Wondering how to make sure your wedding guests have an absolute blast? We will tell you! Trust us when we say that your wedding day is about celebrating the love between you and the person you’re about to marry. However, for most couples there’s another thing; Celebrating with a seriously epic party that your guests will talk about for years to come. Here comes the big question; how do you make your big day stand out among the throngs of weddings your family and friends have attended in the past? Well, this is where we come in with the tips that will leave your guests impressed, taken out of our experience of almost 20 years in the wedding industry. Take it from your wedding photographers, utilising even just a handful of these amazing ideas will turn your wedding day into an event to remember!
Brief is Good and Make sure there’s a Personalized Program
We know your friends and family are there to see you get married. However, you might want to keep the actual proceedings (not including entrances and exits) around 30 minutes so you won’t lose anyone’s attention. Also, don’t forget about creating a ceremony program. A personalized piece of stationery with interesting details about you and your partner, a breakdown of the ceremony’s proceedings, and any important information your guests need to know (like a translation of traditional vows or a note to let guests know not to take photos), you’ll capture their attention and get all of those key details across. Plus, it will keep them busy if the event runs a little late.
Greet Guests with a Welcome Bag
When you’re hosting a destination wedding, by default guests have to travel to be a part of your day. Show your love to them by giving them welcome bags or baskets. We love the ones that include a few local tastes and snacks, bottles of water or wine, a travel guide, and a list of local spots, like the nearest drug store, restaurants, coffee shops, or nearby attractions. Gestures like this give guests a taste of your wedding destination (literally) and help them get soaked up in the experience even more!
Spend Time with Each Guest
It’s important for the couple to greet each and every guest at the wedding. Once the celebration is underway, do your best to spend time with each person—whether that means chatting over a glass of wine, visiting their table at dinner, or letting loose on the dance floor. Socialize, socialize, socialize!
Curate a Well-Planned Seating Chart
Wedding dinners need attention. It doesn’t matter if your reception dinner will be a buffet, plated meal, or family-style servings: A smart seating chart is vital to ensuring your guests have a good time and know where to be. Try to group people together with similar backgrounds and interests, so they’ll have something to talk about even if they’ve never met before. Everyone will thank you.
Have a Signature Cocktail and Splurge on an Open Bar
Speaking of cocktails, serve one or two delicious customized drinks. It will make your wedding reception feel so personal and well thought off. You and your partner should each pick a cocktail, but try to select drinks that are palatable for a wide array of people – Gin? Tequila?. Also, keep in mind that while open bars can be pricey, there are ways to make them work on any budget. Consider offering just beer and wine or a few cocktail options if you need to cut back, but don’t ask family and friends to open their wallets – especially if you’re having a destination wedding!
Ask Your Vendors to Design a Lounge Area
Not every guest will want to or could dance all night. In fact, some people may not want to hit the dance floor at all. Although reception tables are a fine place for friends and family to chat, offering a designated seating area is a nice touch and will create a more intimate and fun atmosphere for those not dancing. Lower the music, and provide comfy chairs, and this will be a detail many guests will love.
Keep Speeches Short and Ask for Song Requests
We hear you. Speeches are a necessary component of any wedding, but it’s important to ensure they don’t drag on for too long. Keep the toasts brief—no more than a few minutes per person. Also, another helpful tip to bring your guests to the dancefloor? Play the songs your guests actually want to hear. Have your DJ make an announcement that they’ll be taking requests and watch the dance floor fill up (did anyone say ABBA?).
Serve Late-Night Snacks
Yes, you’re having dinner and dessert, but after all the dancing and the drinking, your guests might be filling hungry. With couples extending their parties later and later, it’s likely that more than just a few of your guests will be thinking of a tasty late-night snack. Have your caterer bring out handheld options like sliders and fries, mini local tastes, or coffee and pastries about an hour before the reception ends to revive all dancing groups and cure some of the inevitable hangovers the next morning!
Give a Favor People Will Use
Trust us, people might not use a framed photo of you and your new spouse in their homes. If you’re going to spend the money on favors, select something your guests won’t leave on the table. Mini bottles of bubbly, a yummy snack like cookies or popcorn, or a treat they can enjoy once back at home like jam or syrup. Especially if you’re hosting a destination wedding you could choose local goodies from the country you’re hosting the wedding.
Have a Photo Booth
Polaroids? Actual old-school photo booth? A modern mirror photo booth? Not only is a photo booth a fun activity for your reception, but it’s also a great alternative for your guest book or favors. The options are literally endless, but adding a great selection of props for your buddies to play with always results in so much fun!
Skip Traditions That Don’t Fit Your Style
Not a cake fan? Don’t care about tossing the bouquet or the garter? Maybe you don’t want to wait until the ceremony for your first look – It’s perfectly fine! If you just can’t imagine partaking in one of these traditions, don’t do it—after all, it’s your wedding and no one should tell you what to do!
Make an Exit They’ll Remember
Fireworks, confetti, dancing? No one wants your wedding night to end, but since it has to, go out on a high note. Do a fun and festive farewell, like a fireworks show, sparkler exit, or confetti send-off. Everyone will love it, and it will make for some amazing photos and memories!