Now I wrote a post recently about boring weddings. Yes. Those.
If you missed it, hop on back and have a read. One of the most common aspects of a wedding, readers reported being thoroughly bored at, was the drinks reception. Often feeling like a spare part’ while the couple has their photo’s taken.
To make sure your wedding reception doesn’t fall under the category of total wedded boredom, I’ve invited wedding planner Meghan Faye of Extraordinary Days Events back, to inspire you with some creative entertainment ideas.
Hit it Meghan!
Quite possibly one of my personal favourite times at a wedding is the drinks reception. It represents the first joyful moments that you are officially a married couple and, as a guest, it is the first time a glass of champagne is slipped into your hand as you mill about mingling.
Most drinks receptions follow a certain format. They usually last 1.5 – 2 hours and during this time the couple takes their photos alone and also with family. So, as you, the bride and groom, are busy fulfilling your duties and basking in your newlywed bliss, guests are sometimes forgotten and left with nothing to do. This is a common guest complaint. On the other hand, you can take this opportunity to feed, “water”, and entertain your guests to their hearts content.
Here are a few fun ways to keep guests entertained and to spark your imagination:
Photo booths are not the boring, boxy things they used to be. So, do a little research in your area and see if you can find one that slips right into the look of your wedding. For example, check out the Horse Box Photo Booth, this vintage booth and these taxi cabs that have been converted into photo booths. Nu Bride: So clever!
Slow Motion Booths
I’m a little obsessed with slow motion booths given how F-U-N and different they are. They would be perfectly suited for an indoor drinks reception that has a small room separate from where the majority of the guests are. Otherwise, you may want to provide draping to separate them from your main reception area. I say this because they aren’t the prettiest of things but they will provide a lot of entertainment. They also usually require at least 2 x 3 meters of space.
So, the way they work is that your guests (up to six at a time) enter a little studio and play with props such as confetti bombs, signs, and hats. Then they move to a computer screen and watch a play-back of what just happened. However, this playback is in slow motion and the results are HI-LAR-IOUS. You, as the couple, receive a little edited, set-to music, film of your guests in all their slow-motion glory after the wedding and the snips are also put online for your guests viewing delight.
If this sounds like your cup of tea, check out Dreambooth
Flip Book Booths
While slow motions booths have been super fast on the uptake in the wedding industry, flip books are still finding their footing. Although, I really think they are equally as fun.
The set-up of the slow-motion booth and requirements of space (approximately 2 x 3 meters) is virtually identical to that of the slow motion booth.
The difference is that after your guests have played in front of the camera, a flip-book is produced. Remember those little books when you were a kid that told picture stories as you used your thumb to turn the pages rapidly? Well, yes, that is what is produced on the spot – with your wedding guests as the stars. The great thing about flip-books is that they can double as your favours.
The following video is from a company in the USA but they have produced a video that shows exactly how flip books work.
Bars and Cocktails
Photography: Magnus Bogucki
A good cocktail never gets old and what you serve and how you serve it can instantly change the atmosphere of your wedding. They can also act as a talking point for your guests.
I will always love his and hers (i.e., Bride and Groom) cocktails as they really give a chance to show you and your fiancé’s personalities by what you choose. Simply choose your favourite cocktails and have your caterer serve them. You can print the cocktail names and/or recipes on napkins, have a custom bar menu printed to set on the bar that also tells a story behind the drinks, or simply have beautiful cocktail stirrers made which point out they are “Bride and Groom” cocktails.
Another option is to create a bar that lends itself to elegance and fun. For example, a champagne yurt by Wedding Yurts will likely have never been seen by your guests before, will add a little shelter for an outdoor drinks reception, and will be aesthetically appealing.
If you can help it, your guests should walk into a lively, exciting drinks reception. So, when those first guests walk in, the music should already be playing.
Ideally drinks reception music should be lively after the more serious occasion of the ceremony, but not compete with guests conversations.
Think outside of the box when looking for the music and look for musicians who might not be completely tied to one location, such as The New York Brass Band, steel pans, or an accordion and violin duo. By not needing to plug into an electrical point or amplifier, your musicians can mill about your guests.
For more formal weddings, I like bossa nova bands. Bossa Nova is a fusion of samba and jazz and offers something different than jazz duos or harps that are more common. Also, I find they are the perfect transition from classical ceremony music to party music in the evening.
Feeding your guests properly during a drinks reception really is vital. This is even truer if your ceremony takes place before or during lunchtime because your family and friends likely won’t have eaten since breakfast. (Nu Bride: Hungry guests are agitated guests!)
So, take the opportunity and use your canapés to delight and surprise your guests! Particularly if you or your betrothed have a tie to a particular cuisine, incorporate it! For example, for my fellow Americans, check out Anna Mae’s. For my French friends, see Crêperie Nicolas. Finally, for those who love all things lavish, Oystermeister is for you.
Seating and Lounge Areas
Photography: Magnus Bogucki
Well, lounge areas may not be entertainment per se. However, they are vital to the support of your drinks reception and to the enjoyment of the entertainment you provide. So, use the style of your wedding to dictate the type of furniture you need. (Nu Bride: You don’t have to settle for the furniture that your venue provides, you can hire some great pieces of furniture from companies like Great Hire). Use real antiques to slip right into an English manor house, bean bags and wicker for a fun outdoor day, or vintage sofas and lace details to create a soft and elegant feel.
As a side note, cushions are a quick and inexpensive way to help existing or hired furniture coordinate with your colour palette.
Make Your Own Wedding Video
Gone are the days of leaving disposable cameras on guest tables. Now you can pass out video cameras and let your wedding guests create your very own wedding video. Shoot-it-Yourself ships you one or two video cameras for your guests to use throughout the wedding. Then, you send them back and are returned an edited wedding film. Can you imagine what fun would take place during the drinks reception (or the rest of the wedding day) with these?
For The Gents
For some men, weddings and cigars go hand in hand. There is something glamorous and timeless about a black tie affair and a cigar. So, if you have a groom that wants to celebrate marrying you, his gorgeous bride, by smoking a cigar with his buddies, hire a cigar roller to entertain the men during the drinks reception or create a cigar bar. Then, your new husband can celebrate with his buddies (outside!) after dinner. Add even more flair with customised cigar wrapping that coordinates with your wedding stationery.
For The Children
In all the grown-up food, drink, and entertainment, your little ones can sometimes be forgotten. So, get them a candy floss, snow cone or ice cream, or pick & mix tricycle from Ideas Box
For a more formal affair, hire a professional crèche service such as the Mobile Crèche Company that can provide certified nannies as well as entertainment so that your adult guests can mingle while their little ones also have fun.
Now THAT’s entertainment. Thank you again Meghan some brilliant and refreshing entertainment ideas here.
Header image: Rabbit and Pork Photography