Although your wedding day is all about you and your spouse, it goes without saying that you want your guests to have a great time, too. Between saying “I do” and cutting the cake, however, there’s a lot of time to fill, and the last thing you want to see is your wedding guests checking their watches throughout the reception.
Securing an excellent caterer and an energetic band or DJ are givens, but what about those extra touches that will really stick with your guests and up the fun factor? Here are 12 unique ideas to keep your wedding guests thoroughly entertained during the reception.
You know that feeling when your favorite song comes on the radio? Give that to your guests during your reception by asking them for song requests before your big day. If you’re asking people to send back their RSVPs, include a place for them to share their song requests. Alternatively, if you set up a wedding website, create a page for guests to submit their song requests online.
While your budget will certainly play into the reception venue you choose, selecting an interesting location can go a long way toward keeping your guests entertained. Instead of a traditional reception space, consider renting out a brewery, an exhibit area in a science museum, a zoo or aquarium, a greenhouse, or a gallery.
You could even achieve a “wedding-palooza” vibe by choosing an outdoor location and incorporating teepees, food trucks, fire pits, and, of course, great music.
It’s not unusual to have a room full of guests who don’t know each other, so giving them icebreaker tools can really help people loosen up, get to know each other, and enjoy themselves. To do this, you could provide tables with games like Jenga or Connect Four, trivia questions, mad libs, or clue cards for “the forehead game.”
Creating different food stations is a fun way to get your guests out of their seats and mingling. Plus, who doesn’t love delicious food? You could have a make-your-own taco station, a popcorn bar with a variety of seasonings, a s’mores station, a pick n’ mix candy bar, a cereal station, a mac n’ cheese bar, a pizza-making station, a nacho bar—the options are truly endless!
There’s a reason photo booths have become a reception staple—they’re so fun and provide your guests with lovely mementos to take home. For a unique twist on traditional photo booths, consider renting a repurposed VW bus, Airstream, or trailer to use as a photo booth. Gather fun props for your guests to pose with and create a show-stopping backdrop for photo opportunities.
Speaking of photos, you can make your reception even more entertaining and fun by setting up a live photo stream using TacBoard. When your guests text photos they take during the reception to your unique phone number (provided by TacBoard), the photos pop up on the projector or big screen TV. The photos will scroll vertically on the screen in an infinite loop. As the night goes on, the pictures are sure to get more and more entertaining!
Lawn games make the perfect addition to any reception with an outdoor space. From cornhole and bocce ball to giant Jenga and tic-tac-toe, there are so many fun games that will encourage your guests to embrace their inner child.
For a nice added touch, you can have your lawn games customized with your wedding date or monogram.
One surefire way to up the entertainment factor is to bring in performers or other obscure acts, such as singing waiters, caricature artists, circus performers, a comedian, palm readers, a magician, or belly dancers. These people are pros at entertaining and are sure to add some excitement to your reception.
Cocktails can make any situation a bit more exciting, but if you really want to impress your guests, bring in an expert mixologist who can whip up delicious bespoke cocktails. You could even request that the mixologist give your guests a masterclass so they can recreate their favorite reception cocktails at home.
To encourage your guests to tap into their creative sides, set up some DIY craft stations. Whether it’s a DIY confetti station, a flower crown station, or an origami station, your guests will love the opportunity to use their creativity and add their own personal stamp to your special day.
If you and your spouse love the spotlight, why not surprise your guests with a choreographed dance, a flash mob, or some other type of act? Your guests will get a kick out of watching you let loose and enjoy your big day.
If there will be kids at your reception, don’t forget to entertain them! Keeping the kids busy is a win-win—it keeps the children happy and allows the parents to have their own fun. To keep the little ones occupied, set up a kids’ corner with various activities. Coloring, for instance, can keep kids entertained for hours. Just cover a table in craft paper and scatter it with wedding-themed coloring books or let them draw directly on the paper.
You could also provide the kids with board games, books, Legos, and other crafts to keep them busy while their parents have fun dancing, taking pictures, and visiting the taco bar.
Attending a wedding is a privilege, but sometimes it’s not always a pleasure. To guarantee your reception is enjoyed by all, steal a couple (or many!) of the tips in this article to use on your special day. Not only will they keep your guests wildly entertained throughout your reception, but they’ll ensure that you and your spouse have a celebration you’ll never forget.