1. Make sure your guests know the schedule for your day and are aware of what’s going on, and when. Hiring a wedding coordinator will help the day to run smoothly and will keep guests from wondering where they’re supposed to be or where they’re supposed to go next! If you’re slightly Type A (like I am) having cutesy itineraries of the day’s schedule printed for when guests arrive is awesome, even printed in their ceremony programs is fun!
2. Food, food and more food. Feeding people will definitely keep them entertained and having a great time! Cocktail hour should have several hors d’oeuvres options but you don’t have to go overboard as your guests will be eating a full meal shortly after! Interactive drink stations or chef stations during cocktail hour make for great conversation and gets people moving around the room. If you’re veering away from a traditional sit down meal, interactive chef stations are a really cool concept in and of themselves. They literally have a chef at the station (stir fry, omlettes etc.) and you go up and get a personalized dish! And then make sure to have a late night food option as well. This will keep your guests partying and dancing the night away for longer than if you didn’t provide a late night snack. Nothing better than greasy food late into the evening to keep you going!
3. If you have a chunk of time before your ceremony and reception organize some local activities and give your guests the option of joining in! This is particularly great if you have lots of guests from out of town – they get to come to your wedding and sightsee all in one go! Getting married in the city? A train ride or a double decker bus tour around town is always a hit! Getting hitched in wine country? Setting up wine tours and providing a shuttle for guests from one to the next (until arriving at your reception) is fantastic!
4. Hiring professional entertainers never fails! For cocktail hour entertainment – live music always goes over well! Or I’ve been to a wedding where they had hired a magician for a couple of hours…it was actually awesome. Another idea would be to perhaps hire a professional dance teacher. While you’re off doing photos your guests can be learning a great dance that can be shown off when you arrive at the reception! If you’re trying to save some cash why not hire a local high school band, choir or dance troop to perform! Keep the feeling light, and fun, and interactive and your guests are sure to join in!
5. Games! Nobody can honestly say that they don’t like games! Why not have a few board games or packs of cards strategically placed around your cocktail hour space and have little signs displayed encouraging guests to play them! If you have access to an outdoor space, or are getting married outdoors, having lawn games (bocce ball, croquet, or corn hole my personal fave!!) is always a huge hit with guests! Also, if you’ve got kids joining you at your reception make sure you’ve got lots for them to do too! It will make the night a lot quieter for everyone, and their parents are sure to appreciate it!
6. No matter how many times you’ve seen them done, people seriously cannot get enough of a good old photobooth! I’ve never done a wedding where it wasn’t the main excitement of the evening! (other than your marriage, of course!) Its fun for those young and old – and it always surprises me how much the older folks love the photo booth! It’s amazing to see them get so involved and wear the funny props – definitely provides you with hilarious memories to cherish long after the wedding day has come to an end.
7. Sweet Treats! Candy buffets and dessert buffets have come a long way and they’re always a huge hit with guests, young and old! If you have little ones attending the wedding this is a sure way into their hearts, if you’re not there already! haha They’ll think they’ve died and gone to heaven! And it’s just as much fun for the “big kids” to snack on their favourite candies and treats!
8. Fabulous “bars”, having nothing to do with alcohol! Cigar bar, hot chocolate bar, S’more bar, coffee bar!?!?! You name it, it can be done! Deck out a table with a “bar” of your absolute favourite thing! Are you a milk and cookies kind of couple? Have a smorgasbord of homemade cookies and fancy glasses of milk! Do you both LOVE going to the movies and enjoying a giant bag of popcorn?! Have bags of popcorn and those shaker flavour things and guests can enjoy their favourite flavours! What about ice cream?! Who doesn’t love a “build your own sundae” bar?! The sky’s the limit! Talk to your venue and make sure they’re open to your ideas, but venues are usually pretty on board with fun late night foods!
9. I love the new interactive guests books. Scrapbooking, using photobooth polaroids, mad libs about the couple etc. Gone are the days of “signing a guest book”…boring!
10. Fun and interesting activities placed at the guest tables. Thank you’s that will keep them busy, such as this mini engagement photo album! What a great keepsake for your guests! Or an I Spy game for guests to play throughout the course of the night! You could even have a prize for the table that catches every photo on your list!
11. Ok – this is an extra idea that I just think is seriously cool haha. And just because I LOVE stick on tattoos this much and I think stick on tattoos + wedding = amazing. They’re SO fun and how hilarious would it be to have a bunch of tattoos for your guests to put on and play with and take funny photos with! Haha I wish I had have thought of this before my wedding day! I couldn’t really find any fitting pictures to go with this one – but right before posting I did manage to find this cute little couple! haha You could have little stick figures of you and your hubby!
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