Obviously lush flowers and a gorgeous venue are some of the elements of a beautiful wedding, but picture-perfect decor doesn’t ensure an epic party. Score a 10 out of 10 for overall experience by following these simple yet effective tips that will have your guests talking about your wedding for years to come.
1. Ask for Song Requests
To ensure everyone is having a great time and dancing the night away, have your guests request a song via the invitation response, recommends Key Largo wedding planner Lynn D’Ascanio of Dasignerevents.com. “Give this list of songs to your DJ, along with the name of the person who requested each song. That way, if the dance floor starts to thin out, the DJ can play songs off of the request list.” This pretty much guarantees that the person who requested the song will get up and dance and encourage others to do so as well.
2. Don’t Let Your Friends and Family Talk Forever
“Many fun events have been driven into the ground by deathly long speeches,” . To keep the party popping, ask your speech givers to keep their toasts short and sweet.
3. Remember to Thank Your Guests
Speaking of speeches, it’s important to let your guests knows how much you personally appreciate them coming. “It’s hard to believe how often this simple step is overlooked,” . “Bite the bullet, make a speech (keep it short, of course) and just genuinely thank your guests for dropping their lives that day to share it with you.”
4. And Keep Them in the Know
According to D’Ascanio, the best weddings are the ones that are organized and follow a timeline. “When the events of the day unfold in a timely manner, and the bridal party and guests alike are not left standing around wondering what’s next or where they should go or what they should be doing, the entire day seems flawless.”
5. Add in an Element of Surprise
Who doesn’t love a special surprise at a wedding? “You could hire a group of singers or dancers disguised as wait staff to break out into song or dance during dinner,” suggests D’Ascanio. Or you and the groom could perform a practiced dance routine yourselves for the first dance, offers Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions. “A ‘wow’ factor can be memorable and will ensure your guests have a blast.”
6. Opt for a Short Ceremony
If possible, try to keep your ceremony simple and short in length. “A long, drawn-out ceremony takes away that guest energy level at the onset, and sometimes it cannot be recovered for the reception,” warns Jenkins.
7. Give Birthday Shout Outs
Does your BFF have a birthday on the same day as your big day? Or is it his parents’ anniversary too? “Have your MC acknowledge any birthdays and/or anniversaries with a dedicated song during the reception,” advises Daniela Grafman, wedding & special events coordinator at Vision Entertainment Group LLC. People love attention. Plus, it’s just a sweet gesture.
8. Hire a Great Band or DJ
After all, they can, in fact, make or break a party. Florida wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss The Planner, recommends looking for a high energy performer, while being careful not to choose an annoying personality to be your MC. “Great vocals, great dance moves and great spunk will have everyone up on their feet until it’s time to go home. Seamless song transitions and the ability to read the crowd when they want to hear more of the same sound or a desire to switch to a different sound is where a DJ’s talent also comes into play.”
9. Provide Transportation
If you’re hosting a destination wedding or your wedding is in a remote location, be sure to provide transportation for guests from their hotel to your wedding and back. “This way people don’t have to worry about driving home drunk, which guarantees that they can party harder.”
10. Allow Your Guests Plenty of Free Time
This is particularly important if you have a destination wedding or a bunch of guests in from out of town, says professional wedding planner Sandy Malone of Weddings in Vie-ques. “Back to back activities after a long trip will run them into the ground. Let them have some time and space to explore and they’ll be refreshed and excited at all of your events.” We concur.
11. Have a Game Plan for Kids
To keep the little ones entertained throughout the night (and to give their parents an opportunity to hit the dance floor!), set up an area specifically for them. In a separate room, arrange for a babysitter who can set up movies for them to watch. Or designate a couple tables just for the kids and pack them with coloring books, crayons, and small toys.
12. Jazz Up Your First Dance
All eyes will be on you during your first dance, which means it’s the perfect opportunity to shock your guests. Imagine starting with a slow dance to “At Last” and then suddenly switching to a fast, sexy Latin dance or a jazzy swing step. It’ll totally throw your guests for a loop and set the tone for a lively dance party.
13. Keep the Toasts Short (And Prep Your Toasters)
As meaningful and wonderful as toasts can be, it’s important that you don’t let those toasting to drone on and on. Quite frankly, it’ll put a lull in the evening. When it comes to toasts, it’s really all about quality over quantity. So direct anyone who is speaking in advance to keep their speeches to two minutes max and ask them to share any other long-drawn-out stories at a prewedding party like the rehearsal dinner.
