wedding couple having their first dance

Wedding and Party Blog

How to Engage Your Wedding Guests?

Your wedding is going to be one of the most special and memorable days of your life because it’s the day you make a public commitment to your best friend and partner.  However, your wedding may not be the highlight of your guests’ year. In many cases, weddings can be stressful for guests due to travel requirements or financial sacrifices they have made to be there.  There is no better way to show your friends and family your gratitude for coming to support you on your special day than to have an engaging and fun wedding reception. Your wedding reception should be an event to celebrate the love of both you and your fiancé but also the love of families coming together and friends gathering from far and wide.  A great celebration involves all the guests, encourages mingling, has lively music and great food, and is not boring. Keep reading for some tips on how to engage wedding guests and make your wedding a party they will never forget!

wedding couple and musical instrument

How do I make my wedding not boring?

Introduce at the rehearsal: 

Weddings can get a little awkward when large numbers of people gather who have never met before.  A good way to engage wedding guests before the reception is to introduce them beforehand at a rehearsal dinner.  If family and friends are introduced to each other before the actual wedding, they can get the awkward small talk out of the way which means they can have more fun at the reception.  

Bend traditions:

Are you thinking of participating in the wedding traditions of your culture?  Are you participating in them because you want to or because you feel an obligation to? If you aren’t passionate about keeping tradition, consider thinking outside the box and mix things up a little.  Traditions like speeches can be transformed by adding video. Cutting the cake can be eliminated entirely and instead you can offer your guests an alternative dessert like cake pops! Consider restructuring the whole wedding dinner.  You can have a fun wedding reception by eliminating the sit-down, assigned seating dinner. Invite guests to eat when they want and sit where they want. This creates a lively, open atmosphere and encourages mingling.  

Arrange transportation:

You can engage wedding guests and encourage them to let loose and have fun by arranging transportation from your reception to their hotel room. Wedding receptions are usually socially lubricated by bars. Guests can’t really take advantage of the bar however if they are worried about driving home later. Think about booking a shuttle service to blocked hotel rooms so our guests can have a drink or two without worrying. 

Philadelphia Wedding Band

Bring in entertainment:

You don’t have to rely on dancing to be the main source of entertainment for the whole night.  The music is, of course, an extremely important choice when creating a fun wedding reception, but not all guests will enjoy dancing.  There are many options for entertainment that you have not considered such as photo booths, dancers, etc. The possibilities are really endless. 

Have plenty of food:

Nobody can have fun at your wedding if they are hungry.  You can facilitate the fun at your wedding reception by keeping everyone fed. Supply hors d’oeuvres before the meal is served and consider serving snacks later after everyone has been drinking and dancing. 

Wedding reception party

How do you keep wedding guests entertained during pictures?

There are many ways you can engage wedding guests while you have pictures taken of the wedding party.  Some forms of entertainment are simple and inexpensive, and others are more extravagant and pricey. Guests can be entertained with activities or with hired professionals.  Examples of some activities include a scavenger hunt or bingo game, lawn games like croquet, food bars, and photo booths. You can create a craft station where guests are welcome to write well wishes or words of advice or make a video or photo slideshow of the bride and groom.  Hiring professionals to help pass the time can be very fun as well. A special wedding band, singer, or dancer can get people excited to hit the dance floor. Some unique ideas for entertainment include hiring a mixologist to make specialty drinks and teach guests how to make drinks and hiring an artist to do caricatures.  Most importantly, make sure that the cocktail hour has plenty of things to eat, drink, and places to sit or lounge. Guests will be perfectly satisfied to mingle and relax while you get your photos taken for an hour. If you anticipate spending more than an hour on photos, consider other forms of entertainment.  

Wedding reception

How do you entertain wedding guests between the ceremony & reception?

The most common way to entertain guests in between ceremony and reception is a cocktail hour.  Mentioned above are plenty of entertainment ideas for a cocktail hour. However, if you do not want to hold a cocktail hour or have come across logistical issues that prevent you from holding a cocktail hour, there are alternatives.  If children are allowed at the wedding, give suggestions for places parents can take kids to play and burn off some steam. If there is shopping nearby you can direct, your guests to the shops to spend some time. Generally, a cocktail hour is the most popular way to entertain guests between the ceremony and reception when you will be taking photos.