We’ve got an awesome list of entertainment ideas for your wedding reception!
You want your guests to talk about your wedding for a long time afterwards? There’s one thing you should make sure you plan well – your wedding entertainment.
We want to make your life super easy so here’s a list with best of the best and most popular wedding reception entertainment ideas.
32 Reception Entertainment Ideas
Let’s start things right. If your event is child-friendly, then having some sorts of entertainment for them in a separate room / corner is a must. This means that parents get to enjoy your wedding so much more ! Also, the risk for trouble is much lower, so it’s all for a good cause.
If you want to skip hiring another person, you could organise some face painting, animal balloons, games, colouring books, bubbles, dress up party corner to give kids plenty of activities to keep them busy!
Budget for this, you’ll thank me later.
Did you know photo booths are one of the most sought after means of entertainment at a wedding? Well, that’s what we believe, at least!
This is shameless plug, but we’ve actually launched a photo booth business, Mad Hat Photo booth. It’s such an exciting and fun part of the business and we love sharing this with everyone! Having a photo booth for your wedding day is no doubt a great investment, truly worth every penny (and so affordable, as well!)
You can also organise a photo booth yourself but you’ll soon realise you’re not saving that much money and you’re also not left with any good quality photos in the end.
There’s so many ideas for outdoor games during the wedding day! From ping pong to cricket to Giant Garden Jenga, any game that brings people together and has them interact is brilliant!
If you want to go crazy on the outdoor games sector, check out this three days Scotland wedding we shot ! A day’s long worth of entertainment ideas for your wedding day!
If you’re looking for wedding cocktail hour games , we actually made a list of 15 tips for your wedding entertainment ideas you can easily plan both indoors or outdoors.
Marshmallows by the fire
No matter how big or small the event, something sweet by the fire will always be a welcomed treat, for all ages! Especially if you’re planning for a Summer/ Autumn wedding, having a fire outside when the weather is nice is never a bad idea!
Here’s the entire wedding we shot in the mids of a forest, so you might want to see this.
Props for your guests
There’s one common thing that unites all of your guests – they all want to have fun!
So whether you’re getting lots of masks for your wedding party to get some goofy photos or some props they can dress with on the dance floor, it will always make for great fun and awesome pictures!
Loved this idea! If you’re from an artistic background ( don’t have to be, though) and maybe have some friends who are talented “actors”, ask them to do a role play for your guests! It can be a day in the life of the couple or how they met or any story that’s truly fun and can be slightly exaggerated! It will make everyone laugh with tears, I promise you! It’s such a great ice breaker during the canapés time, for example.
Hire a magician
Seriously, you NEED to hire a magician! I’ve rarely seen so many faces drop and people being so entertained and laughing whilst having their necklace stolen in front of them. It’s such a brilliant idea for your wedding reception entertainment and we know just the guy you will want to hire! He is incredible!
We actually have an awesome magician to recommend for your wedding or event! Check out Matthew Le Mottee, he’s an incredible magician we saw with our own eyes and still have no idea what had happened!
Another one of my personal favourite ideas – slideshow sing-along.
This one works really well for the groom actually- last chance to embarrass him with pictures from College, in front of his new wife and family. Simply ask the groom’s friends or family who know him best to put together a slideshow with some really funny or embarrassing moments from his childhood and make a poem or sing a song to describe the images.
It can go on for ages and gets the best reactions from everyone!
Famous Person Impersonator
Yes, this is actually a thing. And yes, Michael Jackson is not dead!
This was actually the first time we’ve seen an impersonator but it got everyone so excited and started cheering whilst he was doing the famous dance moves! Nobody knew this was coming, so definitely a night to remember!
If you want to check out the France wedding who revived Michael Jackson, here’s the entire story, it might give you an idea or two!
If I was to rate the most exciting and memorable wedding entertainment I’ve ever seen at a wedding, it would hands down be this one – an acrobatic musician.
