Caring about the wedding guest experience is essential for a variety of reasons that extend beyond the couple themselves. Ensuring a positive guest experiences demonstrates gratitude for the time guests have taken to celebrate your special day with you. Moreover, a memorable and enjoyable experience creates lasting memories, fostering a sense of connection between your guests and your celebration. A joyful atmosphere brought about by engaged and content guests contributes to the celebratory vibe of the event.
By prioritizing your guests’ enjoyment, you reflect your values as a couple and showcase your consideration for others. Positive guest experiences often lead to word-of-mouth recommendations, enhancing the event’s reputation and leaving guests eager to support your future endeavors. This approach also minimizes discomfort and confusion, ensuring that guests can navigate the event with ease. Ultimately, an emphasis on guest experience not only builds a sense of community and connection but also enriches your wedding day by sharing the joy with those who have come to celebrate your union.
In the midst of wedding planning frenzy, couples often overlook the crucial players who make it all the more magical: their guests! Prioritizing the guest experience isn’t just about hospitality, it’s about maximizing your own enjoyment and creating a ripple effect of positivity. Happy guests become joyful storytellers, spreading the celebration’s warmth and potentially paving the way for future referrals or even inspiring other couples to choose you as their officiant.
Imagine the infectious energy of comfortable, entertained guests fully immersed in the festivities. Their enthusiasm becomes your own, fueling laughter and shared joy throughout the day. By anticipating their needs and preferences, you minimize awkward situations and stress, paving the way for a truly relaxed and memorable experience. Additionally, making your guests feel valued strengthens your relationships, showcasing your appreciation for their support and forging deeper bonds with loved ones.
Consider travel logistics, cater to dietary needs, ensure comfort and accessibility, and let loose with diverse entertainment options beyond the typical dance floor. Personalize the experience with welcome gifts, handwritten notes, or photo booths to make each guest feel truly special.
Caring about the guest experience isn’t just about etiquette, it’s about gratitude and inclusivity. By creating a joyful atmosphere where everyone feels appreciated, you transform your wedding from a personal celebration into a cherished memory for all involved. Remember, it’s your day, but the magic truly unfolds when surrounded by loved ones who feel equally invested in the celebration.
You may also want these entertainment breaks for your guests to keep them busy while you as the couple can run off for the perfect photo opportunities, or even just take a private moment alone. Too often couples are whisked from activity to activity, barely taking time to eat, or even just soak in the moments of the big day. Curating entertainment for wedding guests can enhance the overall experience and create memorable moments. We have collected ideas from a variety of price points, and so many of them are DIY-friendly.
We have seen this at some of our weddings at Juniper Gardens, but my favorite example of this was a wedding that had the groom stationed at the entrance. He was able to personally welcome his guests, hand them a drink, and chat with guests before the ceremony even started.
Live music can be an incredible part of a ceremony or reception! Hire a live band, jazz ensemble, string quartet, or acoustic guitarist to perform during the ceremony, cocktail hour, or reception.There are now also DJ services that can blend between the live music experience and the traditional DJ experience while still playing a mix of music that appeals to different generations and gets everyone dancing.
If live music is out of budget, or just not your vibe, you could bring in some of those elements with a karaoke station for guests to sing their favorite songs and have a fun, interactive experience. You may want to add this idea to your wedding website to make sure guests come prepared with their best karaoke songs!
Also an idea that could start on the wedding invitation or wedding website – allow guests to request songs! Or the night of the wedding allow song requests through song request cards placed on tables or through a digital jukebox. This way, they can contribute to the music playlist and have a good time enjoying their favorite tunes.
Arrange for a choreographed dance performance by the couple, wedding party, or family members. We have had our fair share of weddings, but something that will always stand out was a couple that prepared a true disco dance number as their first song!
But this doesn’t have to be all on the couple – consider hiring professional dancers to entertain and engage guests. Or Aerial Acrobatic Performances! We have also had a bride that preformed an aerial number from the rafters of our pavilion and that definitely left a lasting impression!
Set up interactive entertainment pods or lounges with various activities. These can include a DIY craft station, a palm reader or tarot card reader, a photo booth with unique props, or even a mini casino with card games and roulette. This could include any fun game or games that are just personal to the couple and their friends. This is especially great for keeping children busy!
