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While it's common for many couples to stick to tradition and throw a classic party without wedding games or other unconventional party activities, music is still a must even for classic ceremonies.
Today we will talk about everything you need to know before deciding what kind of wedding entertainment option is perfect for you. Whether you're planning to hire a full swing band or delight your guests with an unexpected magic show, we'll help you organize the wedding party of your dreams.
Before you decide…
The biggest challenge when it comes to picking the perfect entertainment option for your wedding is figuring out a good balance between what you would like to do on the big day, and what would be entertaining for your guests.
Maybe you're a big fan of karaoke, for example, but your friends and families are more traditional and would enjoy a string quartet instead. We know it's your special day, but isn't it more fun when you guests are enjoying your wedding party just as much as you are? Interactive options, like festive games, can be quite fun, but you should avoid over-organized or compulsory activities—it's important to give your guests the freedom to enjoy the wedding in their own ways.
You and your partner know everyone on your wedding list, so it should be easy to decide on the general type of activity you and your guests would enjoy. Start by coming up with some general categories first, such as dancing, games, props, videos—you can go into specifics afterwards.
Once you've given some thought about the type of wedding fun that would be entertaining for you, your significant other, and your guests, it's time to think about the more practical details. First of all, establish a budget. It would be helpful to have an overview of how much you plan to spend on other areas of the wedding as well. Maybe you're a big foodie, so you'd like to spend more on your catering service, or maybe the price for your dream venue is a bit above average. If you're not sure about how to plan your wedding budget, take a look at out our blog post, "
The How, What and Who of Wedding Budget Planning" to help you get started on this important task.
Another very important thing to keep in mind is the size of your wedding venue and the number of guests. In case you're having an
intimate reception, it's easier to organize creative entertainment activities, but you might have to deal with some space limitations. If you're planning a big party, space might not be an issue, but it might be a challenge to find an activity that all of your guests can enjoy together.
Keep in mind that the timeline and itinerary for your wedding are also important. Are you having a daytime wedding, or only starting the ceremony in the evening? Maybe you'd like to throw an
after -party or maybe you are just planning a quick "cocktail hour" reception—all those factors will influence your final wedding entertainment decision. Avoid leaving this decision to the last minute. Even though many of our suggestions require little to no professional help, more elaborate wedding entertainment must be booked ahead. So don't risk losing a great band or creative wedding activity because you didn't plan it with enough time.
While it may seem overwhelming at first, there's no need for you to freak out just yet. We have a few ideas to fit different kind of scenarios that might help inspire your choice of wedding entertainment:
If you're planning a more classic party, maybe all you need is great music. The music that plays at your wedding should always be consistent with the overall style of the ceremony. The most popular options for music entertainment at weddings are
DJs and live bands. Deciding which one to go for is a big question to consider when deciding on your wedding entertainment.
These days, most people decide on having a DJ because it's the most convenient option. It's easier to find and book a DJ, it requires less equipment and space at the venue, and the hourly rate is much lower than that of a complete band.
Booking a band for your reception party, however, also has its advantages. It might not be the most practical option, but live entertainment is much more emotional than a DJ. Live music is unique and engaging, and it sets a romantic mood fit for a wedding party. It's also more entertaining for those who don't like to dance and prefer to simply watch the show.
If you're not sure which one of these popular entertainment options is the best one for you, take a look at our infographic on the advantages and disadvantages of both a band and DJ.
If the venue you've picked for your wedding isn't very big, or if you're having an intimate and
laidback event, there's no reason not also enjoy fun activities. Some of our suggestions don't require a lot of space, but just a bit of creativity.
1. Photo booth
This one is almost a classic already. While professional wedding photos are beautiful, it's super fun to allow your guests to take some spontaneous shots too, so hiring a wedding
photo booth can be a great way to help guests loosen up and have fun at your wedding. In case you really don't have enough space for a wedding photo booth, you can spread small disposable cameras and funny props across the venue. You can also rent photo booths that record short little videos. How about allowing your guest to have fun creating silly gifs during the party?
2. Hire a caricaturist
Posing for a caricature can be a bit boring, but why not have a skilled artist draw a few spontaneous sketches of you and your guests during the party? This is a great idea for a simple, yet highly personalized and unique wedding favor. The only challenge here is that the success of this activity really depends on the talent of the artist you hire, so make sure to see a few samples before you decide on anything.
3. Have professional dancers teach people some moves
Everyone loves to dance at a wedding parties, but how many people are actually good at it? To loosen up your guests, you can hire a couple of professional dancers who will make sure everyone learns a few moves and gets the chance to show them off, right there on the dance floor. You can even ask the dancers to do a few presentations during the evening.
Big wedding parties
In case you're planning a bigger reception party, and you have some extra space, don't be afraid to go all out and organize some more extravagant wedding games. Just make sure that you have enough space for all the fun you've planned and arrange the extra activities so that all of your guests get the opportunity to mingle and interact with each other.
1. Photo hideouts
Also on the "photo" topic, how about setting up a photo hideout for your wedding? All you need is a nicely decorated space, with some cozy cushions and a soothing mood—a place where two or three guests can rest from all the dancing and drinking. Make sure that the space has some funny props and a camera or two, so that your guest can take some funny selfies while they rest.
