Receptions are fun. There’s music and dancing and tons of stuff packed into one afternoon or evening. But here’s some food for thought: why not spread some love to the other portions of your wedding day?
The mark of any good wedding is having almost every moment filled with something interesting. The pre-ceremony is one of the most boring and wait-filled times for guests. Everyone is slowly filtering in, the bride and groom are still getting ready; pretty soon everyone is just sitting there with nothing to do but look at their phones and chat. Instead of just letting your friends and family play the waiting game, there are things you can do to ensure everyone’s spirits are up by the time you walk down that aisle!
One great way to keep guests happy before the wedding is food. This is especially true if you have a morning wedding. Doing something simple like providing a little tea and coffee buffet can go a long way. Guests will love that you thought of them, and don’t forget, they got up early, so you want them to feel appreciated.
Sometimes when you’re just waiting before a ceremony, the mood isn’t really set. The best way to remedy this is music! I’ve been to weddings with beautiful music playing before the ceremony and it really put me in the wedding-way. You can even entertain your guests with live music. A lot of churches provide such services, or you can always hire performers if you’re not getting married in a church.
Guests will enjoy any little thing you give them before the wedding starts that is useful. For example, it’s always nice to provide guests with schedules. This way they can plan their day and know what’s going on. The perfect time to hand these out is while they’re waiting for everything to start. You can also hand out other useful items like blankets if it’s chilly or cute hand fans if it’s hot. You’d be surprised how much handing out goodies can affect guest morale.
A fun way to start off the day is by way of drink. Pass out a shot or champagne to each guest as they enter and orchestrate a toast for the bride and groom. It’s a little different to do this before the wedding and not after, but it’s a great way to shake things up and make guests feel involved right away.
Sometimes we think of wedding games as strictly for the shower and the reception, but that’s simply not the case! Since there’s some time, why not keep guests involved and interested with a fun little wedding game. It doesn’t have to be controlled or emceed; you can provide simple little games like wedding Sudoku or word scrambles; just something little guests can opt in or out of.
You can also provide stand up games like horse shoes or bean bag toss. Again, why keep all the fun for the reception? You can set up the games outside your wedding venue or even inside if the space is big enough.
Kids attend weddings too. One of the best ways to keep them from getting riled up right before your ceremony is to keep them distracted. You know what’s interesting to kids? Toys. Provide little things to keep them occupied while they wait. This will not only keep the children happy, but also the parents who are trying to keep them in line during this downtime.
Just another fun way to ring in your big day. Get guests excited for what’s to come by offering sparklers and other firecrackers before the ceremony. This way the celebrations can get started right away. It’s perfect if you want your big day to have a joyous feel as it will definitely get your guests into a celebratory mood!
Jobs to Do
Give your guests an important task before the wedding starts. This can be anything from a guest well-wishes video diary where they record themselves to each one lighting a candle. You can also substitute a flower girl for all your guests by asking each one to choose and lay down a flower. This is especially cool for the ceremony because every flower down the aisle is a well-wish from each guest attending. Giving everyone a task to accomplish keeps them from checking the clock for a little while and makes your day seem overall more enjoyable.
Give your guests a video viewing before the ceremony. You can feature something that’s basically a picture slideshow of you and your partner put to music. You could do a morning-of video with interviews of the bride and groom if you have someone tech savvy who could whip it up.
Another option is the classic couple’s video with the story of how you two met and things like that. This is a very cute way to get your guests ready so long as you don’t overdo it.
By filling the waiting time with things to do, you show your guests you care. They will immediately feel comfortable and not agonizingly bored. These things are especially important if you know you’ll be a while getting ready. Providing activities gives you that little bit of buffer time if anything unexpectedly takes a little longer than you anticipated.