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To Have Or Not To Have… Cocktail Hour!

Once the wedding ceremony is done, then begins the reception… There is that short interval of time that your guests will be left unattended while you meet and greet or take pictures. So what happens during that time? What do your guests do? Cocktail hour!!! states that cocktail hour is  “the interval before the evening meal during which cocktails and other alcoholic beverages are often served.” So how will you ‘cocktail hour’??


What Is The Point?

After you’ve said your vows and you are pronounced man and wife, you may greet your guests as they make their way to the reception. How do your guests entertain themselves while your getting your pictures taken or spending a few moments alone with your new spouse?

Cocktail hour doesn’t have to necessarily be ‘cocktail hour’ if you catch my drift… This is just a time for the bride and groom (and the wedding party and family) to get pictures. This is basically a babysitter for your guests.

Alcohol vs. No Alcohol

The definition states that cocktail hour, traditionally had alcohol in some form. Who says you need to have alcohol for your cocktail hour? If you’re willing to pay for alcohol (which can be pricey) then go for it! Or go ahead and have ‘mocktails’ (a concoction, like a cocktail, without alcohol)!

Have a place at your reception area, like a great hall, that will allow your guests to mingle before going into to be seated at the actual reception area. Having your guests mingle together can not only bring your family closer, but they can also entertain themselves.

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Image source:

Hors d’ oeuvres

Be careful not to go overboard with the food. You’ve spent a good bit of money to have your wedding catered and you don’t want your guests to over-indulge; They won’t want to eat the meal that your caterer has made! Small trays of fruit, cheese, and crackers would be great. The smaller the tray, the less likely your guests are to actually take a full plate (the smaller trays trick them into thinking that they only have so much there for all of the other guests!).


Click the picture to buy from!

Click the picture to buy from!

If the weather is nice, don’t keep your guests’ cooped up inside. Have outside games for them to play, like horseshoes or giant jenga! Set up your cocktail hour so that if flows nicely and make sure that it is clear what each “station” at your cocktail hour is for.

Board Games

If you and your fiance are big on board games, take your stock of games and have them set up for all your guests to play. If you lead them to the games, they will play (this is good if you plan on having an extra long cocktail hour)!

Sign The Guest Book

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Image source:

Sign the guest book? Isn’t that a no brainer? Have a small schedule or list of reminders that each guest needs to do. Make your guest book interactive too, have two parts; They sign a picture or a canvas with your new last initial and then have them place their name and address on their birthday in a calendar (You get a neat address book out of that!).

Have Actual Wedding Games

Click the picture to buy from!

Click the picture to buy from!

In addition to board games, also have fun wedding games for your guests to do or play while they wait. These games can be anything from a mad lib to and advice jar!

Display Yourselves

Have a slideshow of you both with you as young children to the present day. Play some music with it and let your guests enjoy “watching” you both grow up right before their eyes.

You can also have baby pictures hanging around. Place a few pictures here and there of the two of you if you don’t have the capabilities to do a slideshow. You can also keep these pictures to hang around your house later then!



Have live music to entertain your guest while they mingle, because the hour seem to pass a little quicker when you’ve got a beat to go along with the seconds ticking by!


Karaoke, cocktail hour style! Liquid courage seems to be a key factor for karaoke, but you may have those brave guests that will surprise the heck out of you and all the others! This is fun and interactive for those daring enough to try it!


Whether you and your fiance decide to have a ‘cocktail hour’ or not, is up to you! Call it whatever you like, but just make sure your guests have something to occupy their time while they wait for the beautiful bride and groom to arrive and announce themselves as the new mr. and mrs!


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