18 Ways to Make Your Cocktail Hour More Fun

Think beyond drinks and snacks—your guests will have a blast getting to know each other doing these cool activities.
by Simone Hill
Wood wedding sign pointing to activities for guests
photo by Meg Cooper Photography

Instead of asking yourselves how to keep the kids occupied during the cocktail hour or reception, think about your entire guest list. Adding a few games or ice-breakers is the best way to get people mixing and mingling before they sit down to dinner. From signature drinks and cocktails to custom decorations and fun lawn games, we've rounded up our favorite creative cocktail hour ideas, below.

1. Croquet on the Lawn

Lawn croquet game idea

From: A Playful Outdoor Wedding in Bayfield, Ontario

2. A Giant Jenga Set

Giant Jenga lawn game for a fun cocktail hour idea
photo by Chris Sosa Photography

From: A Vintage, Rustic Wedding at a Private Residence in Miami, Florida

3.Cocktail Table Tic-Tac-Toe

Tic-Tac-Toe game idea for cocktail hour tables

From: A Romantic, Glam Wedding in Kansas City, Missouri

4. Roasting Marshmallows 

Marshmellow roasting cocktail hour appetizer idea
photo by Derek Haklett Photography

From: Rustic DIY Wedding at Smolak Farms in North Andover, Massachusetts

5. A Game of Checkers

Chess game with hay and quilt decorations
photo by Courtney Dox Photography

From: A Rustic-Chic DIY Celebration at Grace Haven Baptist Fellowship in Youngsville, North Carolina

6. DIY Wooden Wedding Sign

Wooden sign ideas for cocktail hour games
photo by Meg Cooper Photography

From: A Rustic DIY Backyard Wedding at a Private Residence in Walker, Minnesota

7. Mariachi Band Cocktail Hour Music

Mariachi music
photo by Christa Elyce

From: A Traditional Elegant Wedding at Villa Antonia in Austin, Texas

8. Mini-Popsicle Cocktails

mini popsicle cocktail appetizer
photo by Jade + Matthew Take Pictures

From: A Natural, Rustic Wedding at Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum in Savannah, Georgia

9. Custom Koozies and Cocktail Napkins

Appetizer and drink decorations
photo by Gayle Brooker

From: An Elegant, Outdoor Wedding at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, Georgia

10. Cocktail Hour Cabanas

Cabana cocktail hour seating and decoration
photo by Michelle Beller Photography

From: An Elegant, West Coast Wedding at a Private Residence in Montecito, California

11. Playful Cocktail Hour Sign

Cocktail hour drink sign
photo by Hunter Ryan Photo

From: A Chic Beach Wedding at Private Residence in Naples, Florida

12. Custom Floral Cocktail Straws

Drink straws with decorations

From: A Murray Hill Wedding in Leesburg, Virginia

13. Cocktail Hour Bingo

Bingo game game idea for cocktail hour tables

From: A Backyard Wedding in Robinsdale, Minnesota

14. Outdoor Cocktail Hour Fire Pits

Fire pit cocktail hour decorations
photo by Carrie Patterson Photography

From: An Upscale Mountain Wedding at the Amangani in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

15. A Signature Cocktail

Drink idea

From: A Timeless Elegance Wedding at Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in North Garden, Virginia

16. A Game of Ladder Golf

Lawn game idea
photo by Andres Valenzuela Photography

From: A Rustic DIY Wedding at Edgehill Farm in Sedgwick, Maine

17. Bite-Sized Appetizers

Cocktail hour food idea

From: A Summer Sunflower Wedding in Rhinebeck, New York

18. Custom Mason Jar Drinks

Drinks and decorations

From: A Classic Formal Wedding in Cullman, Alabama

Up Next
The Ultimate Wedding Cocktail Hour Guide
Think of your cocktail hour as a souped-up version of your favorite happy hour. Here, some basic cocktail hour must-haves, plus a few extra-genius ways to wow your guests.
by The Knot6 min read