Ways to Entertain Your Guests
Picture it… you planned this perfect day (with the help of your wedding planner, of course), down to the very last décor detail. You have the perfect chairs, the best menu and the napkins are the perfect color to accent the most gorgeous centerpieces you’ve ever seen, but did you consider the other meaningful element – guest experience? If you’ve ever watched TLC’s Four Weddings, you know that is the only score they divulge after each wedding, so it must be pretty crucial right?!
This day includes some of the most important people in the lives of you and your partner, many of whom have probably traveled quite a way, so I would think you would want to make sure it’s a day they will be talking about long after the last song is played. True... it is vital to have a great DJ who keeps the party moving and playing upbeat dance music, but what about while you are taking those dreamy sunset pictures you have always wanted, before the party begins? It is always a good idea to give your guests something to do during the in between moments. Not to mention it will probably make them feel special that you thought about them and their experience. The objective of this post is to give you just a few ideas and get your mind thinking in creative ways.
If you have been to a wedding at all in the last few years, the first idea you thought of as you were reading that intro was... a photobooth. A photobooth is a great way to get your guests interacting with each other in a fun way that also gives them a party favor and you blackmail – I mean, memories – to look back on for years to come. However, there are quite a few different ways to incorporate a photobooth – some of them are not even ‘booths’. The first is the DIY style, get a couple of handy people together, buy some PVC pipe and spray paint and go to town constructing your own backdrop. There are a TON of instructional videos on YouTube or Pinterest to help you with this task. The other is to have a company do it for you. In the Spokane/CdA area, Spokane Complete Weddings + Events brings out a booth with a black backdrop and a bunch of fun and funky props for your guests to enjoy. FunnyBooth Photo Booth will even customize a backdrop for you that fits the theme of your big day perfectly. For you non-DIY people, a very popular ‘photobooth’ that I have seen pop up within the last couple years is a photo bus or camper – Happy Camper Photo Booth and Little Photo Bus of Spokane are just a couple in this area I would highly recommend. OR you can forget the backdrop, booth or bus all together and use props as the escort cards. This is a creative way to get people to find their seat while also giving them something to take pictures with all night without having to go to a specific area of the venue to do it.
If your venue/space permits and your guests are anything like my family, they need something a little bit more competitive to entertain them. This is where I would recommend lawn games to get people moving, interacting and maybe even bantering back and forth a bit. Games are also a great option if there will be many kids in attendance. Some common (and practical) lawn games for weddings are corn hole (there are a ton of customizable options for this online now), ladder golf, giant jenga and yardzee (giant version of Yahtzee).
Maybe you want something a little more personal from your guest that you (or a loving parent) will be able to take and make a scrapbook out of... giving your guests paper, cards or post cards to write you a note, their ‘well wishes’, give you travel and/or bucket list ideas or even the best or worst advice they have ever gotten, is something completely personal and open-ended. This will also help insure that they are just writing their name and not an entire paragraph on whatever beautiful medium you have chosen for your guestbook.
After the sun goes down, you want to give your guests an area where they can just hang out and visit and maybe… smoke cigars. Lounge settings are a very popular trend right now and let me tell you there are several rental companies in this area and the surrounding areas carrying some GORGEOUS vintage furniture (to name a few – Artifact Rentals, Attic Rentals and Patina Rentals), but what if you upped the ante one notch and added cigars and tiki torches. Now, this really only works with outdoor venues – make sure they are okay with open flame – but they create such a beautiful setting. Pro tip for the tiki torches: make sure you have trimmed the wicks with scissors before lighting them. It helps to keep the flame and smoke down.
Maybe games and cigar lounges and personalized notes are not your style. Maybe you just want people to enjoy themselves in the moment and stuff their faces with goodies. Well, in my opinion, the best way to accomplish that is with ‘bars’ – and not the alcoholic kind! There are so many different dessert bars out there that cake is becoming less and less of a wedding must have. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good cake and a good cake-to-face smashing, but for a lot of couples that just not their jam. Some fun ways to get your guests interacting and creating their own dessert are: a S’mores bar (again, make sure your venue is okay with open flame) with all the works, a popcorn bar with all different flavors, a candy bar (the options here are pretty much endless), an ice cream bar (or take it one step further and bring in an ice cream truck!) or a root beer float station.
I could go on and on about all the different ways to get your guests moving, interacting and ultimately enjoying your big day, but I feel that this is a good, universally agreed upon, guest approved list of activities. Of course, there are additional forms of entertainment – acrobats, belly dancers, jugglers, etc. – but sometimes it is okay to not go that big. I’d love to hear your ideas; what have you all incorporated into your big day to entertain guests?