Food & Beverage, Weddings

5 Elegant Cocktail Hour Additions to Impress Your Guests

As you and your significant other are taking photos, your guests take the time your cocktail hour creates to recharge between the ceremony and the reception. This transition lends the perfect opportunity for guests to interact and get to know each other. The details of your cocktail hour—whether they be food, drink, or activities—can be the first things to get your party started. Below are five elegant cocktail hour additions you can use to impress your guests!

Live Entertainment

Any type of live entertainment during your cocktail hour is a perfect way to keep your guests in high spirits. It is traditional to have a musician for your cocktail hour, but other forms of entertainment include artists and performers. They can be valuable additions acting as talking points as guests start to get to know each other, while also easily helping pass the time before the reception.


The manner in which appetizers are served in cocktail hours vary based on the couple’s preferences. Common serving styles may be buffet style with stations scattered across the venue or traditional trays with various fares passed around by waiters. However, a more elegant way to bring food to your cocktail hour is to have a waiter dedicated to one type of hors d’oeuvre. Whether it be oysters or pot stickers, having specific and well-thought-out foods can elevate your cocktail hour. As a rule of thumb, choose appetizers that can be eaten without utensils, as it will allow your guests to carry less and have an easier time enjoying the offerings.


A creative and sophisticated way to offer drinks to your guests is by having signature cocktails! Not only is choosing your cocktails a fun way to bond as a couple before the wedding, your choices may very well be a delightful surprise to your guests. This addition also presents the opportunity to design a unique bar sign to display your drink options.

Escort Cards and Seating Charts

Seating charts and escort cards can be an attractive display for any cocktail hour. As the hour itself is a transition from ceremony to reception, the seating charts are often the last décor piece seen before entering the reception space. Therefore, the use of beautiful seating charts and escort cards create an opportunity to make an eye-catching display that elevates the room.

Monogrammed Napkins

The little details within your cocktail hour will be the ones that will impress your guests immensely and tie everything together. A sweet and personable way for guests to get to know you as a couple is to decorate with monogrammed napkins. Whether they have your initials or fun facts written on them, napkins provide practical uses with a chic twist.

No matter what you and your significant other ultimately decide to have at your cocktail hour, any of these five options are sure to increase its elegance. From the little details to choosing unique appetizers, all of these additions create an ambiance as your guests move from ceremony to reception. For even more ideas and inspiration, visit the Gallery page on the Tracy Taylor Ward Design Website!

Interested in working together and designing an unique experience for your guests?

In-House Specialties





Named A "Top Planner In The
World" By Brides Magazine &
Martha Stewart Weddings


The best celebrations begin with an exceptional plan.

Enter: our team of the most kind, collaborative, experienced, and stylish event producers. 


begins now

your TTWD 



Don't leave the most important day of your life in the wrong hands. We know how imperative it is to find the best fit with your event planning and design team. That's why we offer complimentary consultations. We can't wait to show you how effortless and enjoyable this process can be. Email or call us today to feel the difference.

© Tracy Taylor Ward Design 2010-2023 All Rights Reserved

Back to top