While planning their wedding, savvy couples will take some time to consider ways to provide entertainment for their guests during cocktail hour. The time between a guest’s arrival to the wedding reception and the bride and groom’s grand entrance is at risk of feeling like nothing more than an awkward waiting game. However, with a little bit of forward planning, a couple can turn that ‘just waiting for the real fun to start’ feeling into a fun, engaging time for guests to mix, mingle, and start the celebration.
Here are five ways to keep your guests entertained while waiting for bride and groom make their grand entrance:
This is a great time to bust out a photo booth! While many couples choose to have the photo booth running after dinner, that can actually create a bit of a competition for guests attention, drawing them away from the dance floor. When a photo booth is running from the beginning of the reception, guests have a chance to start having fun right away.
Another way to captivate your guests is to offer live entertainment. Whether it’s a solo musician, a string quartet or a bartender who juggles glasses, a live performer has a way of drawing the crowd’s attention and creating a fun, celebratory vibe.
Depending on the atmosphere you are creating for your wedding, there are plenty of different types of games you can make available to kick off your reception with a lot of fun. Outdoor weddings can have large lawn games like horseshoes, corn hole, or croquet, while indoor weddings can have a board game area or a small game on each table.
The best wedding receptions are the ones where both families, as well as the friends of the couple, get to know each other a bit and have an incredible time together. A great way to get guests acquainted early on is to prepare a few icebreakers. An easy way to do this is to create a ‘trivia’ questionnaire where guests need to mingle with family members to find the right answers. You can also ask your DJ for some suggestions and ways that they can get people mingling – they will definitely have a few ideas!
Last, but certainly not least, there’s nothing like great food to get a party started. Tray passed appetizers will keep people moving throughout the room, while a unique ‘food bar’ will draw guests in. Popcorn bars and candy bars are a lot of fun, while a gourmet cheese bar or a make-your-own martini bar can add a touch of class for an elegant or formal wedding reception.