This girl played her songs so perfectly and beautifully, like I’ve never heard before – all whilst spinning around and turning upside down with a huge circus circle! Everyone was speechless and for the best reasons! If you ever hire them, please have us shoot your wedding. We’ll even give you a discount, just so we can listen to them again, for real.
A couple who tried this and proved to be a fantastic idea is Jess + Moses, whose New Forest wedding we shot a while back and I still remember as if it was yesterday!
Love how creative people are when it comes to their wedding reception entertainment and having glow sticks is so much fun! Makes for great photos during the evening reception and also for great entertainers for your guests!
Whilst having a pizza van for your wedding isn’t necessarily a game or an entertainer for your guests, it’s certainly a way to make everyone happy and also seems to bring people together!
I vote that every wedding should have a pizza van at one point in the evening.
Ice Cream Truck
Are you planning for a Summer wedding? Do you love ice cream? No happy human would say NO to this. Then, you need an ice cream truck.
Here’s how Norwegians did this and made for a wonderful addition to their wedding!
Another fantastic idea if you have children attending your wedding – have a bouncy castle to keep them happily entertained outside. You’ll soon find everyone loves it and grown ups will most likely be trying it, too. Another one for your wedding entertainment ideas list!
Have you ever seen a flash mob on YouTube and really wished you were there, too?! There’s something so exciting about watching people dancing out of nowhere, with the same moves!
Imagine surprising the bride and groom with a flash mob on their wedding day! Or you could even get them involved, too, and simply surprise everyone else present at the wedding! I bet there will be some awesome reactions! So so lucky to have seen this happen during this Scotland wedding! The bride’s reaction was priceless, as this was one of her dreams!
Hiring a caricaturist for a few hours during the wedding reception is such a brilliant idea! It also creates an instant keepsake for your guests and something so special to remember your wedding day by. Highly recommend this one! Can’t wait to actually see it at a wedding!
If you’re the non-traditional type, then having a Piñata for your wedding is the best idea ever! It can be hung from a tree outside or somewhere inside the venue and it can even replace your wedding cake! Fill it with candies and let the fun begin!
Heads or tails/ Answer fun questions
Another game we absolutely loved seeing during a wedding reception in the Cotswolds, was a heads or tails game.
Have someone organise it and get people at the tables to actually flip the coin. Last one standing gets to win a prize, of course! A bottle of champagne or a chocolate box are a simple and cheap idea to get everyone entertained and interact with each other as many probably meet for the first time! Wish I had thought of this for my wedding!
Selfie stick on dinner tables
Do you have lots of younger people invited at your wedding?
Then have a selfie stick on the tables and make sure you create your wedding hashtag so they can tag you if they post the photo on social media! That way, you get to see lots of fun and silly poses during the wedding reception.
Make Your Own Wedding Cake
Another unique but incredibly fun experience was seeing the chef bringing out all the components for the wedding cake – for the guests to put together!
Gloves were involved, of course, but instantly , some guests turned into children whilst playing with fruits and cream to build up a delicious looking cake- whilst everyone else was taking photos on their phones and sharing them! What a great way to have people talking about your wedding – or your wedding venue! Another one of my favourite wedding reception entertainment ideas!
It’s so hard to name my top favourite wedding reception ideas, but making your own wedding cake is definitely one of the top 5, at least! Here’s the amazing barn wedding if you care to see.
Mr & Mrs Quiz
Whilst I see this game less and less at English weddings, many countries do still love it and so many couples love playing it! A great way to get the audience laughing and maybe find out a thing or two about each other.
These people know how to have fun, for sure! Check out their Norway wedding to see more good stuff!
Have you tried speaking to the dentist whilst he was working in your mouth? Quite silly, right?
What about shouting at your future mother-in-law words that there’s no way in the world she would understand with headphones on and very loud music!
Well, nothing is too silly when it comes to wedding entertainment ideas!
All you need is to get a box of Cheek Retractors and make a list of words or short sentences for people to pronounce. Definitely getting the bride or groom involved is a great way to make everyone laugh!
Also, Norwegians definitely know how to party and have fun so lots of ideas from weddings we shot along the years there.
