There are a thousand things to worry about when you start to plan your wedding, but one major concern for brides and grooms is making sure their guests have fun. Whether you are planning a small wedding with a few close friends and family members, or a huge celebration with hundreds of guests, you want everyone to feel involved and have a great time.
With a bit of forward planning and a few simple tricks, you can guarantee that your wedding will be a day to remember for everyone involved.
1. Speak to everyone
This is the simplest and most effective way to make all your guests feel valued and included. On your wedding day, the bride and groom are the star attractions, and your guests will be lining up (sometimes literally) to offer their congratulations and compliments. However, you can’t rely on your guests approaching you. Make sure no one feels left out by taking a few minutes to speak to each of your guests during the reception.
2. Decorate with photos
No wedding reception is complete without the requisite photo wall or family album. But among the embarrassing baby pictures of the bride and groom, include some special images of your guests, of family reunions, or nights out with friends. If possible, have at least one photo of each wedding guest alongside the bride or groom (or both), so everyone can have fun trying to spot themselves.
3. Keep the kids happy
Create a designated kids’ area, complete with a dressing-up box featuring little wedding dresses and tuxedos, and set up an art table where they can draw pictures of the bride and groom. If your venue offers a nanny service, book ahead so that the parents can keep on partying after the children go to sleep.
4. Turn place cards into conversation starters
Seating charts can be a minefield, especially when a lot of your guests don’t know each other. Help them break the ice by including a ‘fun fact’ or question on their place cards. For instance: ‘Someone at this table has visited five continents. can you guess who?’ Alternatively, place a stack of questions in the centre of the table and get each guest to answer them, such as: where did you first meet the bride/groom? What is your favourite memory of the bride/groom? Tell us a secret about the bride/groom. This will soon get conversation (and laughs) flowing.
5. Make everyone a DJ
After the band has packed up its stuff, it’s time for the DJ (or iPod) to take over. You want to choose music that will appeal to all tastes and get everyone dancing into the wee hours, so why not ask your guests to create the playlist? When you’re sending out your invites, include a link to a music-sharing site and ask every guest to submit five songs. You will end up with an eclectic and extensive playlist that has something for everyone.