You’ve got dinner, drinks and the speeches sorted, now what about the rest of the night? Whatever you decide, make sure you consider the following – movement, surprise and activity. That’s right, keep ‘em moving, keep ‘em guessing and keep ‘em entertained.
Set up different spaces throughout your venue so that your guests can move naturally from one area to another. From the dinner table to the cocktail bar on the terrace, from the dance floor to the lounge area in the garden; get creative, keep things interesting and, above all, keep things fun.
There’s a lot you can do to liven up your reception. From a spot of croquet to fortune telling, we’ve got all your entertainment inspiration in one place, so prepare to get the party started!
1. PARTY GAMES
2. DANCE. ALL NIGHT LONG
Unless your guests are exclusively hipsters in their 20s, this is not the time to feature achingly cool music that no one else has ever heard of. If you’ve got a mix of age groups, from granny and grandpa all the way down to nippers, crack out a carefully curated mix of the trendy and the tragic that will pack the dance floor. Blast some Backstreet Boys and watch your guests turn into your own private boy band, twist down memory lane with Chubby Checker’s unforgettable hit or reenact your own “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” moment with ‘(I’ve had) The Time of my Life’ from Dirty Dancing. Sometimes the dorkiest songs make for the best memories on the dance floor, so be sure to include a few numbers that will get your guests up and saying, “Aw man, this is my jam!”
3. PHOTO BOOTHS
4. LOUNGE AREA
5. TEMPTING TABLES
We’ve heard of a celebration on an island in the Caribbean where the fireworks were so epic, local aircraft had to be diverted! Needless to say, you need to check out the legalities and any restrictions when it comes to private fireworks displays (and it goes without saying you should definitely employ professionals!), but once that’s all sorted there’s no denying the thrill of some big bangs.
Want to save on your budget, but still have the same effect? You might have to schedule way ahead, but try and book your venue on New Year’s Eve or, if in Brisbane, on the night of Riverfire, and watch the skies light up in a spectacular display, minus the price tag. What a way to end your special day.
Looking for a cast bigger than Matilda? Add a magician, singing waiters or even a fortune teller for your guests (“I can see a hangover in your future”). Of course, not all weddings will suit this kind of entertainment – fire dancers might not work quite so well at a traditional black tie wedding, but they could be just the thing to top off a great night at a more relaxed beach wedding.
Expecting a few kids? Why not make it the best day ever and organise some face painting or even a guest appearance from a superhero or Disney princess? Just try and keep the adults away from posing with Superman and Elsa. Just try…
8. LIVE AID
9. WORD GAMES
For a quirky decorating idea, scatter amongst your place settings a few word games or let their competitive streaks show in a special wedding version of Scrabble or even bingo. ‘Mad libs’ are another popular option and can be the source of some helpful marriage advice… or, at the very least, some hilarious reading material.
10. KEEP ON TRUCKIN’
Today you can get food trucks serving just about anything – from tacos and dumplings to cocktails and peanut butter-filled cronuts. Mmm, cronuts. Though, sometimes you can’t go past the classic ice-cream truck for a summer wedding with chilled vibes. Extra fudge sauce, please.
11. STRIKE A POSE
Hiring a dance instructor to teach your guests some easy, fun moves they can do as a group may end up being the best and most fun part of your entire wedding. Bonus points if the dance is somehow personal and relevant to your lives.
12. EMBRACE THE ETHNIC
- ESPRESSO BAR: Let’s face it, some of your guests will only be interested in a different kind of brew, but an espresso bar and a seriously good barista is guaranteed to appeal to caffeine addicts.
- CAMPFIRE: Assuming your venue allows it, a campfire with guitarist, lattes and marshmallows will ensure the coolest of vibes at the end of a boho or beach wedding.
- WEDDING ART: Book a caricaturist or an artist who’ll spend the night creating a painting of your wedding party. It’s a great way to get everyone chatting, plus you’ll have a lovely artwork to take home!
- CANDY BAR: Hire a pick ’n’ mix sweetie cart and deck it out with jars and bowls overflowing with fizzing, popping, melting treats. It will create a real buzz (not to mention a sugar high) and a gorgeous photo op.
- KIDS: Keep kids happy with a games room filled with things like a ping-pong table, air hockey, video games and a popcorn machine.
- PIÑATA: Create a pretty wedding piñata, but instead of filling it with sweets, get your guests to fill it with notes, tips, advice and memories. Bash it open on an anniversary and prepare for some hilarious reading material!
You’ve locked in the entertainment, now to party the night away at your reception venue. Find the perfect place via our local directory.