Wedding Inspiration and Ideas

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6 Unique Cocktail Hour Entertainment Ideas



Let’s be honest, cocktail hour can quickly become one of the most fun or awkward parts of the wedding day. Your hungry guests are too often expected to simply wander around drinking without much direction. But, if you think about it, cocktail hour is what kicks off the big party! It should be incredible! Have no fear – in this blog post I’m including six unique cocktail hour entertainment ideas that are sure to keep your guests entertained!

1. Live Dancers and Performers

Aerialists, silk dancers, static trapeze. You’ve seen these performers on television & at shows (think Cirque du Soleil), but why not make them a part of your wedding? These performers will awe your guests while simultaneously blending in with the atmosphere of your cocktail hour. Each live dancer or troupe may require a varying level of space or set up in order to perform. Definitely first reach out to your venue and planning team in order to ensure a hired dancer will be able to perform safely!

2. Curated Beer Flights or Wine Tastings

Capture your guests’ attention while also encouraging them to enjoy “cocktail hour” to the fullest by offering beer flights and wine tastings. Consider inviting local craft beer makers or sommeliers to both educate and entertain your guests. Depending on your wedding venue or location, this may be a perfect nod to the venue itself (a winery or vineyard) or location (should it have a local craft beer scene).

3. Cigar Bar

Even if some guests won’t indulge, all of your guests will love watching professional cigar rollers prepare custom smokes. This is a fun way to keep your guests entertained and provide favors!

4. Secondary Portrait Photographer

Guests love a great photo booth at a wedding, but why not raise the bar by hiring a professional photographer to capture fine art portraits of your guests? Your guests are probably already dressed to the nines for your special day anyway. They would all appreciate the gesture of some professional images to treasure forever. Consider asking your photographer or photography team if they could provide a professional for the cocktail hour.

5. Live Wedding Painting

Hiring a live artist to begin during the cocktail hour ensures guests are not only entertained, but you will then have an heirloom to treasure forever. Live painters blend in perfectly with the more roaming and relaxed feel of cocktail hour, and guests can gather around to watch the painting come to life before their eyes.

6. Unique Live Music

Your guests probably already just experienced some beautiful string music during your ceremony (harp, guitar, violins, etc.), and they’re prepared to dance the night away with a dj or full band at the reception. But, what about the cocktail hour? This is a perfect time to feature a more unique live act. Consider hiring dueling pianists who are often experts at interacting with the crowd while also playing requests. Perhaps your cocktail hour is the perfect time to feature a vintage French jazz trio, many of whom will arrive in glamorous costume. Or, ask your planning team if they are familiar with musical entertainment that is unique to your wedding location (for example, a mariachi band, should you be having a destination wedding in Mexico).

What do you think of these six unique cocktail hour entertainment ideas? I can definitely help you out with number five. If you would love to learn more about a live wedding painting experience, simply say hi by emailing me at It would be an honor to create a gorgeous wedding heirloom for you to treasure forever.