Weddings – they’re one of my favourite things. Everybody’s looking their best, the drinks are flowing, and then you get to dance all night long to cheesy tunes (or if you’re lucky, an awesome band). However, the flip side is that they can be expensive – not just for the bride and groom, but for guests too. Once you’ve factored in an outfit, travel, hotel and drinks, not to mention the hen or stag do, they can cost £100s. In fact, a survey carried out last year found that guests spent an average of £377 on the celebrations.
So, in my mind, you really do owe it to your guests to make your wedding as fun as possible. And if you thought this was a given, believe me it’s not. I’ve been to three weddings that weren’t that fun. One was too formal (we were ordered around like staff), one was just plain boring (the venue was way too big, so felt empty without enough guests) and one just didn’t have any personality to it (the bride wasn’t even drinking the champagne).
Whilst hiring every entertainer under the sun would surely keep even the most grumpy guests happy, you don’t always need to spend a fortune to get the party going.
Giving guests things to actually do (other than standing there with a glass of prosecco waiting for the canapé tray to come past) is the best way to break the ice and get the wedding into second gear. I love food and drink stations (think cocktail cart, ice cream van, candy buffet…) but my favourite new idea is definitely the temporary tattoo station. The ones below are from Doris Loves (from £250 + VAT), and she will style them to fit your theme. Or, you could set up your own of course.
On the table
Chances are, you’ll be sitting people with other people they’ve never met before. Cue awkwardness and lots of ‘sorry, what’s your name?’. Unite them instantly by laying out conversation starters. Of course, there’s the classic table trivia, but I prefer silly stuff like moustaches on sticks, lollipops, sparklers and party blowers (definitely NOT just for kids).
Peach Blossom have some great products, including these personalised sparkler sleeves (£60 for 50) and photo props (from £6).
Keep the kids happy
If you’re allowing the little ones to share in your happy day, do the parents a favour and lay on some entertainment for them. I’m not talking clowns or magicians, but a special area with colouring books and activities will go a long way in making them feel welcome and keeping them out of trouble! The one below is £4.99 for a pack of five at Ginger Ray.
If you can stretch to a bouncy castle or a tipi tent filled with balloons, even better – it will literally keep them happy for hours! The plain tent below costs £101 from MoozleTeepee on Etsy which I reckon is a bit of a bargain, especially if you can put it to good use after the day. When it comes to the evening do, order a few inflatable instruments (from £1.99, Novelty Toy Shop) for them to muck around with – trust me, the adults will love them too.
If you’re having fun, everyone else will too. Forget worrying about elderly relatives (that’s someone else’s job) or whether the evening buffet is being eaten (do you really care?), and just immerse yourself in the atmosphere. You’ve planned it, now live it!