2. Ping pong and other wedding table games
How about renting a ping pong or a foosball table for your wedding? At a big party, people will have different rhythms and look for different ways of enjoying the night—not everyone likes dancing, for example. So, setting up a few alternative entertainment options around the venue is a great idea to help people feel free to make the most out of the party in their own ways and motivate them to socialize with people without making it feel like a team-building task.
3. Organize lawn games
If you're throwing an
outdoor wedding or your venue has access to a nice field, you might have enough space to set up a few lawn games. These games and activities can be as simple as a super-sized Jenga tower, or more elaborate like a sack race or a match of cornhole. The most important this is that you take advantage of all the space you rented for you special day. The only restriction here is the weather, as these wedding games only work if your guests can comfortably play outside.
Wedding entertainment on a budget
Whether you have a tight budget or prefer to invest in other areas of the wedding, such as catering or the venue, we also have a few suggestions that require little to no extra expense. All you need is a bit of creativity.
1. Ice breaker wedding games
In wedding ceremonies with a long list of guests, it's very common for guests to not know each other well, especially if your list includes friends from different circles, cities and even countries, work colleagues, extended family, plus ones, and so on. To help people to feel comfortable and get to know each other, spread a few "icebreaker" cards around the room—you can even make the cards yourself. They can have "challenges" that motivate people to interact. "Show someone at your table your killer dance moves", for example. This is also a great idea if you're throwing a more traditional reception, as it's not such an unconventional wedding game.
To help you with this fun little DIY project, we've created a few exclusive "ice breaker" cards you can share online to ask your guests for their opinion about the game, or print out to surprise everyone on the day of the party.
To print this image, right-click to open it on a new tab or click
here to download the image.
2. Drinking games
Yes, they are silly and immature. But they can spice up any party, even a wedding. If the style of your wedding is more on the classic side, maybe a round of flip-cup is not the best idea. But if you decide to have an informal party with some of you closest friends, why not give into college nostalgia and play your favorite drinking games? Most of them are easy to set up, don't require special equipment, and are guaranteed to be fun, even for those only watching.
3. Silent disco
In case you're planning a wedding at home or in a residential area, where the neighbors—especially if they aren't invited to the party—might get a bit annoyed with all the noise from a live band or a DJ, why not set up a silent dance floor at some point of the night? This allows your guests to dance all through the night, without bothering anyone with the noise. All you need is a cool playlist and enough headphones to go around.
Unconventional wedding entertainment ideas
Weddings today are all about creating a night to remember and embracing what you love as individuals and a couple. From the all out
incredible themes to imaginative and creative activities and surprise elements. Below are just a few fun and unexpected entertainment ideas sure to please your guests.
1. Rent a bouncing castle
There are many things in life that, with time, we outgrow. A bouncing castle, however, is not one of them. This idea is only interesting, however, if it goes along with the overall style of the wedding. If you're throwing a black tie event, some of your guest might not feel comfortable jumping up and down in their chicest outfits. But if you decided to have an informal party, why not rent one and bounce the night away?
2. Hire a fortune teller
Even if you don't believe in fortune tellers, there's something about the romantic mood of weddings that makes people hopeful and excited about the future. So why not have a love psychic on demand, to tell all the singles at the party where and when they'll meet their better half?
3. Organize contests
A bit of friendly competition never hurts anybody. You can motivate your guest to join all sorts of fun contents, from singing to dancing, to even more elaborate games, like quizzes on general knowledge or even a quiz about the happy couple's story—a fun way to share funny anecdotes with your guests.
How do I organize fun wedding activities?
Some are very simple and require close to no set up at all. For some, all you need is a bit of creativity and you can even
do them yourself, like the card for the "icebreaker game" above. It's a great idea to make the reception party more intimate and welcoming, a nice personal touch.
For things that you cannot DYI—like the photo booths—it may be the time to search online for trusted
vendors offering the services you want, or ask friends or family if they have any ideas. If your friend just had an amazing wedding with an activity or item you absolutely loved, ask them about the vendor, they should have no problem telling you who they used and sending their vendor some extra business.
For other more specific ideas—like the fortune teller or the bouncing castle—you might have to do some research online to find a good option for you. Take some time to browse the internet and make sure to call any companies that do the service you're looking to hire. Even if they don't advertise "wedding services", it might be something that can be easily arranged from their end.
Don't forget, if you are working with a wedding planner, make sure to run every idea by him or her. Maybe they have experience in organizing wedding games and can quickly get in touch with the right vendors and help you have a blast on your special day.
Don't forget to enjoy the party yourself
Wedding games are a great way to entertain your guests. It gives people a chance to socialize, especially at big ceremonies with a long list of guests. Creative wedding entertainment activities are also an excuse for you to relax and enjoy the party as well. Wedding ceremonies can be quite stressful for those who planned it, and wedding games can help the busy bride and groom to
relax and enjoy the company of their guests. After all, isn't that what a wedding is all about?