Looking for wedding entertainment ideas your guests will love? Here are our suggestions on how to plan a seriously fun day for everyone…
Take advantage of your wedding season by planning some appropriately themed activities. If it’s autumn, why not try apple bobbing or toasting marshmallows by a bonfire? If it’s nearing Christmas, let guests decorate their own tree ornaments or make wreaths. Spring wedding guests could go on an Easter egg hunt or make flower crowns, while Summer weddings are just crying out for ice cream sundae stations and festival-style face painting.
Village fete and carnival theme weddings are guaranteed to keep guests entertained, and you can do as much or as little as you like depending on the space and budget available. Start small with lawn games like giant Jenga, chess and Connect 4, or go for more of a village fete feel with stands like hook-a-duck, whack-the-rat and a coconut shy. For a full-on funfair wedding, you can hire actual rides such as carousels, dodgems and waltzers – just make sure to check with your venue first!
All about the venue
One of the easiest ways to organise amazing wedding entertainment is to book a venue that already comes with it! If you’re tying the knot in a venue with historic significance, many of them will put on tours for guests to show them the sights. Marrying on a farm? Your venue may be able to provide a petting zoo for your guests to enjoy (particularly the young ones!). Some venues even come with unique elements like vintage carousels or aquariums.
Fun and games
Want a low-key entertainment idea that doubles as an ice-breaker? Put your favourite board games on each of your reception tables! Not only will these get everyone around the table talking and laughing, but they can also be incorporated into your table centrepieces for a cute and colourful table display. Plus, you get to keep the games afterwards as keepsakes from your big day!
Food for thought
We all love good food and drink at a wedding, so why not have your catering double up as entertainment with some fun food stations? Build-your-own bars are super popular at US weddings, and the trend is making its way over here, too. Try build-your-own tacos, pimp your prosecco or a Belgian waffle bar. If booze is more your bag, hire a quirky mobile bar to serve your guests from a vintage horsebox, double-decker bus or camper van.
On the table
Entertainment doesn’t have to be a huge deal that blows the budget – simply providing some fun table games can keep guests happy for hours! Put disposable cameras on the table and give them a ‘photo scavenger hunt’ list with photo suggestions such as a group table photo, the bride and groom kissing and the best dancer in action. Other on-paper ideas include wedding mad libs, trivia cards, and asking your guests to suggest date night ideas or their best marriage advice.
For a stylish black tie wedding (or one with a fun Vegas theme), why not hire some casino games for your guests to enjoy during the reception? It’ll give your day a real James Bond feel, especially if you set up a cocktail bar in the same room. You can even add personalised touches such as casino chips or ‘fun money’ with your photo or initials on, and unlike a real casino, your guests won’t lose any real money!
A creative idea for entertainment is to hire an artist to create portraits of your guests! Whether it’s a caricaturist (always good for comedy value), or a vintage-style silhouette cutter, this entertainment also doubles up as a clever favour as guests can take their portrait home as a keepsake of your big day. You could also hire a live event painter to create a watercolour or oil portrait of your wedding day as it unfolds, which makes for a perfect newlywed present to your other half.
Take a trip
Who says your entertainment has to be in one place? Trips or rides for guests can be great fun if you have the space to do it. If your venue looks incredible from above, hire a hot air balloon that guests can go up in, or a vintage-style car that can take guests on short drives around the venue. If you’re on the beach, remind guests of their childhood with fun donkey rides, or boat rides if your venue is waterside.
Get on your dancing shoes
Flash mobs and dance troupes are always fun at a wedding, but why not get all your guests involved with a dance instructor at your reception? They can teach everyone the steps to an easy, fun group dance so that everyone can join in with your entertainment – and you’ll get great photos out of it, too! This is a particularly nice idea if you and your fiancé are into dance, or there are traditional dances from your cultural background.
Strike a pose
An oldie but a goodie, the wedding photo booth is still going strong for good reason – they’re great fun! Whether you hire a booth or make your own, you can add your own little twists to make it personal to your wedding, such as adding themed props or picking specific fancy dress (i.e. 1920s accessories for a Great Gatsby-style wedding). Another option is hiring a video booth, where your guests can leave you messages in a video guest book, or a super fun slo-mo booth that’ll make for a hilarious wedding video to watch back!
Want to surprise your guests? Try a singing waiters act! These professionally-trained singers will quietly pose as waiters during your meal, only to suddenly create a scene and stun your guests with a surprise musical performance. It’ll leave everyone talking and is a great way to kick off the party mood.
If your venue has sound restrictions such as needing the music cut by midnight (or even 10pm), then a silent disco could be your perfect solution! Instead of blasting music from a sound system, you can give your guests wireless headphones that play up to three different channels of music for them to dance and sing along to. Not only will everyone have something for their musical tastes (no more choosing between drum and bass floorfillers and golden oldies!), but it also means that everyone not on the dancefloor will be able to chat and relax without shouting over music. Win-win!
End the night with a bang with an epic fireworks display! It’ll really help to round off the night (there’s nothing worse than a reception that just tails off), and will make for an incredible set of photos. You can even hand out sparklers to your guests so that you and your new husband can make a picture-perfect exit with a sparkler send-off. Just make sure to check with your venue before planning any fireworks or sparklers as some have strict rules and restrictions.
Sit back and relax
The key to keeping a wedding reception flowing is to have a mix of different spaces, so if space and budget permits, consider setting up a cosy corner or lounge for your guests to relax in. It’ll give them some seating options that aren’t at the reception tables, and will be ideal for more intimate chats or downtime from other entertainment options – something that will be really appreciated by elderly guests. The best thing is, it can be as elegant or laidback as you prefer. For an outdoor festival wedding, place hay bales around a campfire with warm blankets, or for a vintage-style wedding, hire some elegant sofas with pretty throw pillows. It’s an extra touch that your guests will love, trust us!