The Ultimate Cocktail Hour - How To Impress Your Guests | Saphire Event Group

You spent the morning hours getting ready, coordinated an amazing first look, took that infamous walk down the aisle and recited your vows in front of your family and friends. Now it’s no doubt time to party. But first, the cocktail hour. One of the most important parts of the reception, your cocktail hour sets the tone for the rest of the evening. It is the perfect way to transition from the more serious wedding day traditions to letting your hair down (sometimes literally) and letting loose with your loved ones.

A top wedding trend for 2017 is planning a spectacular cocktail hour; one that truly impresses your guests. Whether you are married at a church or onsite at your venue, once your ceremony is complete your guests will be looking for a tasty treat. With a wide and impressive variety of passed hors d’oeuvres, stations and of course great beverage options, you can truly create the ultimate cocktail hour.

So, let’s get the planning started! There are four main topics to cover in order to create the perfect cocktail hour.


As the name would suggest every great cocktail hour contains cocktails. With so many beverage options to choose from, there is sure to be the perfect fit for your wedding day vision. You can have signature wedding drinks passed to your guests, set up a Sangria station in the lounge or host a bar with top shelf liquors. All are great options to kick off the party portion of your reception. And don’t forget to include a mocktail or two. Whether it be for the youngsters or just those who prefer not to drink, who doesn’t love a good Shirley Temple or a lovely lemonade?

Metzger Studios
Metzger Studios


By the time the cocktail hour rolls around, your guests will be hungry. At Saphire Event Group, our options are endless! We always suggest a good mix of passed hors d’oeuvres and stationary displays. Including a stationary display or two will allow your guests to grab a plate and begin eating while their favorite wedding appetizers make their way around the room. When selecting your menu, it’s best to select a variety of meats and vegetarian options. This will ensure there is something for everyone.

A few of our most popular passed hors d’oeuvres at Saphire Event Group are braised beef short ribs over creamy polenta, truffle and chive risotto bites with basil cream and sesame seared tuna with julienne vegetable. This selection provides, a beef, seafood and vegetarian option. Another great idea for a fall wedding or winter wedding is to have soup sips, such as creamy New England clam chowder, passed to your guests.

Dan Aguirre

Now, onto the stationary displays. Imagine your guests entering a room to find a mashed potato bar with all the fixings, a dim sum station with accompanying take out boxes and chopsticks and a show stopping raw bar set on an illuminated ice sculpture. The only tough decision for your guests will be where to start.

Bella Wang
Bella Wang Photography
Kelly Benvenuto
Kelly Benvenuto Photography
Kristen Jane Photography
Kristen Jane Photography


With drinks flowing and a wide variety of food, your guests will likely want a place to set their glass. Be sure your cocktail space has an ample amount of cocktail tables. By including a mix of both high and low, your guests will have seating options if they would like to rest their feet while they eat! Every great cocktail space also provides some lounge-style seating, an area where guests can sit back, relax, enjoy their raw bar selections and chat with friends.

Bharat Parmar
Bharat Parmar Photography


While food and drinks are more than enough to keep your guests happy, some light entertainment is always a great idea. Whether you choose to have your dj play some mellow tunes, or hire an acoustic guitarist to set the tone, a little background music is a must. If you are having an outdoor cocktail hour, including some fun yard games is always a great way to get the party started. A monogramed set of cornhole boards anyone?

Bella Wand Photography
Bella Wang Photography

Take it from us, these four key components are all you need to create a spectacular cocktail hour; one that will surely impress your guests.

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