How to Keep Guests Entertained During Cocktail Hour

Abby looks for fun ways her wedding guests can spend the break between the ceremony and reception.

by Abby Phillips

If I can go slightly off topic for a moment, I have been busy thinking about and planning a Halloween Party for our flat. I am so excited! We are going to do a special haunted surprise for our friends and hopefully spook some screams out of a few of them. What does this have to do with weddings you ask? Well, it got me thinking about entertaining my wedding guests while the bridal party are off having our photos done.

We will be leaving our guests for about an hour and a half, and they will have a cocktail hour out on the sun deck of our venue before moving into the main reception room. However, I was wondering if I should organise some games to keep them amused and break the ice a little bit for those that may not have met. So off to Google I went…


picture source: Sugarlily Vintage

We are having a garden ceremony and the cocktail hour for guests will be outdoors too (weather permitting). There are lots of outdoor games to choose from: pétanque, horseshoes and croquet which could be a lot of fun.


picture source: style my corntoss

Then I came across something called cornhole. I think I remember that this is a game popular in America. The cutest thing is that you can make these cornhole game sets yourself and personalise it for your wedding. Players take turns throwing bean bags at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. If you get the bean bag in the hole you score three points, if it lands on the platform you get one; it is the first team to reach 21 points that wins the game. Sounds like fun, and a DIY project which I love!


picture source: Alisa Marie Designs

Another suggestion I came across was to have quiz cards dotted around the place with questions about the bride and groom. Pop the answers on the back and guests can have a mini trivia session while they enjoy the sunshine.

I want to make sure my guests are comfortable and entertained, so what do you think?

Would you enjoy these games if you were a wedding guest? Do you have any ideas for your own wedding to keep your guests entertained?

by Abby Phillips


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  1. At my sisters wedding we where worried about the huge amount of children getting bored and running around and people drinking way too much too early if they had nothing to do.Seen it happen at too many times at other weddings so we had a corn hole game and a few other lawn games to keep people occupied.Although popular it wasn’t as popular as the golden bowling gnomes (plastic ones we sprayed gold) or the hoopla white wedding tree (a mdf cut out stylised one we sprayed white and just bought some white hoops to go with it) We propped up giant door sized picture frames wound with fake flowers in the corners up against trees, which kept people not playing the games a chance to take their own photos, while the bride and groom had theirs done.Now they were very very popular.

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