception though, there’s the cocktail hour. A wedding cocktail hour takes place between the ceremony and reception and gives guests time to mingle and mix. The wedding party is usually occupied and away during the cocktail hour, busy doing touch-ups or taking pictures, so this time is all about the guests. Here are some tips to throw a perfect wedding cocktail hour that your guests will rave about.
Serve a Signature Cocktail
Alcohol is a great way to get guests to loosen up and have a good time. Signature cocktails are a fun way to stay in theme, show off your personality, and save some money! Instead of starting the open bar during the cocktail hour, serve up some tasty signature cocktails. Don’t forget to give them some cute names!
Don’t Forget About Food
Depending on what time of day your wedding is, guests will start to get hungry around the cocktail hour. Having some appetizers or hors d’oeuvre passed around will keep guests placated until dinner is served at the reception.
Offer Seats & Tables
Cocktail hours often take place in an outdoor setting while finishing touches are made to the reception venue. While guests might not be taking their seats at their table, you should still provide cocktail tables and a few chairs for guests to place drinks and sit down. Having some seating options is especially important if it’s hot out or if you have older guests.
Make a Playlist
Guests probably won’t be hitting the dance floor during the cocktail hour, but you should still have some music playing in the background. This will get guests in a partying mindset and ensure they’re entertained in between conversations.
Offer Games and Entertainment
Although this part of the wedding is called a cocktail “hour”, it’s not unusual for it to run beyond 60 minutes. This is especially true if guests have to travel between the ceremony location and reception venue, and if the bride has an outfit change or the bridal party is running late taking pictures. If you expect your cocktail hour to run longer, or if you have a lot of younger guests, have some games or entertainment to keep them occupied.
Don’t Skimp on Décor
The cocktail hour is just as part of your wedding as the ceremony and reception, even if you’re not there to enjoy it yourself. Decorating the cocktail hour location is a good way to keep guests in the wedding mood and have a good flow between all the different events.
Are you looking for a photographer or videographer to capture your special day? Contact AGI Studio today! Our team of experienced, award-winning wedding photographers would love to capture your big day, including cocktail hour candids!