How many weddings will you attend this summer? ’Tis the season of many weddings and you will hear many speeches, see many cake-cuttings, watch many first dances and eat plenty of the same type of fare. So, put yourself in the place of your guests at your own wedding reception and think about what you can do to make them have, more than an enjoyable night, a memorable one. Having a fun wedding does not mean extra bucks, by the way; the investment here involves “paying” extra attention to your guests. Here are six ideas for making your wedding fun — for everyone.
Speeches are inevitable. But rather than make guests sit through long, drawn-out speeches about how the Best Man and Groom have known each other for years and the mischief they got up to, consider a funny pre-recorded video where the Best Man talks to several different people attendees. Even if you don’t opt for the video: Keep speeches brief; and if you’re going for humour, make it heartfelt and appropriate.
Every reception includes a DJ or a band. Make sure you do your research and hire a really up-to-date and high energy performer who can really put on a show and engage the audience. For DJs, make sure you know how (s)he plays and interacts with the crowd; a DJ must have some personality, because guests will, without a doubt, approach with song ideas during the set. Music really makes or breaks a party, so forget the idea of plugging in an iPod. A DJ or band will read your crowd, bring a party up and keep it going. If you have the extra funds, go one step further and hire a live percussionist to play with the DJ. Everyone loves live music and this is so fantastic to see and hear. The percussionist can get things lively right at the start of the night, with the entrance, and then surprise attendees by returning later in the night and really starting the party after dinner.
Asking the DJ or a band leader to MC your party does not have the same effect as having your night run by a charismatic and outgoing family member or friend. This person will know the people attending your wedding and can interact with the crowd more and include as many people as possible when they are MC-ing. Quick personal stories before introducing speeches and activities really make it fun for the guests.
Photo booths are very popular and an excellent example of activities you may provide for your guests. Photo booths come with props such as silly hats, loud sunglasses and even dress-up clothes for you to pose with, followed by the pièce de résistance: a photo souvenir to take home. Photo booths are always a big hit, and keep people laughing all night long. You can also hire tarot card readers, caricaturists and song-recording stations.
Who doesn’t love surprises? Your guests will love the unexpected quick performance by, say, a Michael Jackson look-a-like or, after the dinner service, ice cream peddlers on bikes, cruising in with frozen treats for everyone.
Get your guests involved and keep them busy! Create-your-own-sundae bars, cupcake-decorating bars and fill-your-own cookie bags are always fun. I’m from Montreal, and we love our Beaver Tails: hot and tasty slabs of sweet dough, sprinkled with anything from cinnamon and lemon to chocolate fudge and berries and more.
Whatever you plan to do on your big day, always keep your guests in mind. It’s easy to do, of course, because you just have to think about what you would want to see and enjoy as a guest.