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  • Tom Hancock

How To Make Your Wedding Drinks Reception Successful

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

The drinks reception at a wedding is one of the most important times.

It's vital to make sure yours is right.

Here are my top tips to make sure your drinks reception is fun, exciting and will make sure your guests are well looked after!

Let’s get straight into it.


Make sure there are a variety of drinks.

Champagne is great for a wedding but that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

Speaking of tea that can be a great choice for non-drinkers, soft drinks and even non-alcoholic beer and wine is a nice touch.

Please don’t forget them!

A glass of Pimms and beer for the guys will go down well.

Keep everyone in mind and you can’t go far wrong.


Let’s face it; by the time drinks reception arrives your guests will be a bit peckish.

By now it will be about 2pm and having your guests standing around for the next two hours going hungry is not ideal.

I suggest some canapés with a variety of small food, something to keep your guests going before the wedding breakfast.

We are in the year 2020, vegans and vegetarians are at an all-time high, make sure you include something for them.

Gluten-free options may be something else to consider.

Trust me, your guests will love you when you have thought about their dietary requirements!

But don’t overdo it, you want to make sure your guests are still ravenous for the sit-down meal!


Music is a great addition to the drinks reception.

It really sets the tone of the afternoon and allows your guests to relax, enjoy the background music and have a chat.

Make sure your music is not too loud and overpowering, it needs to allow your guests to talk, save the louder music for the party later!

In my experience, string quartets, harpists and acoustic guitarists go down really well.

They are not too loud, which is key but is classy and really adds to the atmosphere.


A 2-hour drinks reception is a long time for your guests to stand around chatting and keeping themselves entertained.

There are a few ‘Lull’ periods at a wedding and this could definitely be one of them, if you do not entertain your guests.

Obviously, I am slightly biased and think my close up magic during the drinks reception is the best option to have here.

I walk from group to group showing them mind-blowing magic and really build the energy for the day ahead.

It’s a great ice breaker

Plus it keeps your guests entertained while you are busy with the photographer.

Your guests will be grateful for it.


Having the timeline of the day on show is a nice touch for your guests as it lets them know whats going on throughout the day.

There is nothing worse than leaving your loved ones standing around wondering when the wedding breakfast, speeches, and first dance are starting.

Also, having the seating plan available for your guests is great as they can all view it in their own time.

When they are called in for the wedding breakfast they already know which table to go to which helps the day transition smoothly.


This is when most of your photos will take place.

You have just had the ceremony, everyone is really happy and there are smiles all around.

It is key that you capture all the best shots before the guests have had one too many drinks. We all have that one family member; get their photos captured ASAP.

During this period, you two will be whisked away and your guests will be left stranded. They are basically waiting around for their chance to speak with you.

This is where I come in.

I keep them entertained, laughing and showing them jaw-dropping magic.

This means you can take as long as you like to capture the perfect shots without worrying about your guests.


Weddings for children can be very boring and a long day.

I’ve performed at many weddings where there were balloon twisters and little tents, which has lots of games and puzzles for the kids.

This keeps them occupied for hours and allows the parents to relax and enjoy the drinks reception, too.

If you do not have that many kids attending, the expense probably is not worth it.

When I am performing at a wedding, I’ll always show the kids a couple of tricks to make them feel involved.

Plan B

When I say plan B, what I really mean is, it could rain.

Have you thought about it if it rains?

We do live in the UK. Nice, hot and sunny days aren’t always guaranteed in the summer.

If you are planning a drinks reception outside make sure your guests have somewhere to go if it suddenly chucks it down!

Have Fun

Lastly, get involved and have fun!

This is your special day and the drinks reception is one of the best times of the day to talk with your guests.

Speak with the photographer beforehand and allow some time to mingle with the guests before having the formal shots.

Your guests will be really excited to see you and want to congratulate you on your big day, it will mean so much to them to see you for a few minutes during this period.


There you have it, those are my top tips to make your drinks reception a success.

Thank you for reading my top tips and I really hope this has helped you.

Hopefully, it has given you some ideas to make your drinks reception flow as seamlessly as possible.

If you need help and want to keep your guests entertained during this time please contact me and I’d love to hear more about your wedding day!

All the best,


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