More often than not, when I ask couples what they want there wedding to be like, they tell me they just want to have fun! They want guests to have an amazing time at their wedding, they don’t want it to feel too structured or stuffy, and they want to get people talking. To make sure this happens, some couples may choose to go a step beyond the standard wedding elements and add a form of entertainment for their guests to enjoy. To help with the brainstorming process, here are 10 ways to entertain your guests.
Get Creative with Food and Drink
Guests love to talk about the food at weddings, for better or worse. To make sure your guests are raving, consider serving them something unexpected! Perhaps you want your caterer to recreate a special family recipe – to share this special element with your guests, write up a cute story about the family meal on your menu cards. Maybe you want to add fusion foods to the menu that combine your cultures and allow guests to try something new. If you want more movement during your wedding, skip the buffet or seated meal and have food stations or tapas options set up around the room. To add creativity to your drinks, chat with your bartender about custom signature drinks.
Bring in Live Performers
People love going to concerts and performances, and if this is something that you really enjoy, you may want to consider this as your wedding entertainment! Book one of your favorite bands (or a local cover band) to provide reception music and get your guests on the dance floor. Do you love dance? Bring in a dance troupe to entertain – bonus points if it showcases a part of your blended cultures. For those who are more creative or adventurous, a short play or circus performance can provide great entertainment for your guests!
Photo Booth Fun
An always fun option, photo booths have gained popularity as wedding entertainment. Guests may get nervous in front of a professional photographer, but they’re more likely to let loose in front of a photo booth! With fun props that the guests can interact with, this entertainment option brings in an element of technology, familiarity and community as guests grab their friends for a playful photo. Photo booths can also double as a guestbook option and as wedding favors, if guests get to print out and bring home their photos.
Cocktail Hour Activities
While many of your guests may know each other, there are likely some guests who don’t know your other family and friends. During cocktail hour, these guests could feel unsure of who to talk to since the couple isn’t around, so providing great activities during cocktail hour removes a lot of the pressure for guests to interact. Lawn games like corn hole and yard jenga are super popular options for cocktail hour, but there is always room to up the level. One of our favorite local options is a traveling mini-golf course called Pop-Up & Putt that brings an 18 hole course to your venue!
Get Everyone Involved
Whether you have 50 guests or 250 guests, you may want to get everyone to interact with each other. For smaller parties, a super creative option is a murder mystery game, while others may choose to create a bingo game that encourages guests to meet others and win a prize. Think about what you most enjoy doing as a couple and bring that into your wedding to share with your guests – even if that means karaoke until the night ends, or a fun group photo to capture all the love in the room!
Roaming Entertainment to Bring Guests Together
When you have guests come together for a wedding, many guests are close to one partner or the other, and the families may tend to stay separate for much of the wedding. Finding a way to introduce and bring them together is the goal of many kinds of wedding entertainment, and some options are particularly good at getting guests talking. Perhaps a magician can grab a small group of guests to show them a magic trick, and once the trick is done, guests stand together to talk about the magic and then – the couple! A roaming caricature artist or violinist can do the same, encouraging strangers to talk until all your wedding guests are friends.
Games You Love
If you and your crowd aren’t big dancers and you’re not sure how to keep everyone entertained, look to the things you love! Bringing in board games is a fun way to get guests talking with their table, and for the couple who wants to go above and beyond to make their wedding day on brand with how they have fun, video games like Guitar Hero, Mario Kart, and even pinball machines can be rented to really wow your guests.
Activities in the Area
If your wedding is taking place at two different locations and you want a longer cocktail hour to accommodate for photos, travel time, or a little break before dinner, you may want to find activities in your area to keep gets entertained. Come up with a list of your favorite activities in walking distance or a short drive from either venue, and provide the list in the ceremony programs. While this doesn’t guarantee that your guests will mingle, it does ensure that they stick around for your party!
DJ Reception Games
If you don’t want to splurge on an extra entertainment vendor, your DJ may have a few games up his sleeve that get your guests engaged, other than just packing the dance floor. Popular DJ games and activities include the Shoe Game, where the couple has to answer fun questions about their partner for the guests’ amusement, or the Anniversary Dance, where all married couples are invited to the dance floor and then asked to leave if they’ve been married for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, etc until the longest married couple is left on the dance floor.
Late Night Entertainment
If you want to give a special treat to the guests who stick it out til the end of the night, or if you want to create an incentive for more guests to stay later, you might want to consider late night entertainment. Firework shows, an after party at a separate venue, or a late night dessert food truck are all appealing options to make sure your guests leave your wedding totally impressed.