Set the scene for your wedding by having some fun and tasty things for your guests to experience following your beautiful ceremony. Thinking about cocktail hour from your guests perspective can be a great way of ensuring your wedding has the right balance of relaxing mingle time for your guests without feeling bored and with nothing to keep them occupied.

Super Fun Cocktail Hour Ideas For Your Wedding

Signature Cocktails

There are plenty of amazing traditional cocktails that are perfect for serving at a wedding. Pina Colodas, mojitos, margheritas, cosmopolitans and daiquiris are all amazing options. But, you could kick it up a level and create your own signature cocktail that personifies your wedding day!

Consider the flavours that you and your partner love, and make it something truly unique. Side note, the bar staff at your wedding will be very appreciative if it’s a cocktail that can be made in jugs and poured easily. Espresso martinis, while lovely, take a lot longer to make and will leave your guests waiting in line at the bar for a lot longer!


Gin Bar

An ever popular choice, Gin lends itself to so many condiments and mixers. Why not select a few bottles of your favourite gin, pair with some amazing mixers and give your guests the choice of garnishes – raspberry, cucumber, lemon, orange, rosemary, blueberry, thyme – the list goes on and on!

Photo credit: Danielle, Associate Photographer for Sarah Clements Photography

Craft Beer Station

New Zealand has an absolutely thriving craft beer scene. You would be surprised to know the number of independent brewers that are concocting their own brews now. Your wedding could be the perfect place to showcase some of your favourites.

You can choose kegs, bottles or cans to delight your guests and maybe introduce them to something new.

Mocktail Bar

The perfect drink doesn’t have to be alcoholic to be amazing! A mocktail station, which could simply be a wing of your cocktail bar, is a great way to cater for non-drinkers and any younger guests.

There are so many options that you could offer. There’s always the virgin versions of popular cocktails, like a refreshing virgin mojito. Or you can also offer a selection of fruit punches, or even sparkling water garnished with various fruits.

Grazing Tables or Canapes 


Host responsibility is really important when you are serving alcoholic beverages, and ensuring you have enough food on offer throughout your day is essential. Canapes and grazing tables are great options to keep your guests satisfied and happy until dinner starts later on.


Grazing table

Interactive Food Stations

Interactive food tables can also be a super fun idea. Not sure what we mean? Think DIY slider bars, build-your-own-tacos, or even a gourmet hotdog station. Guests can customise their dishes in whatever way they like, and you simply offer buns, fillings, toppings and sauces to create the ultimate interactive experience.


The drinks are sorted, the meals are sorted, now what about creating some atmosphere? Here are some perfect accompaniments to your cocktail hour:

  • Live music – an acoustic band or singer will add the perfect cocktail vibe
  • Lawn games – Giant Jenga, Connect Four, croquet or ring toss are all super fun
  • Themed photo booth – props and a gorgeous backdrop will create the ultimate candid wedding photos for you to treasure for years to come

The Perfect Backdrop

All of these amazing cocktail hour ideas need the perfect backdrop to really set them off. Luckily, Waipuna Estate has THE most breathtaking views to stage your cocktail hour against. With panoramic views of the Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains, you won’t find a more beautiful backdrop.

Our stunning venue offers all the spaces you could need – ceremony options, reception venue, cocktail hour spots, and even onsite accommodation.

Find out more about our wedding packages here.