Showers & Parties Cocktail Hour: Prelude to a Great Reception
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Cocktail Hour: Prelude to a Great Reception

After the formalities of the wedding planning and wedding ceremony comes the cocktail hour portion of your wedding receptions. This is a time when your guests can mingle with old friends and make some new ones while the wedding party finishes up those necessary pictures.

Cocktail hours typically include hors d’ oeuvres, drinks, and some form of entertainment. There are various types of entertainment available including music and numerous out of the ordinary activities. Depending on your location, cocktail hours can allow for guests to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the wonderful weather. This may include your reception site’s outdoor patio, or veranda, but some brides choose to do their wedding reception cocktail hour on the beach and then retreat inside for the reception.

Music is always a welcome form of entertainment at any event. Single musicians such as guitarists, violinists, pianists, harpists are perfect. Adding more musicians to the combination is also a nice touch and these can include flute, violin, guitar or perhaps a small string ensemble. Musicians normally set up in one area but a nice thought may be to have them stroll amongst your guests. The musicians and repertoire that you choose will depend on the theme of your event. If you are a jazz fan, then perhaps a jazz trio could be just the music style for you. Other ideas may include a steel drum tropical band or a capella vocal group.

When considering the options for your wedding reception cocktail hour, be sure to keep your tastes, along with the overall theme of the wedding, in mind. Here are some other great ideas for keeping guests entertained during your cocktail hour:

Caricature Artists - Talented artists to capture your guests’ talents and hobbies while bringing out their best and worst features on paper... a fun filled favor that your guests can take home with them. You may want to think about extending the caricature artist after dinner has concluded so that all of your guests can take advantage of this fun activity.

Latin - Offer cigar rollers or brightly costumed, interactive dancers to perform a feature dance, then mingle and dance with your guests... tango anyone?

Living statues & tables - Decor and entertainment all in one! Statues that make your guests the center of attention are great fun and quite amazing. Live fruit tables with a themed, live model in the middle of the table who encourages guests to partake of the food.

Magicians - A Magician can amaze and wow your guests with a vast array of card tricks and visual mysteries.

Mimes - Mimes can act and mimic without saying a word. They are mesmerizing and amusing to watch.

Movie & Music - If you are movie buffs and fans of the Oscars, consider hiring Paparazzi to greet your guests as they arrive at your wedding reception. They would interview each guest and take faux pictures and video. You could even add look-alikes to the performing guest list. Imagine Elvis, Marilyn Monroe or Cher mingling amongst your guests.

Polynesian - Fire eaters and hula dancers can captivate any audience.

Video & Photography - Have your videographer create a montage of your childhood, and then match the images with music. Dedicate a photographer to your cocktail hour event to take digital photos, print them out, and voila, you have a keepsake from the wedding that can be placed into a folder inscribed with your names and wedding date.

Your wedding will be one of the most memorable days of your life. The wedding reception will create a special memory for your guests that will always be associated with you and your wedding. Your cocktail hour or party will set the stage for dinner, all of the toasts, and a great DJ or live band to help party away the hours.