The Cocktail Hour
Usually when the bride and groom are finishing formal photos after the ceremony, the guests will be at cocktail hour awaiting your arrival at the reception. Here are some ideas to make the cocktail hour more enjoyable.
This should be a given, but it's not all of the time. Music can create an atmosphere that will make your guests feel more comfortable. Keep in mind that your musical selections should create the kind of ambience that will match your style, while complementing any themes you may have chosen for you day.
Who doesn't love a chocolate fountain? Fresh fruit, marshmallows, graham crackers, Rice Krispie treats for dipping- your guests will enjoy a light dessert while waiting for your arrival.
ENGAGEMENT PORTRAIT AUTOGRAPHS
Set up your framed engagement portrait on an easel with a matte frame that people can sign for you to keep for a keepsake. This idea is not exclusive to photos. You can use other items that are meaningful to you like a snowboard or something of the like. Guests will get a kick out of signing a unique item.
INVITE GUESTS TO PAINT A MASTERPIECE
Put out a blank canvas with some paint and brushes, and invite your guests to make their own mark on the canvas with several different colors of paint. Of course, many considerations need to be made for this to work well.
WORDS OF WISDOM CARDS
Provide note cards, pens (and a garbage can). Ask guests to put their names on one side of the card, and their best words of wisdom for a long and happy marriage on the other. The cards can be kept as a keepsake or to put in a scrapbook.
CREATIVE PHOTOS FOR TABLE NUMBERS
Create your own photo numbers featuring photos of the bride and groom in a variety of fun and meaningful locations. Randomly snap photos as you are together out and about while you somehow signify each table number (sign, fingers, whatever). Guests will soon start to wander around the room looking at the different photos, and that promotes socializing and making friends.
These things are all fun ways to personalize and involve your guests during the cocktail hour. As always, be sure to prepare for each activity, and have backup plans as well. Thanks!