You may not be there, but the guests are!
More often than so, people get caught up planning so many aspects of their wedding that they overlook the cocktail hour. Whether it’s as little as 15 minutes or over an hour, this time sets the tone for the reception. Is your goal to keep your guests entertained and involved from beginning to end? Or are you more interested in keeping the night simple with rat pack style? Either way, you want to encourage people to mingle, have fun, and start the night with positive energy!
Focusing on Entertainment
Whether your guests are reuniting with old friends or making new ones, getting them engaged with wedding activities will be a great way for everyone to start socializing. Create a customized book or “message in a bottle” to let family and friends share advice and memories with you. Furthermore, you can incorporate games like tic-tac-toe, ring toss, and horse shoe which will be fun for both kids and adults. These activities are inexpensive to create, so it’s win-win for all!
Tip: Modify the color schemes of the games, or customize them, to match your theme. For example, change the game of ring toss by designing the rings to look like engagement rings.
Food & Drinks
Make the appetizers simple by offering a small selection of finger foods like sliders and skewers (burgers, kebab skewers, shrimp skewers) to keep the focus on the activities. This way guests will be more encouraged to walk around and participate in the games.
Focusing on Simplicity
If you don’t like the idea of playing games, provide a photo booth to keep your guests involved. It will allow people to capture their memories and serve as a great wedding favor. It is also budget friendly! Instead of playing a traditional playlist look into hiring an artist (acoustic guitarist, jazz trio, etc.) to play live music for this portion of the night. This will keep your guests entertained and mingling, while creating a mellow ambience!
Tip: Rent a photo booth from Solo Records!
Food & Drinks
The guests’ attention will be mainly focused on the food and drinks at this cocktail hour since there aren’t any activities. Ensure that the details of the décor are creative and aesthetically pleasing by adding flowers, centerpieces, and candles. Get creative with the drinks you’re providing by matching cocktails to your color scheme or changing the names to mirror aspects of your life. Offer a variety of appetizers or set up “build-your-own” food stations to give your guests options. Some examples include:
- bread-and-cheese station with assorted fruit
- taco bar with fresh toppings like salsa, cilantro, lime, and onions
- crostini station with breads and toppings
Tip: Don’t forget to provide nonalcoholic drinks such as: diffused water, lemonade, ice tea, and coffee.