How to Ensure Your Wedding Guests Don’t Leave the Reception Early

Wedding guests holding sparklers at a reception.

After all the time you spent planning your wedding, you definitely don’t want your guests leaving before the party is over. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure guests stay until the last song plays and the last drink is poured, making your wedding one they’ll surely remember.

Have Great Entertainment

An awesome DJ or band will definitely keep guests from wanting to peace out early, as they won’t even want to leave the dance floor. Make sure that your musical entertainment has a playlist on deck that will please the masses, too. Have them play a good mix of newer music and hits that everyone of all age groups will know. Make sure there aren’t too many slow songs and talk with your entertainment about what will be played during their breaks to keep the crowd engaged. If you have it in the budget, also consider hiring additional entertainment to make your reception even more fun, such as a magician that goes around to people at their tables or an artist that can do caricatures of guests.

Have Space for Everyone

A lounge area at a wedding reception, decorated with white furniture.

Not everyone at your wedding will want to hit the dance floor, so there needs to be space for everyone to comfortably enjoy your reception. With that being said, have a comfortable place for people to take a break from dancing and to easily converse somewhere. This could be an outside terrace or a lounge area away from the music with comfortable furniture. This will help keep guests from getting tired and wanting to leave early.

Minimize Interruptions

Do things such as cutting your cake, throwing your bouquet, and giving toasts early in the evening in order to minimize interruptions throughout the night. This allows your guests to keep the party rolling and minimize their desire to bounce before the reception wraps up.

Don’t Run out of Food or Drinks

A bartender at a wedding reception making cocktails.

A steady stream of food and drinks is sure to keep the party going and keep guests at your reception. Don’t let the alcohol or food run out early, as this is a surefire way to get guests to head out early.

Have all the Right Items

Don’t let your guests leave early due to not having what they need to stay comfortable. Fill toiletry baskets with things like deodorant, mints, bobby pins, hair ties, stain wipes, feminine products, etc. in the bathrooms to ensure guests have what they need to keep partying. Also offer guests flip flops or socks to change into on the dance floor to avoid aching feet, or pashminas for the women’s shoulders.

Interact with Everyone

A bride and groom chatting with their wedding guests at the reception.

While it may be tempting to steal off by yourselves amidst your wedding reception, it’s important to interact with your guests throughout the night. After all, they’re there to see you! Make your rounds often, pose for photos with different loved ones, dance with different groups of guests, and chat with as many people as possible as the night goes on to keep guests engaged and to keep them from leaving early.

Make Sure the Temperature Is Right

You don’t want guests who are getting their groove on to be too hot, so make sure that your venue has the temperature right to accommodate that need. However, you also don’t want to freeze guests out, so don’t go too crazy with the air conditioning.

Entice Guests with Late Night Eats

A bride getting a burger from a food truck at a wedding reception.

A late night snack is a great way to keep your guests from heading out early. To keep this a fun surprise, hint on the bottom of your menu at something delicious being served later in the evening. Do something fun like carnival food, your favorite fast food, or grilled cheese and fries to give your guests another boost of energy to finish out the night.

Don’t let your wedding reception be a flop with your guests! Follow these tips and your loved ones will enjoy every last second of your special day.

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