Do you have lots of musician friends? Or maybe you’re one yourself? Why don’t you turn a corner of the venue into a stage so that you can have your friends or yourself perform for the rest of the guests?
We’ve seen this happen at more than one wedding and let me tell you- the atmosphere was fantastic! It’s like having the best gig specially sung for you on your wedding day – YES, please!
Want to see a wedding that truly went all in and planned an entire evening of gigs for their guests? This Cotswolds wedding in Stroud is one of a kind!
The bride/ groom to DJ
If you or your husband are passionate about DJ-ing, your wedding can be a perfect occasion to do this! Even if it’s just for a little fun, you can make some awesome beats and have the best time ever, too!
One thing we say to people over and over again – music at your wedding makes or brakes the atmosphere.
If there’s one thing you should truly invest for your wedding entertainment, that’s a good band! A well thought play list and a brilliant sound system is all you need to get everyone dancing all night long! Nothing can make a wedding more boring than a strange selection of music or none at all. Please, please, think twice before you hire someone to play at your wedding! There’s some incredible musicians out there, so have a good look around!
This Plas Dinam Countryside wedding definitely knew how to keep everyone on the dance floor!
With Scotland so near and so many people rooted or having close connections there, having a Ceilidh band is a fantastic form of entertainment for your guests at the wedding! Everyone gets to dance together and it is so much fun, hard to beat this! A favourite amongst so many couples!
This is something I’ve seen recently at weddings during the reception. It’s ideal during the first dance, when the couple are in the middle of the stage swinging around and feeling slightly embarrassed.
A brilliant way to make this much more fun and to get the party started would be to have some friends launching some confetti canon on stage. Immediately, people would jump in with you and these moments turn out to be some of the most beautiful and fun wedding photos during the reception! Definitely worth doing as it’s so affordable, too!
We are yet to experience a silent disco wedding reception, but we’ve seen loads of couples having one for their wedding day and it looked like so much fun! Really hope we get to experience one, soon!!
Who wouldn’t find a dance-off competition fun to watch??
If you’re hiring a live band for your wedding in the evening, ask them to organise a dance-off competition between guys/ girls or between groomsmen/ bridesmaids and so on. We’ve seen this at a wedding and let me tell you, everyone rocked some crazy moves on the dance floor!
We were even asked to judge who the winner was! It was hilarious and got everyone started! Best off – this idea doesn’t cost you a penny!
You may have heard about beer pong before, but have you ever seen it at a wedding? I’ll tell you, it is SO much fun! It brings complete strangers together and everyone has a good laugh! If your wedding venue happens to have a ping-pong table at hand, don’t miss this chance! One of my favourite entertainment ideas !
Organising a bonfire in the evening doesn’t work for any type of wedding or location but if it does, it’s such a wonderful idea! Having people around the fire is just the right way to end a very exciting day! There’s something truly magical about fire so I don’t need to convince you it’s a good idea.
Who doesn’t love some fireworks? Again, depending on the location of your wedding and even of the season, having fireworks is a fun way to get everyone together staring at the sky. It gets lots of fun reactions and some pretty photos, too. It is a bit pricey, of course, but if this is high on your list, then do it! It’s only once you get to do whatever you want.
If you’re planning to have a wedding cocktail before the actual reception, we can help you with that, as well. Here’s a collection of our favourite wedding cocktail hour games for you to keep everyone busy and cheerful.
Do you have any other wedding entertainment ideas we’ve missed or that we should know about?
All images by Cotswolds wedding photographers: Green Antlers Photography
Hey, we’re Diana & Sam!
We are a photographer husband and wife team based in the beautiful Cotswolds area. We love the outdoors and shoot primarily non – traditional barn weddings and elopements for the adventurous wild at heart couple. We help remove the stress and pressure from your wedding day and do our best to make you feel at ease and extremely relaxed in front of the camera, so you will dearly remember your experience. We are also founders of Mad Hat Photo Booth
, a wedding and events photo booth hire in the Cotswolds, Birmingham, Gloucestershire and beyond!