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The pre-party before the main celebration sets the stage for the entire night.

From the ambiance, to the food, to the music — cocktail hour is getting more attention than ever.

Forget the lame hors d’oeuvres and elevator music, we have the ultimate tips to turn your cocktail party into the pre-party.

perfet-pear-signature-cocktailDress up your drinks

Signature cocktails have been in vogue for years. When we say dress up your drinks, we mean it, literally. It’s no longer just about the alcohol and garnish — the shape and color are now taking center stage.

One of our favorite seasonal sips is our perfect pear martini. Infused with pear liquor, St. Germain and pear nectar this lovely cocktail is garnished with a dried pear and served in a sleek martini glass for a sophisticated cocktail option.

NapkinsCocktail Accoutrements

Personalize the special details of your wedding. Consider customizing your cocktail napkins with a catchy phrase, “eat drink and be married,” or simply your name and wedding date for a wedding keepsake.

The cocktail napkins featured above are simple and straightforward with the Bride & Groom’s name and wedding date. Easton Events suggested that the couple select soft and wintry colors to elegantly tie into the evening and set the tone for a welcoming winter soirée.

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Food & Drink Pairing

Don’t leave the food and drink pairings for the entrée only. Consider offering a mini-app or food station with a drink pairing. Get creative, pair a margarita with a fish taco or a beer with a mini slider.

Saying your “I Do’s” at a  winery? Incorporate the vineyard’s signature wine into the evening. Highlight something special or unique to you and your venue…Guests will be surprised and love the early-evening activity. It’s also a great way to spark up conversation.

Here on The Hill,  we are big fans of oysters on the half shell paired with the Sparkling Blanc de Blanc, a Pippin Hill favorite.

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Unique Musicians

Share the talent early!

Cocktail hour is the prime time to entertain your guests. Guests are mingling, exploring and noshing on the apps without a focus on dancing and dinner. Select an alternate band or trio to make it special.

Have a 13 piece rock band? Consider a bluegrass trio, or capella group to mix up the mood.

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first and third photo by Andrea Hubbell Photography
second photo by Elisa Bricker
fourth photo by Eric Kelley Photography

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