Creative & Fun Cocktail Hour Ideas

*Photo via
Styled by Bryce Carson with Roberts & Co Events & image by Nicki Metcalf Photography.


An incredible cocktail hour is necessary to kick off an incredible wedding reception! From the decor to the drinks to the activities, you’ll want the cocktail hour to be just right. Here are a few creative cocktail hour ideas to help kick off the celebration!


Offer Fun Activities

While most people will love enjoying a drink while catching up with friends, you can elevate your cocktail hour by providing interactive activities. Here are a few cocktail hour activity ideas that will keep your guests entertained:

  • Set out yard games for guests to play, such as croquet, giant jenga, ladder golf, or cornhole.
  • If you are indoors or more limited in space, you can put out smaller games on the cocktail tables, like a tabletop tic-tac-toe board or checkers.
  • Bring out the guest book so that guests can get a head start on signing their names and giving their best wishes.
  • On a table with pens and pieces of paper or a book, have guests fill out bucket list items that they think the newlyweds should check off during their marriage.
  • Hire an artist to do live art on the spot. A caricature artist can make fun drawings of guests that they can take home as wedding favors!


Bring in a Live Performer

In addition to a musician who may perform during your cocktail hour, you might want to bring in a performer to add a bit of sparkle to the celebration. Think of something that fits your theme and venue. A belly dancer, hula dancer, or even a magician will amp up the cocktail hour!


Get Comfy with Picnic Blankets

Throwing a more casual affair? Keep the low-key vibes going by providing picnic blankets for guests. Everyone can grab a blanket, spread it out on the grass, and comfortably lounge while socializing and enjoying their drinks of choice.


Cozy Up Roasting Marshmallows

This is another great idea if you are having a more laid-back outdoor wedding. If your cocktail hour area has a fire pit, let guests roast marshmallows and make their own s’mores. A little sweet treat before dinner won’t hurt!


Brighten the Space Up with a Neon Sign

When it comes to wedding signs, neon signs have become a popular choice for many couples in the past few years. A neon sign can also serve as a backdrop for guests to snap a few photos together. Put it against a cool wall in the venue, or even a living plant wall for a fun background.


Create a Photo Display

A photo display is a great way to visually show guests a bit of the history behind you and your partner. Include photos from when you first started dating until now to give a fun overview of the whole timeline. You may also want to add photos of your wedding party and family members to give them a bit of the spotlight, as well.


Cheers with Beer Flights

Do you and your fiance love perfectly brewed craft beer? Then share your passion with your guests by serving beer flights! Pick some of your favorite choices from a local brewery to add a personal touch (and show some hometown pride!).


Get Creative with the Drinks Display

There are plenty of unique and creative ways to offer drinks at your cocktail hour. Have bartenders stock up a ladder display with your signature cocktail for guests to come and grab. Or, to add a real wow-factor, do a champagne tower with your favorite bubbly. Throwing a brunch wedding? A DIY mimosa station stocked with a variety of juices is the way to go!


Cool off with Snow Cones or Ice Cream

Nothing is better than a snow cone or a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer’s day. You can hire a local vendor with a snow cone or ice cream cart, or work with your caterer to offer these refreshing treats. If you’re going with ice cream, you may want to stick with mini cones so guests don’t ruin their appetites before dinner!


If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors of all talents who can help bring your vision to life!


Georgia wedding vendors, as well as other wedding professionals across the Southeast, can contact us about opportunities for exhibition and online marketing with Georgia Bridal Show.