Seven Irresistible Cocktail-Hour Ideas


Cocktail hours do not have to be the time when guests sit and wait, hungry, and maybe even a little bored.  These seven ideas will help you keep your guests happy during the cocktail hour.

Live Art

Yes, it is a thing.  An artist sitting amongst your guests, painting.  I haven’t had the opportunity to be at a cocktail hour where there is live art — yet!  Let me know if you are interested in having an artist paint scenes from your wedding live because I’d love to be there to capture it.

Pretzel Bars

First of all, who doesn’t love pretzels?  (Cue the Pretzel Day episode of the Office.)  Pretzels are an easy and delicious snack to offer guests during the cocktail hour.  Some pretzel companies offer catering, so check out what options are available locally.  Pretzels are very versatile, so you can feature salty, sweet, and different dipping sauces to add diversity.

Boho Tents

Bohemian weddings are so in right now.  Including a Boho tent in your wedding reception and cocktail hour will add a gorgeous element and a place for people to enjoy themselves.  The way you design your tent is totally up to you and there is plenty of inspiration available! Some couples choose a large wedding tent that everyone can fit under, but there are smaller options if you want more people spending time outside.

Yard Games

Yard games are a fun way to keep guests entertained while waiting for the main events of the wedding reception.  If you have outdoor space at a summer wedding, setting up games is an easy and inexpensive cocktail-hour idea. Some couples choose to have their favorite yard games or even some customized wedding-themed games for guests to enjoy.

Beer Flights

Are the two of you beer lovers?  Incorporate your love of beer into a fun cocktail-hour festivity.  Feature your favorite beers or some local brews. Give guests clues to the details of each beer, where it is brewed, and why it is one of your favorites.  Whether you pass around different beer samplings to guests during your cocktail hour or you feature growlers of your favorites, this fun idea will keep your guests happy!

Crostini + Charcuterie Spread

A simple snack menu will keep guests from getting too hungry while they wait for the reception dinner. This could also provide a unique alternative to a formal dinner.  Crostini + meat and cheese options make such a beautiful spread.  

Blankets on the Lawn

If you want guests to spend time outside, encourage sitting and conversing by creating comfortable areas with blankets, pillows, hammocks, and chairs. 

No matter the style of your wedding, I hope at least one of these ideas will inspire you and make your cocktail hour unique and fun!  I would love to be there to take photos of your guests enjoying themselves. Ready to talk? Book me here!

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