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.
Wood wedding sign pointing to activities for guests
Meg Cooper Photography
simone hill the knot wedding planning and style expert
Simone Hill
simone hill the knot wedding planning and style expert
Simone Hill
Wedding Planning and Style Expert
  • Simone Hill is a Technical Product Owner for Estée Lauder Companies.
  • A former editor for The Knot, Simone has experience in web development and editorial writing.
  • Simone has a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School.

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

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

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

5. A Game of Checkers

Chess game with hay and quilt decorations

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

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

7. Mariachi Band Cocktail Hour Music

Mariachi music

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

8. Mini-Popsicle Cocktails

mini popsicle cocktail appetizer

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

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

10. Cocktail Hour Cabanas

Cabana cocktail hour seating and decoration

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

11. Playful Cocktail Hour Sign

Cocktail hour drink sign

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

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

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

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