Wedding Entertainment to Occupy Your Guests during Cocktail Hour

Holding your wedding ceremony and reception at the same location? If you said yes than you are going to need some entertainment for your guests while you’re off taking all your bridal party photos. There are tons of fun wedding ideas to keep your guests entertained during cocktail hour and here we list our favourites.

keeping wedding guests occupied with wedding entertainment

Wedding Lawn Games

Having games at outdoor weddings for your guests to participate in makes for a fun filled ice breaker to ensure both families blend. While sipping on drinks and munching away on canapés guests can also try their hand at several games that you have set up. Your guests won’t even realise how long you’ve been gone taking photos with this one! Below are a couple of our favourite lawn games that you can implement at an outdoor wedding. However there are plenty more that you can devise including croquet, horse shoe toss and even mini golf. If weather isn’t on your side you can set up some indoor game tables for guests to try.

– Bocce is similar to lawn bowls with the object of the game being to get your bocce balls as close to the smaller ball as possible.  Points are then awarded to those closest. The game can be played as teams or individuals. Usually the game is played to set a number of points for instance first team to reach 16.

– Giant Jenga is a popular game amongst guests. The same as regular Jenga where each player removes a wooden block from the stack without the tower collapsing, giant jenga involves oversized pieces.

– Corn hole is a game where a raised platform is made that contains a hole at the far end. Players then toss a bean bag (or ball) and try to get it to land in the hole. This game can be played as teams or individuals up against each other.  The team/player who reaches a score of 21 first wins.  Players will receive 1 point if the bean bag lands on the platform and 3 points if they get it in the hole.

wedding lawn games for cocktail hour

Food and Drink Stations

Create some food stations for wedding guests to peruse and eat. An antipasto style station with nibbles and cheese platters will be a hit with all guests and be a great starter before the mains are served at the reception. You can also have a selection of mini quiches, savoury tarts, mini hot dogs and sliders to keep things casual. For something a little sweet and fun consider setting up a waffle station or cupcake station where guests can then add their own toppings. The idea of having a food station during the hours between the ceremony and reception  is to tie your guests over until they sit down for a proper meal at your reception so avoid filling them up. Also limit the food stations to only a few different kinds; you don’t want to overload them.  Consider setting up a picnic area for guests to kick off their shoes. Think picnic rugs and cushions or chairs for them to get comfortable. Have picnic food on offer (sandwiches, wraps, fruit, cheese, crackers and dips) at your food stations and allow guests to chill a little before the fun of your reception. Aside from food stations having dedicated drink stations is also a good idea. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages should be in order including punches, lemonades and flavoured water. Guests can mingle around the drink stations as they sample the drinks on offer.

wedding food stations for cocktail hour

Leaving the Entertainment to the Professionals

Hiring professional entertainers is another great idea. You can select anything that will suit your wedding theme and your guest’s tastes including dancers, musicians, comedians, palm readers, a caricaturist or even expert cocktail waiters to shake things up – literally! You might like to select wedding entertainment specific to your culture for example Chinese dragon dancers.  Having performers is sure to keep your guests amused and will encourage your guests to mingle by providing a topic for conversation.

caricaturist entertaining guests at wedding

Photo booth Magic

Another fun wedding idea is to set up or hire a photo booth. Everyone always gets carried away by photo booths no matter how many weddings they’ve been to that have had one. DIY photos booths can be easily made, by creating a unique back drop, purchasing some fun props from a party supplies store or online and supplying a camera. Your backdrop could simply be some plain fabric and the camera could be a couple of disposable cameras – all very affordable. Guests are guaranteed to have a laugh taking fun snaps which will ensure they are loosened up and in party mode for the reception festivities.

entertain guest with photo booth

These are but just a few of our favourite ways to provide wedding entertainment for your guests during cocktail hour. As long as your guests have something to keep them occupied during this time you can’t go wrong! If you’re having kids at your wedding you’re also going to need to find ways to keep them entertained too! Here we provide our tips for keeping the kids occupied at your big day.

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