14. Give Out Party Favors
Don’t forget that a reception is a party! Let your guests know that it’s okay to cut loose after a formal ceremony by passing out crazy wedding favors at the reception. A few of our favorite ideas? Funky masks, noisemakers, or Silly String. We even know one couple who handed out neckties and encouraged their guests to tie them around their heads on the dance floor. Quickly but definitely fun.
15. Plan an Interactive Food Station
Great food makes great celebrations, but customize food (so that everyone gets exactly what they like) is even better. A risotto station, pasta bar or grilled cheese station where people can choose their own toppings and sauces will leave you with happy, well-fed guests ready to have a good time.
16. Tell Your Guests About an End-of-the-Night Treat
Nothing stops a party in its tracks faster than guests heading for the door early. Take out an insurance policy against a skimpy crowd and plan a treat for the end of the night that people will look forward to: You and your new spouse can perform a song with the band for the last dance, or you can plan a reception getaway that’ll gets guests excited, like a fireworks show or an exit with sparklers.
17. Arrange Seating Assignments Thoughtfully
It sounds obvious, but it belongs on the list: Seat guests with people they’ll know and get along with. A well-thought-out seating chart leads to great conversation, which leads to a great dance party, which leads to…well, you get the idea! So seat your high school track teammates near your college running buddies, and put your tween cousins with other kids their age rather than their parents (and keep track of it all with our seating chart tool).
18. If You’ve Hired a Band, Make Sure There’s Good “Break” Music
We’ve all been to that wedding before: Just when the dance floor starts to get packed, the band takes a break and the party dies. Don’t let that happen to you. When you hire your band, ask specifically about how they plan to handle breaks. Some bands will take them in shifts and split off into a smaller 2- or 3-piece bands. Others will turn on filler music. If yours is planning to use filler music, ask whether you can provide the mix.
19. Play Danceable Music
Whether you’ve hired a band or a DJ, if you want to keep the dance floor packed (and we’re guessing you do), plan a playlist of songs that will please the crowd, not just you two. You may love obscure indie rock, but now isn’t the time to show off your discerning taste in music. People love dancing to Lady Gaga and Madonna — so let them!
20.Add a Lounge to Your Reception
If at all possible, create a lounge-like area in your reception space. Why? People can get antsy. Instead of having your guests sit around the same dinner tables all night, a change of environment will promote conversation and keep even your nondancing guests entertained. Look into renting or borrowing couches, chairs, and other pieces of furniture that you can then stage with pillows and votive candles in your wedding colors.
21. Hire a Day-of Coordinator
You may have a ton of fun ideas for your reception lined up — say, a rockin’ entrance, an amazing band, and surprise late-night snacks — but the truth is it’s much harder than you’d think to keep each of those plans in check. If you already have an event planner, genius. If not, look into booking a day-of coordinator to oversee the details (trust us, it’s worth it).
22. Create Zones
The key to a lively celebration? Movement. The best parties encourage lots of dancing, with mini breaks for mingling and snacking — not just sitting. So divide your reception into distinct areas for dancing, sipping drinks and chatting, and getting coffee or bites to eat. Arrange a few cocktail tables near the bar, provide an outdoor seating option or set up a dessert table of bit-size sweets.
23. Change Into Something Comfortable
Let’s put it this way: You won’t have a good time at your reception if you can’t breathe, right? So after the first dance, swap your veil and train for a little white dress. (This applies to grooms too — depending on the formality of the wedding, guys can change out of a restricting tux into a more relaxed suit.) If you and your new spouse are comfortable enough to move freely, you’ll dance more, chat more and laugh more, and that’ll rub off on your guests.
24. Serve a Leisurely Dinner
Instead of a quick, three-course menu of salad, entree and dessert, stretch out dinner over four or five smaller courses. Then, plan small surprises in between, like a short toast from your hilarious aunt or a professional dance performance. It’ll give your guests the experience of a fun night out on the town, complete with dinner and a show.
25. Walk Down Memory Lane
Make the guest feel like integral parts of the day by incorporating them into the décor — in a gallery of meaningful photos. “We do something we like to call ‘memory lane,'” says Northern California event planner Sasha Souza. “We hang pictures of the bride and groom with friends and family along the walk from the ceremony to the reception. It’s a fun cocktail party conversation starter.” As guests take a leisurely stroll and find pictures of themselves with you, they can reminisce and socialize.
Keywords: Wedding Guests Wedding Reception
Refernece : http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2014/06/how-to-entertain-wedding-guests.html