From getting grandmothers involved to the explosive joy of handing out fireworks to all of your guests, you’ll be amazed at the difference just a little bit of extra thought can make to your biggest day.
Many guests will have known the bride and groom for years, so there should be plenty of entertaining photographic evidence of their relationships with them that can be collected, printed, and stuck on the wall to help answer the question, “How do you know the bride and groom?” It’s a great way for everyone to find out about each other and creates wonderful starting points for conversations. Remember: The older and more embarrassing the images, the better.
Tower of Well-Wishes
The problem with wedding guest books is that once they’ve been signed they’re destined to be packed away to gather dust and only taken out and enjoyed on very rare occasions. As well as a book for guests to write their messages in, why not provide blank wooden Jenga blocks along with a permanent marker pen? They can write their thoughts on the blocks, and you’ll have a very personal version of the game that will last you a lifetime and remind you of your happy day every time you play.
It’s usually the youngest ladies that get to be flower girls and scatter petals ahead of the wedding procession, so why not flip that tradition on its head and instead ask grandmothers to perform the delightful service instead? They’ll love being more involved with the proceedings and not just sat in the corner whilst being fed a steady supply of cake and wine. That can come later.
Fireworks for all
If the celebration continues long into the evening then ensure each guest receives sparklers as part of their wedding favors. Once the light has faded you can ask them to set them alight and then pose for some very special photographs, with extra points going to any guests that can write the bride and groom’s name in fire.
Kids with cameras
By handing kids disposable cameras and lists of things to photograph you’ll enlist an army of photographers who will scour the event and take pictures from some interesting low angles. The first youngster to tick every shot of the list can win a prize, and you’ll end up with a series of extra and often highly unusual images that will perfectly complement those taken by a professional.
When creating wedding invitations it can be useful to ask guests if they have any dietary requirements, but a lot more fun to also ask them what song they’d like the DJ to play that will get them up to dance. This will enable plenty of time to collect the tracks ahead of the wedding and then, when the music kicks in, you’ll know exactly who should be on the floor even if they’ve forgotten and it’s time to get the kids to hunt them down.
There’s nothing much worse at a wedding than the sight of guests sat around a table while totally failing to interact with each other. Placing the right blend of personalities together will certainly help conversational flow, but by also providing ‘icebreaker’ cards that ask each and everyone to perform an action or explaining something about themselves you can almost guarantee that no table will be completely lifeless.
If you want to make sure that everyone has exactly what they need to ensure that the happy couple’s exit is wonderfully memorable you can provide a confetti bar that includes bowls of as many separated types of confetti as possible. You could even ask guests to make and bring their own to share. Then make sure everyone gets their own empty box to fill before they shower the bride and groom with their own special mixture of colors.
Drink and learn
Ensure that the wedding doesn’t suffer a mid-point lull by hiring a professional to conduct a short but informative (and tasty) wine tasting course. It will undoubtedly provide guests with plenty to see and do as they get involved and learn all about the art of the grape. Whiskey tastings work well too, but if you really want to add some pizzazz to the party then you might want to offer lessons in how to make the most perfect cocktails.
Touch of magic
To keep guests alert as they wait at their tables for the speeches and toasts, why not send in a magician to work some close up magic? Such tricks will always add to the atmosphere and are especially enjoyable when you can see exactly how a guest lost their watch or tie, but they have absolutely no idea. Great for working tables, magicians are also fantastic at providing standing groups with a single focal point.
Provide a photo booth full of props for guests to use include a blackboard and some chalk, and ask them to write down wedding advice to be held in front of the lens and included in their photographs. If all that sounds like too much of an investment then an iPad or other such device could be used instead to create a Selfie Station that automatically publishes the pictures on social media channels like Facebook or Instagram.
When seating children it’s important to remember that they’ll get bored incredibly quickly, and then they require a lot of extra attention. To make sure that they’ve always got something to do, cover their tables with butcher paper and a box of crayons, and then let their imaginations run wild. You could even ask them to draw the bride and groom, and then marvel at their colorful depictions.
Food for thought
Weddings don’t have to be overly formal, so why not let your guests take care of their food requirements by providing them with all the ingredients they need to create exactly what they want? A grilled cheese station supported by plenty of different types of bread and toppings, pasta and Panini bar or burger area will ensure that they can eat exactly what they want when they want, maintain their energy levels, and enjoy customizing their own meals.
Place a video camera in a quiet secluded place at the wedding venue, then post signs around that ask guests to use it to record special messages to the bride and groom. As the day turns to evening more and more people will work up the courage to use it to wish the happy couple well and share fond memories, and the later they leave it the more enthusiastic and heartfelt their messages will be. The final footage can then either be edited into the wedding video, or left as its own standalone piece of art and shared across social networks.