How To Entertain Wedding Guests Between Ceremony And Reception

Consider five ways on how to entertain wedding guests between ceremony and reception. Weddings last for many hours, and transitioning from the solemn ceremony to the enthusiastic reception can be tricky because you want the guests to adjust well. 

Therefore, you must know different ways to make the change in the reception smooth and not dull or overwhelming. You can also read about what is a receiving line at a wedding because it can happen in the reception right after the ceremony. 

how to entertain wedding guests between ceremony and reception


How To Entertain Wedding Guests Between Ceremony And Reception


  • Have a photo shoot or photobooth

The first way to entertain your wedding guests right after the ceremony is to have a photo shoot at the venue. Talk with your photographer about the portraits, such as shots with the wedding party or each of the bride and groom’s families. 

Sometimes, family units also take photos solo at weddings. Alternatively, you can have a photo booth at the wedding reception. 

As soon as the guests arrive at the reception, ask the MC to announce that they can freely have fun in the wedding photo booth. You can even have the prints as your wedding favors for the guests. 


  • Serve some food at the wedding venue

Depending on the time of your wedding, you can serve light snacks and appetizers between the ceremony and reception. The hors d’oeuvres can be the entertainment for the guests while waiting for everyone to arrive and for the staff to finish the lineup for the reception. 

Remember that there will still be a full-course meal at the reception, but you can always modify how you want to serve food according to the time and budget for the wedding. Just make sure to clarify with the catering so they’ll know when they start serving the guests. 


  • Entertain wedding guests with drinks

You can have the cocktail hour, which traditionally happens between the ceremony and reception anyway to keep guests entertained. From the name itself, it’s an hour-long time for having drinks and chitchat. 

The couple can also talk and thank the guests while waiting for the start of the reception. You can even use this time and also serve appetizers with the cocktails. 

However, remember to count the drinks you’ll need. The drinks that the guests will consume during the cocktail hour should be included in the count beside the drinks that will be served at the reception toast and afterparty


  • Provide music and performances as entertainment

A fantastic way to entertain guests at the wedding reception is to provide performances and music on the stage. For example, you might have a friend or family member with a band, or some might enjoy showcasing their talents, whether it’s dancing or stand-up. 

Some couples who booked a live band or singer can also clarify with the performers to provide entertainment between the wedding ceremony and reception. Just know how they’ll charge as some provide packages while others get paid by the hour. 


  • Have guests do games at the wedding reception

Before doing the expected traditions in the wedding reception like the wedding tosses and dances, why not plan several games for your wedding guests? You can even have the wedding party, and select people entertain the guests as they play on the stage. 

Most wedding receptions are meant to be outgoing and loud anyway, so you can even try funny games like charades. Furthermore, you can use the wedding reception venue or theme to think of a game that will be suitable for the event. 

For example, retro-themed receptions will surely entertain the guests with twister and other classic party games. You can even create “team bride” and “team groom” to compete with each other and entertain guests between the wedding ceremony and reception. 


What Do You Call The Time Between Ceremony And Reception?

The time between the wedding ceremony and reception is called the cocktail hour. The cocktail hour is a fantastic way to keep your wedding guests entertained as everyone is preparing for the wedding reception, especially if it will happen at the same venue as the wedding ceremony. 

From the name itself, the cocktail hour is a way to relax with drinks and get the mood going for the fun and less traditional wedding reception. The couple can mingle with the guests, and everyone can catch up before the start of the reception. 


How Long Is The Time Between Ceremony And Reception?

The transition time between the ceremony and reception is usually an hour and 30 minutes. However, it can be longer or shorter, depending on the distance between the two venues.

If the guests have to travel, you must consider the potential traffic to know the realistic schedule for the reception. On the other hand, if the reception and ceremony use the same venue, you can allocate 45 minutes to an hour to prepare and set everything up.

You must know how to entertain your guests because they might notice the waiting time.



Was this guide helpful? You just learned how to entertain wedding guests between ceremony and reception by offering photo shoots or booths, appetizers, drinks, performances, or games. 

The most common way to transition from the wedding ceremony to the reception is the cocktail hour. Therefore, know where to buy wine for a wedding to save on costs. 

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