Cocktail Hour: The ‘Before’ Party

Finally, the bride and groom have said “I Do!” So that only means one thing, it is time to celebrate. But before we have the grand opening to the reception site, guests get to get the party started with a cocktail hour. This is a great prelude to the fun planned for guests the rest of the night! Pulling off a great cocktail hour is simple. Here are some must-haves to start the night off with a bang!

Seating:
Guests have just been sitting for a good amount of time due to travel and the ceremony. So remember, not a ton of seating is necessary during cocktail hour. However, make sure there is enough comfortable seating for those who choose to sit or require seating. Space out the seating to allow guests to mingle and walk around. A great look is to incorporate low and high tables. It gives the cocktail hour a different feel than the reception and keeps the guests interested all night!

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Music:
You can’t have cocktail hour without some good jams! Be sure to keep the volume low so guests can talk and congratulate the couple! Another great idea is to incorporate a different style of music than the reception. Think Bluegrass band, jazz trio, or an acoustic guitarist as a few fun ideas. Also, you never know who is already ready to dance!

cocktail-hour-music

Food and Drinks:
Cocktail hour needs drinks, hence the name. We love including signature cocktails as a great way to showcase the couple and their personality.! They can help control bar costs and get the guests ready for a fun memorable night and help set the tone! Don’t forget to have non-alcoholic drinks for under age guests and those who choose not to drink! Fun glasses and straws always are a nice touch! Obviously, drink and food go hand in hand. Have some easy to eat hors d’oeuvres that go with your theme!

larger_image Lobster Cones at the M in Columbus Ohio

Personalization:
Whether it is cocktail napkins or signage, make sure to incorporate your theme or design into cocktail hour. Display the new couples marriage name, date, etc. The guests are here to celebrate you, so spread the love throughout cocktail hour! A great personal touch is a slideshow of the couple! From their younger years up to their wedding day, this is always a heart touching element guests love to view as their sipping on their drinks and munching on snacks!

Activities:
Guests will be itching to get the fun started after the ceremony. Include some form of activity for them to start getting in ‘celebration’ mode. For an outdoor wedding, lawn guests are always a go to! Otherwise, bring out the guestbook early or open up the photo booth before guests sit down for dinner!

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Photo Credit:

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/41/81/e6/4181e62628ed51707106412b8523785f.jpg

http://sly45.com/weddings/

http://spinachtiger.com/why-you-should-eat-drink-and-get-merry-in-columbus-ohio/

http://www.theknot.com/weddings/photos/wedding-signs/cocktail-hour

http://www.theknot.com/weddings/photos/wedding-signs/cocktail-hour

http://blog.briankelm.net/tag/cocktail-hour-activities-wedding-planning/

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