Our clients are exceptional hosts and hostesses so the conversation always comes up about how to ensure their guests stay entertained throughout the evening. While I believe the recipe for happy guests is pretty simple - ensure they are never too hot, too cold, or too hungry - we have come up with our 7 favorite ideas for activities that will ensure no one is ever too bored.
Lawn games for everybody! Plenty of weddings are outdoors or just have an outdoor area during the reception. Even if your wedding is inside, you can incorporate these games into a designated game area. Ring Toss is so simple to throw together and fun for your guests no matter what age. It can be as simple as gathering different sized bottles, painting them to make them pretty, putting them in a short box (so they don’t fall over), and grab anything that’s in a ring shape (some cheap bracelets…?) Giant Jenga is also fun to incorporate, and is also very easy to make. Grab 30 two-by-fours and – bam! − you’ve got giant Jenga. A couple of other old favorites are corn hole and croquet. And why not add on a hand full of hula-hoops and keep your guests movin’.
For The Kiddos
Everyone knows that kids are constantly moving and on the search for something to do. Set up a kid’s table that’s full of things for them to do. A box of crayons, paper, glue sticks, safety scissors, and cut out shapes can go a long way. Maybe not markers or paints just for the sake of their outfits… There are hundreds of free printable templates online for kids to color or cut out and glue together that can be of the bride and groom or anything you want them to be. Stores like Michaels, JoAnn Fabric and Craft, or your local department store will have a multitude of deities (googly eyes, fuzzy balls, jewels, stickers etc.) for kids to put together as gifts for the newly weds or souvenirs to take home. Every kid loves a craft! And just to add even more options, throw in some little take home bubbles or playto.
Message in a Bottle
Set up a table where guests walk in and out of the reception area with jars or bottles that are decorated with a number. This number will represent the year of the anniversary in which the bride and groom will break open the jar and read the guests’ advice or notes they leave for that 1st, 2nd, 5th, 10th or 20th anniversary. It’s a message in a bottle for that specific anniversary.
I Spy (With My Little Camera)
This will be easy and fun to put together. Essentially it’s the game “I Spy” but with a disposable camera to document the things you find. Create a checklist of things that you think will happen, or want to remember, at your wedding. For example, the checklist could include the bride, a couple kissing, a toast, people dancing, someone laughing, someone making a funny face etc. The checklist will be full of things that you might not get to see because you’re busy being the couple of the hour. Print out a few copies per table or per camera and see how many moments your guests can check off the list.
Whether you have one or not, a Polaroid camera is a fun way to make sure you see all your guests that come to your wedding. You can pick up one or two at plenty of electronic stores. Have your guests’ nametags hanging up on a wall so that they have to unclip it in order to see where they are sitting. Put a sign up that says “Take your name, leave your picture!” and as more guests show up and clip their pictures up, you’ll have a collage of all the faces at your wedding!
A slideshow is always a great idea for entertainment. Especially if you’re in it! It’s pretty simple to put together a bundle of pictures and fit it with some background music. Or you could just have it rolling in the background while the whole reception is going on. Either way put in plenty of pictures of the bride and groom as kids, growing up, meeting, dating and being together. In addition, throw in a handful of pictures of your guests. Try to include as many guests as you can. Once they realize that the slideshow is about everybody who has come together to celebrate, all eyes will be waiting to see who pops up.
And the classic activity idea - a photobooth. Many companies have sprung up over the past few years allowing you to rent a photo booth for everyone to take pictures in and take them home! Many photo booth companies offer additional services like themed picture borders or video footage. This allows your guests to have a little something to take home with them. Also, it is very easy to make your own photo booth - and some times it is more affordable.