The Drinks Box - Bar Hire

If you’re hosting your wedding in one of the warmer months, we recommend embracing those sunny skies and having a wedding drinks reception in the great outdoors. We've hashed out all the essentials you'll need (plus a few extras) to make your event even more epic. From passed canapés to bouncy castles, this list is bound to give you some inspo.

Here are our favourite ideas for your outdoor wedding drinks reception.

Passed canapés

If you plan on serving a plated meal, later on, you don’t want your guests to get too full at your wedding drinks reception. We suggest serving bite-sized hors d’oeuvres and vol-au-vents so that no one gets hangry, but no one leaves their supper untouched.

The Granary Estates

Food stations

Allow your guests to pick and choose their favourite eats to snack on by creating food stations around your wedding drinks reception area. You can keep it simple and light by doing separate tables for breads, meats, cheeses and fruits or go all out and create sushi bars, sandwich stations and more.

The Granary Estates

DIY Drinks Bar

If you don’t want to hire a bartender, create a DIY wedding bar where your guests can channel their inner mixologists. Keep in mind that things can get pretty boozy pretty fast if your guests don’t know how to measure everything out, so you may want to leave instructions to guide them.

The Pumping House

Self serve batch cocktails

Another bartender-free drinks station idea is a batch cocktail bar. You can create yours by filling large jugs with your favourite boozy beverages - be that mojitos, margaritas, old fashioneds, or something custom - and letting your guests fill their glasses themselves. You’ll probably want to include some non-alcoholic options for guests who aren’t indulging, as well.  

Preston Court

Mini bottles of bubbly

You know what’s better than glasses of champagne? Bottles of champagne! Offer your guests mini bottles - not full ones - of your favourite brand of bubbly. They’re super cute and will give everyone the chance to pop their own cork.

Whimsical Events

Lounge area

Nobody wants to spend an entire outdoor drinks reception on their feet, especially if they’re wearing sky-high heels. Make sure you stock your space with comfy chairs, sofas, floor pillows and more so that your guests can really relax.

The Spa Hotel

Photo booth

Sure, you have a wedding photographer following you around all day, but your guests won’t be treated to that same star-level paparazzi. Give them a chance to create their own snapshots by putting a wedding photo booth up outdoors. There are plenty of options inside vans and old airstreams that are perfect for this style of reception.

Airstream Studio

Live music

Obviously, every good drinks reception has music. If you can work it into your wedding budget, hire a live band to serenade your guests while they sip cocktails. This will give your celebration a bit of a festival wedding vibe, which is awesome.

Salut Band


Make your wedding day even more magical by hiring an illusionist to perform tricks at your wedding drinks reception (we're talking card tricks, not Houdini-grade stuff). Who knows, maybe you’ll get to learn some sleight of hand, too!

Richer Music

Marryoke video shoot

Time to sing your heart out! Well, sort of. If you’re not familiar with the trend, marryoke videos are super short lip sync films that can be made before or during the wedding that involve the happy couple, wedding party and guests (if they want to get involved). Your wedding drinks reception is the perfect time to shoot yours as your guests will have a bit of liquid courage from their cocktails and the outdoor lighting will be movie-grade. 

Lawn Games

Lawn games are probably the most popular form of entertainment for an outdoor drinks reception. They’re easy, they’re inexpensive to buy or hire and all of your guests can get in on the action. Keep in mind, if you are having a larger wedding, you’ll want to have extra on-hand (one croquet set just won’t be enough!).

Homewood Park Hotel & Spa

Festival rides

Look for a venue with some built-in outdoor entertainment like a carousel, or find a company that’ll create your own amusement park with rides and games. They don’t come cheap, but the epic photos and endless fun are totally worth the extra cost.

Preston Court

Hire a bouncy castle

Remember how much fun bouncy castles were when you were young? Well, turns out they’re still pretty awesome when you’re an adult. Everyone will get a kick out of this unusual wedding entertainment idea, regardless of their age. Just make sure to tell your guests not to go in with their beverages - things can get pretty messy after one or two Pimm's Cups have been spilt.

Kristian Leven Photography

Find more entertainment ideas for your wedding drinks reception on WeddingWire. »