While Photobooths have been around the wedding scene for quite sometime, the selfie station is the newer/cheaper cousin. Hire and have a photo booth set up with fun props and backdrops where guests can take pictures. These often come with immediate printed photos that are built in wedding favors or can be a more interactive guest book!
For a more DIY option, provide a selfie station with a designated area and good lighting for guests to take selfies. Your guests will have a great time getting photos in an area set up to match your wedding theme! Another twist on this could be providing vintage Polaroids and fun props for guests to take instant pictures and build a unique memory wall throughout the night.
Lawn games like cornhole (check out this wedding themed set from Amazon here), giant Jenga, or bocce ball can provide entertainment during an outdoor wedding. One of our couples took this even further with a joisting area set up in our outdoor space as part of their Renaissance themed wedding. If your group isn’t particularly physically active, or you want a great way to plan in a break – trivia games or quizzes about the couple can engage guests and add a personal touch.
This isn’t a kid’s birthday party style entertainment. Modern magicians and illusionists are offering new styles of shows that will surprise guests with close-up magic or illusions during cocktail hour or dinner. This can help provide entertainment while the couple is off taking photos, or just hire a magician to perform tableside tricks between courses. These can be the little things that your guests talk about for years.
Invite a caricature artist to sketch portraits of guests as wedding favors. This can be a nice gesture and guests can take home a unique memento from the celebration.
If you are fortunate to be raised in a family that is steeped in cultural traditions, you may want to include that throughout the wedding day. Incorporate traditional cultural performances such as dance, music, or storytelling that reflect your heritage or background. For a full wedding weekend, you’ll have more time for things like a tea ceremony in Chinese weddings, time for Mehendi (henna) for Indian weddings, or time for Hora in Jewish weddings.
We’re located in the midwest, so we are all about our food here! Create DIY food stations like a taco bar, dessert station, or make-your-own cocktail station. This could also be an area set up for wine tasting, or providing late-night snacks for those that have stayed to dance the night away with you.
You may also want to consider having a live cooking demonstration or interactive sushi rolling station, or someone making homemade sauces that the guests can take home with them as a favor.
Organize a fireworks display or a sparkler send-off for an unforgettable grand finale. But you’ll definitely want check with the venue for regulations and safety measures and be sure there aren’t any burn bans in your area.
Have an artist create a live painting of the ceremony or reception, capturing the moment in a unique way. Other live guest artists could be a huge hit on the wedding day! Create moments for live art installations like a chain saw carving, ice sculptures, and similar.
Plan activities like a scavenger hunt, guided nature walk, or boat ride if the wedding is in a scenic location. This is another idea that works well for a weekend wedding or a longer celebration.
If you are having kids at your wedding, you will definitely want to provide a kids’ corner with activities like coloring books, games, or a designated play area. Maybe even bring character artists like princesses to help keep an eye on the kids and the parents can relax.
Swifties did it best, but it can still be a part of a specular wedding celebration. Set up a silent disco where guests wear headphones and dance to their own tunes. This is a great idea to provide an experience your guests probably haven’t done before!
Transform your wedding into a whodunit! Guests receive roles and clues to solve a staged “murder” throughout the night, culminating in a dramatic reveal. This could be a really clever idea for a couple that is more introverted and not comfortable with being the center of attention.
Dry weddings have been increasingly popular in the last few years, and you could have a station set up with all kinds of ingredients and recommended recipes for making their own mocktails. Some even include superfoods like Tart Cherry Juice, but we have written more about setting up a mocktail bar here, if you need more ideas.
While a lot of the entertainment could be done in a surprise performance. Sometimes this is a surprise for the couple too! Like having the bride’s favorite musician pop in for a live performance during the first dance. this may fall into Surprise your guests with unexpected performances or flash mobs. Choreograph a dance routine with the bridal party or family members, or hire professional entertainers to surprise everyone with a thrilling performance. We have even see a variation of this happen during a ceremony, where certain guests stood up and surprised the couple with a song during the ceremony!
Remember to choose entertainment that resonates with your personalities and the overall theme of your wedding. A mix of entertainment options can cater to different interests and ensure that your guests have a fantastic time celebrating your special day. The entertainment may be as simple as stationing the groom at the Welcome Table to greet and interact with guests as they arrive.
January 8, 2024