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Hightail it to Cocktail Hour!

Most wedding day activities require the happy couple to be present, from the ceremonial kiss, to the loving toasts, to the picture-perfect grand exit. Once this union is made official, the newlyweds are rushed off to photograph this momentous occasion, along with their wedding party and immediate family. Most people know this section of the timeline as Cocktail Hour, a time for guests to visit the bar, explore the venue, and catch up with other loved ones in attendance. Many couples have asked, “How can we improve our guests’ wedding experience?” and found the answer lies in Cocktail Hour activities!

Many guests miss the welcome table on their way to the ceremony (especially latecomers), so repurposing this table to Cocktail Hour ensures no gifts, cards, or well-wishes are left on the sidelines! Many tables now include a more involved guest book that requires photos, video, or audio recordings, or even some light reading material like a detailed program or your own personal storybook. If you have attention-grabbing elements such as these, you may prefer to reserve this activity until after the ceremony. Doing so will allow your guests breathing room to give heartfelt messages without the worry of missing out on any important moments.

Photobooths have become increasingly popular in the wedding world, with more and more vendors specializing in custom backgrounds and high-tech “booths” that range from stand-alone mechanisms with personal attendants to golden touch-screen mirrors. Many of these products are also Wi-Fi enabled for guests to send themselves copies, as well as to add their photos to your wedding gallery! For those who may not want to dedicate a section of their venue or budget to an advanced photobooth, don’t forget that polaroid selfies have been in style for decades!

Whether little ones are running around your venue looking for something to do, or the reigning college cornhole champion is in attendance, life-sized lawn games are always a huge hit with wedding guests! If you prefer something tailored to you and your sweetheart, one Mansion couple created a dry-erase crossword of trivia! No matter which route you choose, offering fun, light-hearted, and semi-competitive activities will create cause for cheers and laughter even when the happy couple is preoccupied elsewhere.

If you’re looking to foster a more socially driven atmosphere without necessarily adding non-wedding activities, creating an outdoor vignette will take your Cocktail Hour to a whole new level! During your reception, family members are likely to sit at the same tables and most intermingling is done on the dancefloor where body language is more common than the spoken word. Curating a space to further facilitate conversation during the event’s social hour will not only bring long-distance friends and family together once again but also encourage each side of your growing family tree to get to know one another. If nothing else, this lovely seating area will serve as an excellent photo opportunity as well as keep grandparents from wandering off to the reception in search of a comfortable seat.

Cocktail hour can often get lost among the many details you and your betrothed want for your dream wedding. A bar and some passed hor devours or even a culinary station are often all that are offered to guests as entertainment between the ceremony and reception. Going the extra mile to find thoughtful touches such as these honors not only your guests, who have come dressed to the nines with gifts and tears in tow, but also the fullest celebration of your union, the memories of which will last a lifetime.