Wedding Receptions: 10 ways to get your guest involved

The best wedding receptions occur when you can feel the love in the room. It’s magical! You step inside the ballroom and all the guests are engaged. Even if they aren’t on the dance floor, they are swaying in their seats. Every bride and groom wants a wedding reception just like that. Making sure your guests get involved with your wedding isn’t difficult; it just takes a bit of planning. Follow a few of these suggestions and you will most certainly have a magical evening!

Photo by Storybook Wedding Photography

1. Start on Time. Don’t keep your guests waiting. Sitting around at the ceremony or staning at the cocktail hour (especially in the heat or cold) for an extended amount of time will frustrate your guests. Frustrated guests typically want to eat, drink and leave.

2. Interact with your guests. Greet as many as you can and thank them for coming. This thoughtful guesture will make each of your guests feel wedcome and loved.

3. Add personal touches. Old photographs, personalized place cards and memorable songs will engage your guests and draw them into the evening’s activities.

4. Provide conversations starters. If many of your guests don’t know each other, consider having place cards with trivia questions about you and your groom. Questions like “How did Susie and Bob meet?” or “Where did Bob propose?” will get people talking.

5. Be active in your reception. Guest take their cues from the newlyweds. If you are up dancing, your guests will be, too.

6. Play music that appeals to a variety of attendees. Start out with music that everyone recognizes and build up to the songs you and your friends like as the evening progresses.

7. Keep all entertainment inside the reception room. Anything that draws your guests away from the reception room will detract from the reception. Photo booths, photo presentations, caricature artists, etc. should all be stationed inside the reception room.

8. Make sure the music isn’t too loud. If the music drowns out conversation at the guests’ tables, they are more likely to walk out of the reception room to take a break from the sound. As the reception room empties, the party will slow down.

9. Keep the party moving. According to traditional etiquette, it is proper to leave only after the cake is cut. Holding guests “hostage” if they want to leave isn’t a good way to get them involved. Cutting the cake after dinner allows the guests who want to eat dessert and leave to feel comfortable doing so. Leave the partying to those who want to party.

10. Allow group dances. Most people who don’t feel comfortable dancing solo will join a big group on the dance floor. Some couples shy away from them because they think that group dances are “cheesy”. They are so many from which to choose that you and your band or DJ can find one that will work well with your group.

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6 thoughts on “Wedding Receptions: 10 ways to get your guest involved

  1. Andrea – Your work is so beautiful!! I will be in caontct for some pictures I would love you to take! Also what is the first song on Sue+Ryan’s wedding slideshow? I absolutely love it!Thanks so much!

    • It is a good idea to help them out in some way. If they do not know the city, they may end up lost and not show up at either the wdindeg or reception on time. GPS systems are not always reliable. I’ve seen too many frantic calls to the bride or groom five minutes before the ceremony is to start where they are guiding them to the site because they are lost. So although you may not have to provide a bus you can see if they can hitch a ride with someone local. It will reduce the stress level for everyone. -4Was this answer helpful?

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