Like everything else involved with a wedding, you need a plan to keep your guests from getting bored before the reception commences. Along with 10 unique ways to entertain guests between wedding and reception, Wedessence also provides tips on keeping things as smooth as possible.
Before the reception, the newlyweds should find some time to …
- spend 10 minutes as a couple.
- touch up your hair and makeup.
- thank your parents and in-laws.
- switch into comfortable shoes.
- have a cocktail together.
- eat something.
- take some couple photos.
Weddings are hectic, and can take a toll on everyone. Between the wedding ceremony and the reception dinner, including the newlyweds, even guests need some time to freshen up for the evening. You can take this gap in the day to give yourselves and the guests a breather; a chance to keep them entertained, but also feeling relaxed.
Organizing inexpensive, yet interactive, activities will ensure that the guests don’t end up sitting in their cars or at the reception venue for hours. Also, this gives you, the newlyweds, much-needed time to take photos and get rejuvenated. Here are 10 ideas to entertain wedding guests between the ceremony and reception, that will suit all budgets.
** Place a signboard that provides clear directions to the reception venue. This way, your guests won’t wander around, and can reach for the party in time.
Before the wedding ceremony begins, make sure every guest has a detailed schedule for the reception. Or, if you wish to be even more thorough, print and send the schedule along with the wedding invitations. When guests are aware of what lies ahead for the day, they can easily plan and coordinate their time accordingly. Also, you can entrust the task of guiding the guests at an appropriate time for the reception to your wedding planner/coordinator or the maid of honor.
Renting a photo booth for the evening is an excellent way to entertain the guests. You can put funny props, fake mustaches, and dorky glasses out, and the guests will have a wide selection to choose from. Candid pictures are way, way better than the perfectly-posed ones. You can make a separate guest book with all these photos inside, and, if you wish, get two copies of every picture to send to that particular guest as well.
Signature Appetizer(s) and Drink
If there is more than an hour’s time between the wedding ceremony and the reception dinner, make sure you serve light appetizers and a signature drink. On the other hand, you can even hire a popular, local food truck to provide snacks for the down time. That way, your guests won’t be cranky and hangry (hungry + angry) by the time you arrive.
When a photo booth idea doesn’t fit your budget or style, you can hold a Polaroid session for the guests instead. Depending on how many people are attending the reception, place 5 – 8 Polaroids at the venue. Ask your wedding planner/coordinator or bridesmaids to assist the guests, and explain what they’re supposed to do with it; which is basically, let loose and have fun.
City Tour or Carriage Ride
For gaps as long as 2+ hours, organize a city tour or carriage ride for everyone. If there are interesting sights around town, rent a tour bus or boat so that the guests won’t have to wait around idly. On the other hand, if most of the guests are locals, perhaps a romantic carriage ride around the venue is something that might interest them.
Interactive Guest Book
Signing a guest book is passé; these days, it’s more of an interactive approach. Instead of placing a boring, empty guest book on the table, why don’t you let the guests be a bit more creative with their replies. And of course, with the questions and space provided to let the guests ‘speak their minds’, you never know what they’ll end up writing.
This idea is more like two birds, one stone kinda deal. Asking your guests to fill out the empty envelopes with their addresses will definitely keep them busy. On the other hand, you can use these envelopes to send your thank-you notes in, making your task so much more simple. If you feel that this isn’t a “fun” activity, but more like a “task”, draw one of the envelopes at the reception to give that guest a “special prize”.
Place a “wishing box” next to the escort cards for guests to write their wishes for the happy couple. This should certainly keep them busy.
Exploring the Venue
When the reception is being held near the beach or in a park, do encourage your guests to explore the area. But do ask them to return to the party before it begins.
Table Games and Activities
Apart from the usual table games like chess, bingo, cards, etc., do give your guests the opportunity to mingle with each other. Another fun game to play (not just before the reception, but during as well) is “I spy”. Also, you can have the guests pass a book around to everyone once they write some priceless pieces of advice about spending time with one another after the “honeymoon” phase is over.
Keep the celebration going until the last dance is over. All you need to focus on is a little bit of organizing expertise, and some excellent ideas. So, plan activities that suit your budget and make sure everyone is having an unforgettable time.