Keeping Your Guests Entertained During Cocktail Hour

A cocktail hour is a great way to start a wedding reception. In most cases, it provides the time needed to capture formal photos or to give your guests a chance to mingle with one another and give them a taste for what is to come. The time between cocktail hour and the reception  is usually about an hour or so, but you can alter this based on your venue, number of guests, and traditions. We have collected some ideas that will help you plan the perfect cocktail hour that is sure to keep your guests entertained and enjoying every moment.


A great way to keep your cocktail hour entertaining is to consider the location where the cocktail hour is held. If you are fortunate enough to have an outdoor space with gorgeous scenery, or a grand foyer in your ceremony/reception site, be sure to take advantage of this. It is often overlooked how important the views and surroundings are for keeping guests entertained during cocktail hour.


Your cocktail hour is a great opportunity to set the tone for your reception and decorate the area in a way that helps ease guests into the party. It’s a good idea to think about what style you want to portray within your wedding day. You will want to choose pieces that highlight the season or your preferred color scheme, but bring out your personality as well. Decor pieces should add to the flow of the event, but not overpower it.

Signature Drinks and Interactive Food Displays

The food and drinks are a significant part of any cocktail hour. You don’t want to leave your guests hanging as they try to have a good time without being able to eat or drink. But also, don’t forget the importance of fun! You can seriously liven up your party by creating interactive food and drink displays. A trendy signature drink is also ideal for breaking the ice at the cocktail hour.

Lounge Area(s)

The most important part of a successful cocktail hour is ensuring that your guests have a place to mingle and relax. An elegant way to accomplish this is through a set up of lounge-style seating areas. If your budget doesn’t allow for lounge furniture or if it’s not quite your style, traditional high-top tables will give your guests a place to gather or set their drink down.


Providing entertainment at your cocktail hour will surely wow your guests. As you can imagine, this will depend on your overall wedding vision and style as well as your budget. What you choose to have at the cocktail hour will be a representation of who you are as a couple. It could be a way for you to show some personality and share some of the things that make you, well, you. Whether you want more formal entertainment such as a string trio, jazz duo, or jazz quartet, or something cheery like a photo booth or cigar bar, the options are limitless.

There are no rules to cocktail hour, except that it should be fun and keep guests mingling and feeling welcome. We hope that you have found some ideas here to help make your cocktail hour even more fun and memorable. With a few small additions and a touch of creativity, you can lead your guests on an amazing journey and create long-lasting memories.


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