The big day is almost here, when you and your partner commit yourselves to one another, in front of all your friends and loved ones. Although this is your day and you should be the focus of it, you might want to think about some interesting ways to better include your guests in the proceedings, especially when it comes to the reception which should be as fun and lively as possible.
With that in mind, we present 5 suggestions to get the most out of your wedding reception and leave an indelible mark in the memories of everyone who attended. These participatory suggestions are aimed to enliven the reception and allow your guests to feel like they are contributing to the experience.
Something Fun and Interactive
Some guests are just less inclined to dance, while others will need to take a break from it all, from time to time. Consider giving these people something fun to do. Photobooth hire is a tremendously fun reception activity for your guests. It can also act as an alternative to a guest book and down the road, you can reflect on how many special people were able to attend your wedding. If you have a silly streak, you can go even further and add some hilarious props for them to use, in their photos. Alternatively, wedding games such as Jenga, ring toss, bocce ball, etc. are excellent icebreakers and can force previously unknown guests to interact with each other. A great way to get both sides of the family together!
Wedding App or Hashtag
This is a new wedding trend, enabled by modern technology. There are many great wedding apps to choose from. These are interactive apps that guests can download in advance, which enables them to upload wedding related photos to a single location, where everyone can view them. Often these apps will also allow you to easily send out wedding-related news to all those in attendance. Another option is to create a custom wedding hashtag and ask guests to tag all of their photos using it when posting on social media.
These high-tech aspects of your wedding reception will be a hit, especially with the younger generations, who are naturals when it comes to social media. If you go this route, consider offering charging stations to your guests to ensure everyone is ready to take as many photos of your wedding as possible. Ensure that you have information displaying your chosen hashtag near high-traffic areas like bathrooms or entrances.
Personalised DJ with Music Everyone Enjoys
A professional DJ will be able to read the crowd and will play the music which is appropriate to the current situation. However, a great idea is to have your DJ ask your guests for musical suggestions. This is a great way to engage your guests and will almost guarantee they will be out on the dance floor.
Interactive Food Stations
There is no escaping it, so many guests attend weddings because they assume that they will have the opportunity to eat all sorts of delicious food. In addition to a beautiful dinner, you can exceed these expectations by offering customizable dishes in the form of interactive food stations. For example, include a station to make their own grilled cheese, roll their own sushi, taco and nacho bar, etc. The possibilities are as endless as they are delicious and your guest will appreciate you literally catering to their personal preferences.
Don't Overplan the Reception
It's a good rule of thumb, to try not to plan too many events during the reception. You will have many traditional components, such as the first dance and cake cutting, and these can end up taking quite a bit of time. Trying to do much more than the fundamentals can be a bit boring, so try to be aware that the guests might prefer to be spending their time celebrating. Another aspect to consider is to try and limit the length of toasts to less than a couple of minutes. Many longer stories can really add up and cut into the time the guests want to spend celebrating. You may need to have your DJ prepare to tastefully cut-off anyone treating to ramble.
Your wedding will no doubt be a beautiful affair and when you have planned a reception that takes your friends and family into account, it will be truly unforgettable!