Tips For A Successful Cocktail Hour
Cocktail hour doesn’t have to be that dreaded time between your ceremony and reception where guests feel like they are just waiting around for things to be set up. It is more than just layover time for your guests, you can make it a fun transitional experience! Here are some cocktail hour tips to get everyone in the celebratory mood and to really get the party started after your beautiful ceremony and how to make it successful!
What is a cocktail hour without cocktails? If you want to show off your creativity, having a signature drink is a fun and unique way to get the party started. Your guests will love it, especially if you give it a personalized name for them to remember forever. We also highly recommend having a welcome champagne table or wall, not only does it create a gorgeous focal point for your space, it also helps alleviate initial bar lineups as everyone is trying to get their drink on! It is also necessary to have non-alcoholic beverages available as well for those who still want to have a good time, but without the alcohol. Although the basics of water, pop, or juice are good, it is a nice idea to have mocktails or fun drinks as well so they can feel included in the fun!
Now that the drinks are taken care of, you need to think of how to keep your guests entertained. If you want to add a cute touch that provides both a practical decor element and entertainment, we suggest getting a box bar! It increases the fun of ordering drinks! Lawn games are always a good time because they can really help break the ice amongst your guests. Live music is also another really great option, not only does it provide an ambiance but people can also focus on watching the performer and it can become more interactive.
Location, location, location! Another cocktail hour tip – we suggest it be held in a separate space from the reception. Guests like to have a progressive flow within the same venue from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception. Almost like hopping between three parties! Having it in a separate space allows for you to have a room reveal of your reception space and lets your photographer grab those detailed shots without people in the way. Those are memories you will want to have preserved forever since the day goes by so fast! It also allows for any decor to be transferred over and repurposed from ceremony to reception so nothing is going to waste!
As with all well thought out plans there are some practical details that need to be considered. You must have seating available, especially for older guests or guests in heels. This can be done with some really cool lounge furniture that fits the style of your wedding. The length of a cocktail hour should be exactly as it sounds, an hour to 1.5 hours maximum, depending on the entertainment available. You don’t want your guests to lose interest during this time. If you are going for an hour and half you must feed your guests, which makes this a great time for some canapes to be passed around…yum!
If you decide this style of party sounds like everything you want for your wedding day, consider taking this information up a notch and making your entire wedding a cocktail style reception. Are you still feeling like you need some help, even with all of these cocktail hour tips? Reach out to us as we’ve planned dozens of cocktail style receptions and we would love to do yours!