Is It Important to Plan Activities and Games to Keep Guests Busy During Cocktail Hour?
Or is the combination of music, cocktails, and light bites enough to keep family and friends happy until the official party starts?
The hour immediately following your wedding ceremony can either be a total bore or one of the most enjoyable parts of the evening. Depending on your guests, the combination of light bites, great cocktails, soft music, and conversation with friends and family is enough to keep them feeling happy and entertained; for others, an hour without an activity passes slowly. If you're nervous your guests will need more entertainment than they can get from fellow wedding-goers, consider adding a few activities or games to your post-ceremony, pre-reception gathering.
Provide Multiple Locations for Guests to Go
Depending on your wedding venue, the location of cocktail hour itself what might cause guests to seek alternative entertainment. Should cocktail hour be taking place outside during a warm weather month, guests might look for somewhere to escape the heat. If you have a number of younger guests in attendance who can't legally enjoy a drink at the bar, you'll want to have something else to keep them occupied. An outdoor space where they can play is often enough, but coloring stations or mess-free crafts might also be necessary. For adults, it's nice to offer a little variety, too. Older guests will appreciate seating options where they can relax, while guests young and old will appreciate stations where they can sign your guest book or look at family photos.
Provide Ice Breakers
If you do want to offer some activities for guests, consider options that break the ice and help everyone get to know one another. After all, your wedding is the one time in your life when all of your favorite people are in the same place at the same time—why not help them all become friends, too? Ice breakers on cocktail tables or up at the bar that will spark conversations. Call these cards "conversation starters" and include questions like, "Who's your favorite celebrity" or "What was your favorite song in high school?" You could also include fun facts about each guest in your ceremony program or on cocktail napkins; encourage guests to put a face to the name in the hour between your "I dos" and the reception.
If your wedding is outdoors, or if there's an outdoor space available to guests, consider putting out a few games for everyone to enjoy. Corn hole or giant Yahtzee are the perfect type of games to play outdoors, and you can have multiple people involved at the same time. A photo booth is another fun option.