Fun things to keep your wedding guests entertained
Weddings come in all shapes and sizes. Some are just a few hours long, others a day and some last for a whole week. And a lot of the time, the guest list has adults and children alike. So how do you decide on a form of entertainment that’ll keep them from checking their watches. Or worse – dozing off?
A popular choice for couples is a band or wedding DJ in the evening. This is a great way for everyone to let their hair down and sing their hearts out. But if you don’t want to be just another wedding where the inevitable happens – sitting on the floor doing the Oops Upside Your Head dance – check out these ideas.
Go all out with an off-the-wall performance
For entertainment that’s beyond the usual, let yours and your partner’s imaginations go wild when you’re brainstorming. If you can think of it, it’s very likely there’s a vendor out there that does it. People have had everything from singing waiters, 15-minute Shakespeare performances and opera to belly dancers, circus performers… even clowns.
These kinds of performances are wackier than your usual cover band, and if you don’t like taking a risk they might not be what you’re after. But if you really want to stand out, a theatrical performance could be the answer. Just make sure you see the actual show in the flesh before you make a booking. Don’t just watch a YouTube video you find on their website – try before you buy.
Have novelty things your guests can do
If an all singing and dancing performance isn’t your cup of tea, you can always have entertaining features that your guests can dip in and out of.
Photo booths, childhood timelines, ice cream vans and those paintings you stand behind and stick your face in are great, novelty flourishes. But they can be expensive and really only keep your guests occupied for ten minutes – at the most. So, when you’re deciding on entertainment options, weigh up the length of time your guests will spend being entertained versus the cost. And don’t rule out the DIY options. A friend of mine had a ‘faux-to booth’ at her wedding. A homemade version of the photo booths that are all the wedding rage at the minute. She set up her own Polaroid camera in the corner of the venue against a backdrop and put a box of random dressing-up props next to it. Guests delved in to don all sorts, from feather boas and flower garlands to Viking hats and Dolly Parton cleavages! They then posed for their photos and stuck them on the wall for all to laugh at.
Other ways to keep your guests smiling are entertainers like caricaturists, balloon artists or fortune tellers. Not only do they add to the fun factor, they also give your guests something other than wedding cake to take home. And, if you’re watching your budget, these gifts can double up as wedding favours.
Make your guests the entertainers
If you just don’t have the budget to hire any of the services I’ve mentioned before now, why not get your guests to be the entertainment? I went to a wedding a few years ago where the bride and groom picked five of their family and friends to take to the floor for a dance off. We then had to vote for the best team. It was hugely entertaining – my Uncle’s dance moves are still a running joke in our family. And the winners got to go first in line when the buffet came out.
And Popup Weddings co-founders Alasdair and Kerry put on a treasure-hunt-type game. They gave each table a list of items that were around the venue and guests had to take photos of them all. They toyed with the idea of a bouncy castle too, but they ran out of time and budget.
For weddings where you’ve got children to occupy and a lot of space to play with, take some inspiration from the traditional English summer fair and put garden games about the place. You could have whatever you like (and you can do it on an incredibly low budget). Think skittles, Petanque, Hook-a-duck, Pin the tail on the donkey, Wellie wanging, Guess the number of sweets in the jar… the list goes on. Guests will be able to get involved as they please, and kids will love the variety.
Whatever you choose as entertainment for your big day, don’t just ask yourself if your guests will enjoy it. Make sure you and your partner will too. After all, if you’re not smiling and having a good time, your guests won’t either.
Have you been to any weddings with out-there, unconventional entertainment? Or do you have any nifty ideas for entertaining guests on a budget? We’d love to hear from you.
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