As wedding planners, we often get asked about how to keep the cocktail hour fun. The cocktail hour is that awkward time of the wedding when the guests don’t know exactly what they should be doing and the wedding party is off taking pictures, which depending on different variables can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. Therefore, brides tend to wonder what they can do to keep their guests entertained without them being there to entertain them. Here are three (3) things you can do!
A. Serve Food and Refreshments – People love to eat! Most guests are also hungry and thirsty by this time and ready for something to nibble and sip on. One fun way to put your own spin on this is by making the appetizers things that you and your new hubby really enjoy. Maybe they are mini hamburgers, or mini grilled cheese sandwiches, or even a fun cocktails that you and your mister invented yourselves. Don’t be afraid to be creative.
B. Cartoonist/Photobooth – Having a cartoonist at the wedding and/or a photobooth during the cocktail hour is always a easy and great way to entertain guests, plus you can always request a copy of each drawing/photo taken for your guest book or keep sakes! Besides, the guests begin to loosen up and get goofy, which adds to the fun of the reception.
C. Games!!! Games!!! Games!!! – There are so many indoor and outdoor games you can have for your wedding guests to play to help pass the time. Here are my personal top 3 favorites:
- Giant Tic Tac Toe – This is the easiest one to execute and everyone knows how to play. You can set it up for either indoors or outdoors. Plus there is something about playing games in “giant form” that makes them that much more fun!
- Giant Jenga – If you have been out at night in Denver, you may have noticed that this popular kid’s game is seen at local bars all around town. It is so loved by local bar goers that lines normally form to play with your friends. This is another easy game to execute and can also be set up either indoors or outdoors. To make it even more your own, you can put a special monogram or dialog on the playing blocks. I will definitely be having this one at my wedding.
As an added bonus, the Curtis Hotel in downtown Denver has both of these games in super size for their wedding couples to use on their big day :).
- Cornhole – I love this one, not just because it is tons of fun, but also because you can put whatever image you want on the Cornhole boxes, or even the bean bags. This is more of an outdoor than indoor game, but still could make a very cute twist and addition to your wedding day!
Again, if you and your hubby like to do a certain activity, then chances are your wedding guests will too! We have seen cocktail hour include a mechanical bull, magicians (classy ones), food trucks, and croquet (amongst others)….Have fun with it!
Until next time, happy wedding planning!