I have an awesome list of entertainment ideas for your wedding reception!
You want your guests to talk about your wedding for a long time afterward? There’s one thing you should make sure you plan well – your wedding entertainment.
I want to make your life super easy so here’s a list with the best of the best and most popular wedding 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 organize some face painting, animal balloons, games, colouring books, bubbles, dress-up party corners 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?
This is a shameless plug, but if you don’t know, we also have a photo booth business, Mad Hat Photobooth. 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 truly worth every penny (and so affordable, as well!)
You can also organize a photo booth yourself but you’ll soon realize you’re not saving that much money and you’re also not left with any good quality photos in the end.
If your budget doesn’t stretch for a photo booth or you simply prefer to do something else instead, what about this? Get an Instax mini 11 camera with 50 film shot pack (you may need at least a couple of film packs for a wedding).
There are 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’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.
Outdoor wedding cocktail hour games
croquet or mini-golf
Indoors wedding cocktail hour games
picture scavenger hunt
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!
If your event is on private land, you might need some roasting sticks for the marshmallows. They are extendable and perfect if you have children joining and want to keep them safe. You can also reuse them long after your event!
Here’s the entire wedding we shot in the mids of a forest, so you might want to see this.
This entertainment idea is really fun and would work for so many type of events. Garden weddings or private parties, especially in the Summer time.
All you really need are 3 sticks and some folks willing to give it a go or buy one off Amazon if you want to go the extra mile.
Do you know your guests to be lovers of fine drinks? Then you can organise a whiskey (or any drink of your choice) tasting table. I can testify to it being a wonderful idea, after seeing it at several weddings.
Do you plan to have a 2-day event or maybe you hired a venue somewhere on a beach and your guests arrive the day before? Then why not start with some morning yoga to get everyone refreshed and excited for the day to come?
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 some props they can use on the dance floor, it will always make for great fun and awesome pictures!
This might not be as easy as it sounds to plan. Probably impossible for most of the events. But if you’re really lucky and the venue you booked has some rocking horses or there is a funfair nearby, why not jump in for some photos?
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.
Scottish Medieval Games
Did you know you could actually hire businesses to organise with all sorts of Scottish games for your guests? It is so much fun and definitely worth considering, especially if you have Scottish blood.
Axe throwing for a wedding day? Well, why not? As long as children are not involved, please! But it would certainly make if for a memorable party!
This is another really inexpensive idea for your wedding entertainment. It could be a fun activity for the boys in the morning if not for the evening guests.
Image Credit: Unsplash
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 know of an awesome magician to recommend for your wedding or event! Check out Matthew Le Mottee, he’s incredible! We saw things with our own eyes and still have no idea what had happened!
Another one of my personal favorite 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. Make a poem or sing a song to describe the images.
It can go on for ages and gets the best reactions from everyone! It is also totally free!
Famous Person Impersonator
Yes, this is actually a thing. And yes, Michael Jackson is not dead!
This was 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 that 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 ideas I’ve ever seen at a wedding, it would be this one – an acrobatic musician.
This girl played her songs so perfectly and beautifully as 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 it 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.
While this may class as food rather than entertainment, it’s actually quite nice to have a late hog roast in the evening after all that dancing!
Ice Cream Truck
Are you planning 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 this couple did this and made for a wonderful addition to their wedding!
This doesn’t need much explanation, I am sure. But a popcorn stand would be such a fun (and inexpensive) idea to have for your guests especially if you have many children involved.
Image Credit: Unsplash
Hot Chocolate bar
This is probably a strange mention, but for a Winter wedding, this would be hugely popular, I tell you that! Everybody gathers around a hot drink during the cold season, so why not hot chocolate, as well? Absolutely love this for a kids birthday party, as well!
Image Credit: Unsplash
Another wedding entertainment idea that should be more popular than it is- signature cocktails or mocktails. This would be so appreciated especially for a Summer garden party or event.
Image Credit: Unsplash
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!
Sack race wedding entertainment ideas
Especially if you have a marquee/ outdoor wedding, a sack race would be incredibly fun! Probably more fun for those watching!
I mean… what’s not to love about this? You don’t need to have a wedding at a chateau in France so you can have a champagne tower, absolutely! I really feel this should become more popular again, I don’t see them enough at weddings.
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. 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
A game we absolutely loved seeing during a wedding reception in the Cotswolds, was a heads or tails game.
Have someone organize it and get people at the tables to actually flip the coin. The last one standing gets to win a prize, of course! A bottle of champagne or a chocolate box is a simple and cheap idea to get everyone entertained. Wish I had thought of this for my wedding!
Selfie stick on dinner tables
Do you have lots of younger people invited to 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.
Simply prepare a set of questions about the bride and groom and at the end, the table who got the most answers right should receive a prize- like a bottle of wine or champagne.
Make Your Own Wedding Cake wedding entertainment ideas
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! Isn’t this one of the best wedding entertainment ideas ever or am I totally off?
Gloves were involved, of course, but instantly, a few guests turned into children whilst playing with fruits and cream to build up a delicious-looking cake! 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 favorite wedding reception entertainment ideas!
It’s so hard to name my top favorite wedding reception ideas, but making your own wedding cake is definitely one of the top 5, at least!
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.
This might not work for any type of wedding, but I thought it was such a fantastic idea, especially for an asian event? Really loved this!
Image Credit: Unsplash
What about a glitter station for the evening party? Simply hire someone loaded with glitter and everyone is going home shinning! Really fun entertainment idea, especially if you have lots of kids.
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 especially 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 breaks the atmosphere.
If there’s one thing you should truly invest in your wedding entertainment, that’s a good band! A well-thought playlist and a brilliant sound system are 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 are some incredible musicians out there, so have a good look around!
This Plas Dinam Countryside wedding couple definitely knows how to keep everyone on the dance floor!
During the cocktail hour, a beautiful and non-intrusive way to create an atmosphere would be to hire an instrumental band.
With Scotland so near and so many people rooted or having close connections there, having a Ceilidh band is a fantastic form of wedding entertainment for your guests at the wedding! Everyone gets to dance together and it is so much fun, hard to beat this! A favorite amongst so many couples!
Image Credit: Unsplash
This is something I’ve seen recently at weddings during the reception. It’s ideal during the first dance when the couple is 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 on stage.
There are several types you can get, so here are some options.
20 cm Confetti Shooter
Silver 40 cm Party Popper
Gold 40cm Party Popper (like the one in the image below)
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 really 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!
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 organize 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 favorite entertainment ideas!
Organizing 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 one of the best wedding entertainment ideas.
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 favorite wedding cocktail hour games for you to keep everyone busy and cheerful.
We always share so many wedding planning tips to help you organize your day the best possible way so do make sure you check our blog!
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