Posted by & filed under Real Weddings.

Ah yes, cocktail hour – that seemingly minor stretch of time between ceremony and reception when bridal couple and family are whisked away for photos and guests are invited to mingle. After witnessing multiple approaches, we’ve found a fail-safe list of ingredients to help your cocktail hour set a festive mood for your reception.

Ingredients for the Perfect Cocktail Hour - Buffalo Lodge KCIngredients for the Perfect Cocktail Hour - Buffalo Lodge KCIngredients for the Perfect Cocktail Hour - Buffalo Lodge KC







  1. Cocktails!
    • If there is one constant we’ve learned about human behavior, it’s that they flock around the bar. It’s as though there is some unwritten rule that the party is where the bar is. No bar, no party, and guests shift about awkwardly, wandering in various directions attempting to gain access to the reception space – all in a dire quest of finding that bar! Even if you have an alcohol-free event, serving creative beverages will be much appreciated and will help serve as the “glue” that keeps guests together and comfortably occupied.


  2. Passed Hordoerves
    • Another must-have for the cocktail hour. Nothing tells guests how special they are quite like passed hordoerves. Think of it as a conversation saver and starter. On the one end, you don’t have the starved guest eyeballing the appetizer table but helpless to interrupt Cousin Betty. On the other, passed hordoerves are great conversation starters: “Oh my, have you tried this one? It’s pure heaven!” You also avoid the awkward line to the appetizer table – lines notoriously suck the life out of a party.


  3. Music
    • Never underestimate the power of music to set the mood. It also creates intimacy in conversations, allowing guests to focus on each other versus neighboring conversations. Jazz classics instantly come to mind. A little Frank Sinatra will put guests in a festive spirit. Thinking something more contemporary? There are a slew of amazing renditions of popular music performed by string quartets that will create buzz among your guests. And you can always ask the DJ – they’re experts in this department and will be happy to offer suggestions.


  4. Optional: Children’s Activity Station
    • This is a great idea if there will be young children in attendance. Simply setting up a table with coloring books and/or games will keep energetic souls occupied and give parents a reprieve from entertaining young ones.


With these ingredients lovingly attended to, you can rest assured that your guests will be fully enjoying themselves and looking forward to carrying their high spirits into your reception!