6 Ways to Get All Of Your Guests Involved With The Wedding Reception
Updated: Mar 16
There's more to wedding entertainment than just the DJ and the dance floor. Sure, your evening is the perfect chance for guests to dance, but why stop there? Besides, it may be too soon for Uncle Chris to hit the dance floor after that recent hip replacement, so if you're looking for different ideas for entertainment that will get everyone involved, you're in the right place! Regardless of age or size (though your shorter guests may have a leg up in #2), we gathered our favourite wedding guest activities that will have everyone enjoying the night, right alongside you.
#1: Go big or go home with giant Jenga
This is your big day, so think big! Like the rest of us, your current Jenga set is probably missing a few pieces and accumulating an unhealthy amount of dust in the cupboard as we speak. Don't let that hold you back from breaking out this classic game that we all love. No longer is Jenga just for game nights at home - take it one step further (and larger) and feature this as a wedding activity. It'll be a great way to keep your guests entertained whilst cooling off from the dance floor and enjoying a drink. Plus, it's something everyone can and will want to be involved in. *Disclaimer: Arrowhouse Events is not held liable for any injuries that may occur, though if the kid in this GIF can take it, we think you'll be alright.*
Want to turn this activity for your guests into a memento for you and your spouse? Have a set of coloured sharpies near the Jenga set and ask your guests to sign each piece with a message for you to read together after your wedding!
#2: Drop it low...for limbo
You may have overlooked this perfect activity that'll bring everyone to the dance floor, but this is a must have addition for your wedding entertainment. When have you ever seen a limbo contest that doesn't have everyone smiling? Our point exactly. As mentioned above, the kids and your shorter guests may have a slight edge here, however, we've seen some surprising limbo winners in our day. Whether or not you want to include a prize for the winner is up to you, but we're confident this evening game will be a highlight of the night, regardless.
Here's a fun twist: Have couples pair off, or have your single guests find a friend and challenge them all to take on the limbo with their partner, hand in hand or arm in arm (in case your two groomsmen aren't quite keen on holding hands). Last pair standing takes all the marbles. And of course, we expect you, the bride and groom, to participate too (and win)!
To make it even harder....Borrow the ladies' hats from the ceremony and have your guests wear them whilst shimmying underneath the pole; if it falls off or touches the pole, they're out!
#3: Who doesn't love a good bar?
No, not a bar with alcohol, though entertainment is bound to happen with guests consuming a cold beverage (or three). We're referring to a different type of bar; it's more of a worktop for your guests to create their own souvenirs or send-off items with whatever items in front of them. Here are a few options:
Confetti Bar: We think Ed Sheeran and the rest of us can all agree that no party is complete without some confetti. For this bar select porcelain bowls, wooden baskets, glass vases or a rustic combination of each to hold the different coloured confetti. Provide pouches for your guests (perhaps inscribed with your initials and wedding date) with a sign kindly asking them to assemble their own personalised bag of confetti to celebrate your grand exit.
Sweet Bar: This wedding activity is guaranteed to get the kids involved, too! What better way to entertain your guests and give them an extra boost of energy than with some sugary treats? (You can even ask your guests to write down their favourite type of sweet on their RSVP ). So, spread an assortment of candies and chocolates like the picture at the top, and let them have at it! Provide small paper bags (or large if you've got a big sweet tooth) for your guests to package their scrummy souvenir. Don't fancy paper bags? Try clear plastic bags or organza, so the candy mix is colourfully visible from the outside. And as the cherry on top, place a sign on the worktop telling your guests that "love is sweet."
Flower Bar: If confetti's not your cup of tea, why not be showered in flowers as you leave your party instead? Dried or fresh, these petals can be arranged in a similar manner as the confetti and candy bars. You may be surprised to discover your guests vote this as one of their favourite unique wedding reception activities of the night; you may also be surprised to see the two most masculine guests bickering over whether lavender better compliments peonies or roses. We're sure either combination is lovely. (Tip: Save money on ordering extra flowers for this by having a few friends gather up the petals used to decorate the aisle for your ceremony).
#4: Capture the fun, vintage style
We promise, everyone and anyone with an Instagram account attending a wedding party is secretly hoping for a polaroid picture of themselves to take home. It's the perfect memento to remember the fun they had celebrating your nuptials.
As Winston Churchill said "Give them what they want." So how can you give your guests this prized souvenir? No worries - you've got a few options:
Photo Booth: There's nothing wrong with tradition, and what's a more traditional wedding activity than a photo booth? If this option doesn't quite fit within your budget but you still want to have prints hot off the press, capturing your fun evening, we've got another suggestion for you!
Polaroid Booth: It just so happens that we offer this at Arrowhouse Events, so obviously this is a shameless plug for one of our services. This is a much more affordable alternative to a traditional photo booth that still gives you and your guests the experience they're after. Wonder how it works? A decorated backdrop of your choice hung on a wall with a polaroid camera positioned in front of it. All your guests have to do is grab some props, grab their friends and grab their prints! (Bonus: A digital copy is saved, so you can see your guests' photos even if they've taken the hard copy. Whether you tell them this ahead of time or not is your choice; it's your wedding after all)!
#5: The shoe game
Next on the list for wedding party entertainment is the shoe game. If you haven't heard of it yet, you'll be happy we mentioned it. This is one of our favourite unique wedding reception activities. For this game, the two players are the bride and groom. This is a great opportunity to have the wedding entertainment focusing on you and your new spouse. This is also a great opportunity to test how well you know your partner, in front of all your friends and family! Rest assured, your guests will be on the edge of their seats the whole time, laughing and cheering at the responses.
So here's a breakdown of how the game works. The bride and groom are positioned in the center of the dance floor, seated in chairs back-to-back. Each is holding in one hand their own shoe and in the other, the shoe of their spouse. Either the DJ or an honoured guest is given a list of questions to ask the newlyweds. To answer the question, the bride and groom must each raise the shoe belonging to the corresponding person. (For instance: "Who is the most likely to be wrong in a fight?" The bride would probably hold up the shoe of the groom, and the groom would also hopefully hold up his own shoe as well). It's always interesting to see different shoes held up, of course all in good fun. The game can be as tame or as risqué as you like!
#6: Play good music to get everyone dancing
Last, but not least, on our list of ideas for entertainment is dancing. Since Uncle Chris has been busy all night playing Jenga, doing the limbo, eating candy, taking pictures and laughing during the shoe game, we thought he deserved a break. While he's resting, your guests can be out on the dance floor, where the night always seems to begin and end. We just couldn't make a list of wedding guest activities for your party without including dancing. The key to getting them out of their seats: a perfect playlist. Take a look at this blog post where we tell you how to construct the ultimate wedding music playlist that will surely have everyone dancing. Or maybe you need suggestions for some 90s R&B music?
While you're here, why not take a look at our Facebook page? We post regular updates and ideas for your wedding party there, and we'd love to connect with you.