If there’s one fight couples have before their wedding, it’s on how much to spend on the event. Weddings can be expensive but there are ways to find a nice balance between cost and experience. If you make the experience fun with the best wedding reception entertainment ideas, you can keep the cost low.
Wedding receptions have a fairly standard format. It goes entrance, speech, drinks, speech, dinner, dance one, dance two, more dancing, and then it’s over. While it’s memorable for the couple, there usually isn’t much for the guests to find memorable about it.
If you’re looking to make a big impact with creative wedding activities, try these 8 ideas.
Most weddings have a DJ or a band play at the reception. While this can be fun, it’s not as participatory as other things. Why have a band when your guests can provide the entertainment for each other?
Karaoke gives the opportunity for your guests to show off to one another of just have some fun. You and your spouse can do a couple of duets together or sing a few heartfelt serenades. It could also be the night that you find out that Aunt Ethyl knows all the words to Wu-Tang Clan’s “Protect Ya Neck!”
Take it up a notch and hire a karaoke band to play back up for everyone. That will really energize the crowd during each performance.
2. An 80s-themed Band
If you were born in the 80s or just grew up loving the music, what better way to have fun than to have a band that will play your favorite songs?
Whether you choose an 80s-themed band, a Led Zeppelin cover band, or an all-female version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a live band is fun for everyone. Live music brings a high-energy vibe to the room and will get everyone out of their seat.
Talk to your band before the reception to go over what they’ll play for each major event of the night in case you need them to know some traditional material.
Not all of your wedding activities have to be centered around music. You can put on a playlist and just have some fun entertainers roaming around your reception.
One way to have fun with your guests is to hire a magician or two for your reception. Since there’s already magic in the air, it should be the perfect environment.
Have one magician do a stage show during the reception while dinner is being served. You could also have multiple magicians to roam around your party doing little card tricks to impress both the kids and adults. You’ll leave a good impression on all of your guests when you hire a wedding magician.
4. Carnival Games
There are few things so lighthearted and fun as going to the carnival. You could make your wedding as fun as a trip to the carnival or the circus.
Have some performers do a show during dinner and have a few booths of games around the space. A few dart boards where you can win prizes or a high striker could entertain your guests for hours.
Add in a bouncy castle that’s capable of handling the adults and you’ll be in for one of the most fun wedding receptions imaginable.
5. Hire Nannies For The Evening
One of the main reasons people leave a party or a wedding early is that they need to go pick up the kids or put them to bed. Take away this excuse by hiring nannies for the evening.
You could go with your own nanny or hire a service. A service that provides nannies will be professional and well-trained. They might even have suggestions to make the whole thing go more smoothly.
6. Photo Booths
The most important memento from a wedding day are the photos. Since most people only plan to go through a marriage once, photos are the only way to look back at that moment.
Photo booths allow everyone to take special photos to go with them. Your wedding guests can feel the excitement in the air and will want to be romantic too. Whether they’re in a new relationship or an old one, you could add an extra spark by giving everyone the opportunity for a moment of romance.
This could be the romantic moment that could save a friend’s troubled marriage.
Get a booth or an apparatus that develops photos on the spot and everyone will leave with a spring in their step and romance in their pocket.
7. Ice Cream Truck
Everyone turns into a kid again when they see an ice cream truck. No matter how old you are, it’s hard not to be excited when you see an ice cream truck roll up. You can hire a classic soft serve truck or get a local ice cream company to serve you.
Set up a toppings bar on the side and give everyone the option to eat ice cream until they get too full, just like their mothers warned them about.
8. Casino Night
Games keep people entertained in between conversations and will keep people hanging around your reception longer. One of the best ways to get people engaged is to have a variety of casino games run by professional dealers.
You can start off the night playing for fun and as things get later, you can have people play for money. Set it up so that when people are playing for money, they’re paying into your honeymoon fund and you’ll find people suddenly being very loose with their money.
Wedding Reception Entertainment Ideas Should Feel Natural
When you’re coming up with the wedding reception entertainment ideas that you think guests would love, make sure you’d love it too. While you need to think about the experience of your guests, it’s also your day. If you hate karaoke and have just signed yourself up for 6 hours of it, maybe rethink your choice.
If you’re already thinking about the wedding night, check out our guide of what you should plan for on the big evening.