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5 Fun Ways to Keep Wedding Guests Entertained During Cocktail Hour

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A lot of thought and creativity goes into planning a wedding ceremony and reception, but don't forget to put that same effort into how you will keep guests entertained during the cocktail hour too. This is generally the time when you will be away getting those last few formal wedding photos taken care of. Since you can't be there to entertain them personally, has a few fun ways to keep everyone from getting bored while they wait for the main party to start. 

Photo Opportunities

While you're having wedding photos taken, let your guests get in some shots of themselves too. Photo booths can be rented that will take and print out pictures of your guests making silly poses with fun props. You can also make your own photo spots around the area, booth-free, by creating interesting backdrops for guests to say "cheese" in front of. 

Another great photo idea is to hire a second shooter for the wedding that will take professional portraits of your guests during the cocktail hour. After all, they're dressed up and looking their best. A nice individual or group photo commemorating this special day makes a wonderful wedding favor. 


For an outdoor cocktail hour or one that will take place indoors where there is lots of space, you could set out lawn games for your guests to play. A few one-on-one games are okay, but games that involve groups of people are best for getting more guests up and playing. 

If space is limited, you could put tabletop games out for guests to enjoy. You could even have someone calling bingo and offer fun prizes to the winners. 

Interactive Guest Books

We offer quite a few wedding guest book alternatives in our online store. One that will take your guests some extra time to fill out is our Wedding Wishes Cards set, available in black or tan. These could also get some interesting conversations started among your guests. There are spaces to fill in for how long they have known you as a couple, favorite memories, wedding advice or predictions, and their most memorable event of the day. 

You could also choose to have blank cards set out and ask your guests to offer future date night suggestions or list some fun "marriage bucket list" ideas for you to try to accomplish during your life together. Order a beautiful box for all of these cards to be collected and stored in until you are ready to read them. 

Drink Stations

Since it is called "cocktail hour," guests will expect something to drink. Make this a part of the fun by offering tasting stations for wine, beer, whiskey, tequila, or whatever your favorite spirit may be.

You could also let guests mix their own concoctions by setting out a variety of drink add-ins or having different containers of beverages that taste delicious when mixed together. This idea also works well for non-alcoholic drinks, such as lemonades or teas.   

Don't Forget the Little Ones

If you are inviting children or even teenagers to your wedding, they sometimes need different activities to keep them entertained than adults enjoy. (Although grownups that are "kids at heart" often enjoy some of these activities too!) Have a few games available that are geared toward the age levels that you have invited. You might even want to set up a special area specifically for the young people away from the adult activities. 

If you won't be having a cocktail hour, these ideas can all be incorporated into your reception entertainment instead. They don't have to end with the cocktail hour either. Most are mobile and can be moved to the reception area when your guests head that way.  

These are just a few fun wedding cocktail hour ideas to get you started. You can find the items and inspiration for many more when you browse through our wedding store online. Together we will make a memorable day that you and your guests will look back on fondly for many years to come.  


~ The Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant

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