Your wedding day cocktail hour is the perfect transition from your wedding ceremony to your reception. After the ceremony you will be finishing up your wedding portraits so a cocktail hour keeps your guests entertained before you make your reception entrance. Your guests get to mingle, have some drinks, and eat some snacks. Here are a few tips to make sure your wedding day cocktail hour is perfect for everyone!
Make It An Hour
It's called cocktail hour for a reason, it's usually 1 hour long! Usually your guests will have the full hour to mingle, drink, and eat and then your venue will start moving them into the reception space to find their seats. After everyone is seated you will make your grand entrance. You won't want to keep your guests waiting for too long so an hour is usually sufficient.
Make Sure There Is Plenty Of Space
You won't want all of your guests crammed into a small area. Make sure there is room for everyone to move around freely and have some breathing room.
Include Room For Standing As Well As Sitting
Most of your guests may enjoy standing around and chatting with fellow guests but some guests, especially older guests, may need a comfortable place to sit during this time. Making sure there is room for standing as well as several seating options will ensure that everyone is comfortable.
Have some sort of background music playing during the cocktail hour to help set the mood. You don't need to pay dance hits, soft background music is perfect. This helps fill the air with ambiance so there won't be any awkward silences. It can also help signal to guests that it's time to head into the reception when the venue turns the music off.
You will certainly want to have some sort of beverages handy. This can be a fully stocked bar or just a few signature cocktail drinks. You will also want to have some non-alcoholic options available too.
Have Small Yummy Snacks
Along with beverages, you will also want to have something small for your guests to eat. These should be appetizer finger food type options. Something that they can grab and hold onto on a napkin and that will satisfy their hunger without filling them up completely. Your reception dinner will be served shortly after cocktail hour so you won't want them to leave cocktail hour completely full! You will also want to consider dietary restrictions as well. Usually cocktail hour will have 2-3 yummy options with one being something that is vegetarian friendly.
You won't want your guests to have to stand in long lines to grab a drink or some food. Set up a couple of different drink/food areas so your guests can grab what they are wanting fast.
Offer Other Activities
Cocktail hours are primarily meant for mingling but not everyone likes to socialize the whole time. Having another activity like lawn games, a photo booth, etc is a great way to allow your guests who identify more as introverts have something fun to do. If you have a lot of children that will be at your wedding, setting up a small area just for them can be a great way to keep them occupied as well.