Wedding receptions can be a decidedly mixed bag. Some are fun supreme and fly by; others are hours you can never get back. Blame our shortening attention spans on our digital world, but even at the nicest receptions, spoon-clinking glassware to make the bride and groom kiss quickly loses its entertainment value for most people past puberty. And there are only so many congratulatory toasts one can sit through before they are overcome by the need for a Candy Crush fix.
To keep your guests happy and engaged, consider giving them some fun activities to participate in.
One of the more popular wedding reception accessories in recent years is a photo booth, where cocktail-infused guests can commemorate your special day. The best thing about photo booths is that they truly are for all ages. And definitely, photo-bombing is encouraged.
Raise a glass.
Wine drinking has become a new national pastime, so treat your wedding guests to a wine tasting. You can do a straight tasting or do a food pairing. Hire a local sommelier to oversee the tasting so he can answer questions about the wine. You can either offer a variety or pick one type – such as a selection of ports.
Get a warm-up act.
If you live anywhere near a city, odds are you have stand-up comedians working local clubs. Hire one to entertain your guests during the dinner, dessert, or afterwards. If there are children or the easily offended present, it might be prudent to find a clean comic.
Many of your guests will enjoy having their caricature drawn. Having a drawing of the wedding party would be a unique keepsake.
Once the traditional slow dances are out of the way and the band gears up, it may be difficult to get people out onto the dance floor while they still have a low blood alcohol level. Consider hiring a few dancers to get the party started and to offer lessons to those burning to learn the salsa.
Take a cue from the carnival and have different entertainers or activities lingering around your wedding reception, such as a magician, a fortune teller, and a chair masseuse.
Forget karaoke using a DJ. The new trend is to have a karaoke band — essentially a cover band able to play hundred of songs. Instead of singing to pre-recorded music, you sing with the live band. From “My Way” to “Rappers’ Delight” to “Sweet Caroline,” give your guests a chance to channel their inner crooner or rock star.
Not all entertainment has to be costly. Play a game of Pictionary, charades, or Apples to Apples. Have tables set up with board games from Candyland to Scrabble. Have a jigsaw puzzle. It’s both a great way to keep younger guests entertained and get wedding guests to interact with one another.