By: Nancy, ECC
I have worked quite a few weddings, and all have been enjoyable in their own way, but a few have stood out in my memory. What differentiated these receptions from the others? Guest Entertainment. I’ve seen a singer in a sequined ball gown – just seeing her maneuver that dress was fun – a Michael Jackson impersonator, belly dancers, flamenco dancers, just to name a few.
So here are a few suggestions.
I don’t know anybody who can resist a photo booth. This is entertaining at the wedding and any time later when you see the photos. Individuals or groups can take pictures and get them immediately. A copy can be saved so that the wedding couple has a personal record and your guest has one to take as well. You can make a memory book of all the goofy smiles you collect. We also LOVE flipbooks. These are the biggest hit at wedding and corporate events alike. Our favorite flipbook company is by far Loco Motion Flipbooks. Very reasonably priced and you will be soooo happy you rented from them: http://www.locomotionflipbooks.com
How about a wine or beer tasting reception? You can set up stations featuring the bride and groom’s favorites. Check with your bar service, you can hire a sommelier who will entertain your guests with wine trivia and tidbits.
Hire a Master of Ceremonies. DJ’s are good, but they are largely there to keep the music going. An emcee interacts with the guests, calling wall flowers to the dance floor. They can lead line dances and even start a conga line. Part drum major and part stand-up comic, these guys/girls work the party to bring out the best experience for your guests.
Planning an outdoor, botanical garden style reception? You can hire a botanist to clue your guests in on all the genus and phylum of the natural habitat. You can give your guests a small potted something as a gift. A friend of mine tied this in to her table decorations. Each table was decoratively arranged with cactus and other small vegetation. Her botanist when from table to table telling what was being used for the decorations, how to care for them and where the naturally occurred in the wild. At the end of the evening each guest got to take one of the small plants as a gift.
Want you guest to be laughing thru the night? Hire a comic. Whether doing a stand-up routine or just working the crowd through-out the evening, the right comedian will know what is and isn’t appropriate material for the occasion. Let him/her do double duty, serving as your emcee for the evening.
Everybody wants to know if true love is in their future. Hire a mystic to help your guest see their future. She/he could read cards at a specially set up table, or mingle amongst your guests, reading palms and auras.
Every wedding has magic in the air. Hire an illusionist/magician. This can be quite entertaining; especially if hypnotism is part of the act.
How about a play or skit with the wedding couple in mind? Hire local actors to dramatically re-enact how you first met, or how he popped the question, what the trip to have your first child will be like, or what you will be like in your old age. This can go from dramatic to comical really quick. Or they could perform portions of a loved themed play.
A good way to both entertain your guests and give them a gift at the same time is to have a cartoon artist. They will forever have a lovely cartoon portrait to commemorate your wedding day.
San Antonio is a tourist town. Whether your guests are out-of-towners or long time residents, it is fun to learn local lore. Transport your guests from ceremony to reception tourist-style. Hire a local tour company to transport guests from the ceremony location, give them a brief tour of our beautiful town and drop them at the reception. This let’s all your guests arrive to the reception at the same time, and you can request the tour to be long enough for the bridal party to take pictures and get to the reception along with everyone else.
Games are fun for everyone. Play games similar to the Newlyweds. The newlywed couple and two other couples play. It is fun to see how things change and don’t change. Or turn your cocktail hour into cocktail and games hour. Games with little set up and not too difficult directions are best. Each table is set up for a different game, with step by step, easy to understand directions displayed. All-time favorites: Checkers, Connect Four, and Uno.
Planning guest entertainment is an excellent way to keep all your guests happily occupied and have them leaving remembering your wedding forever!