One of 2019’s biggest trends is one that suits every style of wedding. From the rustic and the boho to the elegant and the contemporary; the cocktail hour is the perfect choice! This new twist on the age-old drinks reception trend really lets you celebrate in style and you can be sure that your guests will enjoy every minute. So, here are our favourite cocktail hour ideas so that you plan your day to perfection.
Cocktail hour ideas – drinks
After your ceremony, it’s time for the cocktail hour and it wasn’t all that long ago that all guests had to look forward to here would be a glass of something fizzy and a few rather dull canapés. Now, things are very different and your cocktail hour gives you the chance to really treat your guests in a way that works with the style of your day.
Image courtesy of Mia Hooper Photography
Of course, drinks feature heavily in a cocktail hour but you’re now spoilt for choice! The traditional glass of bubbly is still popular, but more and more couples are opting for something different with cocktails and mocktails featuring highly. Rum Juleps, Berry Blush, Kir Royale and Amaretto Classico are just some of the drinks that feature on our in-house catering team's drinks reception menu, alongside the classics such as Pimm’s and mulled wine for those colder days.
Images courtesy of Doherty Photography and La Cabine de Margaux
Interactive drinks stations are also a brilliant a drinks reception idea because they really get guests talking. How about a gin or rum bar or even a create-your-own Bellini station? You could go for a beer drum or even organise to have guest ales on tap – forget the old rule that says your drinks reception has to be all about the fizz! There’s also a super creative selection of non-alcoholic drinks so everyone can enjoy something special.
Image courtesy of LJ Photographics
Image courtesy of Paul Willetts Photography
Cocktail hour ideas - food
Food is also an integral part of any good cocktail hour and these bitesize delights are the perfect accompaniment to a glass or two of something fabulous. When you’re choosing your canapés, try to include a variety of texture and flavours and it’s nice to include at least one warm canape (more in the colder months).
Image courtesy of Weddings by Nicola and Glen
Choose canapés that you love so if you’re a fan of old school favourites, mini fish and chips or mini beef burgers with pickles would be perfect. For a classic canapé selection, smoked salmon blinis, wild mushroom tartlets or crispy risotto balls would all work wonderfully but don’t rule out the more adventurous options either. Thai chicken skewers, king prawn and vegetable tempura or crispy duck spring rolls served with a hoisin dipping sauce with definitely make mouths water!
More drinks reception ideas
There’s more to a great cocktail hour than simply food and drink so don’t be afraid to include some entertainment in this section of your day too. Here are some ideas that everyone will enjoy as they nibble, sip and celebrate with you:
Music really adds to your cocktail hour. Whether you book live musicians or just create a brilliant playlist, a little bit of background music will bring your day to life.
Image courtesy of Jarek Lepak Photography
In the warmer months, garden games are a great idea. Croquet, massive Jenga blocks or even homemade fairground style games are a lot of fun.
Image courtesy of Daffodil Waves Photography
Entertainers work really well during a cocktail hour as they can interact with smaller groups of guests. Magicians, silhouette artists and caricaturists are always popular.
Image courtesy of Tom Halliday Photography
Photobooths are often set up during the evening but there’s nothing to stop you from opening yours early!
Order your own personalised cocktail napkins – choose napkins in your wedding colours and personalise them with your names and wedding date or even fun facts about you both.
Don’t forget younger guests during cocktail hour with age appropriate drinks and nibbles plus some entertainment. A treasure hunt or a bouncy castle would give little guests the chance to burn off some energy before they sit down for dinner!
Image courtesy of Slattery Photography
For even more cocktail hour ideas, take a look at these wedding drinks with a difference.