Perhaps the most difficult part of a wedding to plan is the reception – primarily due to the guest list. First there’s the struggle of balancing the number of people you actually want (or need) to invite and the budget. Then there’s the pressure of choosing the right venue and how
But it’s not just a matter of having a great venue and food. Catering to wedding guests’ social preferences is the key to a great reception. This may be the first time that everyone on your side of the family and close friends who have never met will be in one room, and the same on your partner’s side. You could spend a lot on fancy entertainment, but wouldn’t it be much better if the guests get comfortable despite being surrounded by strangers? Here are a few things you can do to make sure your guests let go and enjoy at your wedding reception.
Long table setup with backless benches
This will work best in a garden venue to better suit the theme. Imagine multiple long tables with backless benches that are set up so that guests on one table will be back to back with the guests of the other table. Since guests will be seated next to people they know and won’t have to awkwardly sit face to face with a stranger (as could be the case with traditional round tables), your guests could become more comfortable. With the right placement, people who belong in small cliques can be put together so they don’t get shocked with meeting a lot of new people right away.
Now, if you have to go with the traditional multiple-table setup, pairs or smaller groups are bound to share a table with people they aren’t close to. So why not make a game out of it? Place icebreaker questions or fun facts about your guests on their tables so that they’ll have something to talk about! Not only is it simple and inexpensive but, if you do it correctly, people will make new friends and your reception will start off on the right foot!
Kids are wonderful but sometimes they can end up getting in the way of some much needed catch up between adults. Having a kids’ area or table will solve this. The kids can have their own special set of food and party items like colouring books at their table.
Install an intimate bar and lounge
Back to adults – most adults love bars and lounges. It’s the perfect place to get comfortable and have a nice chat with people. Make both places comfortable so people will be urged to interact but not only with the people who already know each other. Comfortable guests equal a night full of stories and laughter.
Think of it as a suggestion box but with a twist. Have someone give out pieces of stylized prescription papers, asking guests to write down what they think about what “medicine” the bride and groom need in order to maintain a healthy marriage! You’re bound to get a mix of answers that are completely comedic and those that offer wise advice. It will get your guests talking and you instantly collect marriage advice from the people you are closest to!
This is an oldie but goodie. It may be the most basic from everything here on the list but no one can deny a good line dance especially if people had a good start to the evening! Play your cards right and you can get all of the attendees doing one big line dance. Fun for all ages!
If you have other suggestions with regards to activities for the reception, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments section below!