Keep your wedding fun and exciting by creating ways for your guests to interact with you and your venue. Interactive weddings leave lasting impressions on your guests and keep people talking about your event for years to come. Adding interactive features doesn’t need to be costly. Most of the following can be incorporated into the everyday tasks of a DIY bride. Lets get started!
1. Start With A Fun Guest Book
What is the first thing you do when you arrive at a wedding? Upon arrival, guests typically find a place to house the gift they brought, while scouting nearby tables for a guestbook. Once the guestbook is found, your guests will wait in line for their chance to scribble a signature and migrate away from the table, into a pleasant conversation to begin the fun. Why not shake this up a bit? Why not offer your guest a way to interact immediately upon arrival (after they carefully put your gift on the designated table, of course). Interactive guest books are innovative and leave a lasting impression on guests.
Set up a Polaroid or photo booth guest book to help visually capture who was at your wedding. Offer guests the chance to write down their birthdays and anniversaries on a decorative poster. Not only because it will look beautiful collectively upon completion, but also to help remember to wish those people well when their date rolls around. Have guests sign puzzle pieces, and piece the puzzle together soon after your wedding. For those that are skilled at sewing (or have a sweet aunt that wouldn’t mind helping), have guests sign quilt squares and piece them together to make a wedding quilt. For a beautiful guest book you can display in your home, have stamp pads ready and let guests stamp their finger, creating a picture when complete, and bypassing the tedious guest book in the process.
2. Don’t Forget The Table Activities
Give your guests an activity to fill the time between the end of the ceremony, and the moment they get to speak with the newlyweds for the first time. Provide activities at tables to spark conversation. A simple suggestion is to place jars and wide popsicle sticks near a chalk board that prompts guests to share their date ideas. Incorporate some fun into your coasters by printing talking suggestions on them, such as “Talk about where you first met the bride.” Another great coaster idea is to ask for advice and collect the composed messages when the event is over. Set boxes and buckets out to collect “Words of Wisdom” or to ask for suggestions to add to you and your newly beloved’s bucket list.
3. Say It In The Decorations
Decorations are dual purpose in the sense that they help guide guests through your wedding, but also offer an enchanted interaction depending on how they are used. Use signs to explain a seating chart, or direct parking. For an “unplugged” ceremony, use signage to request guests disable their phones and cameras completely upon arrival.
4. Provide A Photo Booth
It’s no secret that Photo Booths are extremely fun and create some of the best photos at a wedding. Guest photos can be silly, romantic, endearing, and even serious. Hop into the photo booth with your guests for once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities. Make sure that you and your new partner get the chance to take a few romantic snapshots alone as well. Create your own photo booth using a creative ribbon curtain and some props, or hire a vendor. Photo booth vendors can be easily found online or at local bridal fairs.
5. Make Room For Yard Games
Dancing isn’t for everyone, and those guests need to be included in the fun too! Yard games are easy DIY additions to your wedding, and usually result in happy guests.
6. Let Guests Make Your Time Capsule
Your own wedding memories will last you a lifetime, why not let guests contribute to that eternal happiness as well. Try and make a time capsule by collecting responses from guests that you two can read later down the road. Place tables around your venue that insist guests leave messages in a jar or vase. Those messages can be anything from advice to well wishes. Keep these in a keep safe box, and challenge yourself by opening them at different intervals – such as your first, fifth, tenth, and even twentieth wedding anniversary!
7. Encourage #SocialMedia
Share your wedding with the world via your guest’s mobile devices. Plenty of people will already be Instagram-ing their experience, give them a hashtag so that you can see those photos collectively later. Try using a wedding hashtag generator, or simply think of a catchy phrase that sounds great when combined with your last name. If you are hosting your event at a historical or well-known venue, try incorporating that into your hashtag. Such as, “#LoveTheLawsons”, or “#LinenTableclothLove”. Keep your hashtag unique to easily sift through your wedding photos later, and when your guests snaps a picture with you, don’t forget to remind them of your clever social media tactic.
8. Don’t Ditch The Disposable Camera
Disposable cameras may seem like a thing of the past – but this is actually an affordable photography technique of the future. Request guests shoot their own photos with cameras you provided. They will have fun with the photographic creativity, while being able to gain a different perspective of events like the first dance and cake cutting. Plan on some cameras being taken home, whether that be by accident, or to hide an embarrassing shot – it happens! Many websites now sell disposable camera covers to help make the camera blend with the theme of your wedding. Make this idea even more interactive by creating an “I Spy” sheet that encourages guests to take pictures of special moments.
9. Have A Honeymoon Fund
Save for your honeymoon during your event by including fun ways for the guests to contribute. This also offers a backup plan for those guests that may have forgotten to show up with gift in tow. Make this effort into a fun game, by insisting guests vote on who gets cake smashed in their face.
10. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Dance
Some of the best (and worse) dancing happens at weddings. Most guests will at least attempt one dance at some point during your event. Here are some of our favorite interactive dances:
The Cha-Cha Slide: A fun dance that prompts guests to move “to the left”, and “to the right”. There is likely to be one person at your wedding that knows the dance and, as soon as the song comes on, will not hesitate to lead the crowd in a fun, fast paced instructional manner.
The Dollar Dance: Pick a song (preferably a longer one) and have the DJ announce that the dollar dance is beginning. When the song begins, the bride and groom start dancing together. Guests can then pay $1 (or more) to cut in and dance with either the bride or groom. The guest gives the money to the person they intend to dance with until someone else comes to tap them on the shoulder and cut in. Men – put the money in your pocket. Brides – try fitting the money in the bust of your gown. Another fun idea is to offer clothes pins that guests can use to pin money on their respective dance partner.
Anniversary Dance: Request that all married couples to go to the dance floor. The crowd starts dancing (a slow song works great for this). After about 20 seconds, the DJ then asks anyone that has been married less than 24 hours to leave the dance floor. The bride and groom exit. The DJ should wait another 10-20 seconds and then ask anyone that has been married for less than 1 year to exit. The increments then jump to 5 year increments (5 years, 10 years, 15 years, etc…) until there are only a few couples left. Once there is a clear competition between 3-4 couples, have the DJ count in one year increments so that the competition gets close. The last couple on the floor (the couple that has been married the longest) gets a prize.
11. Keep Kids Entertained
Weddings can be fun for both child and adult alike, although, not all children can participate in all of the adult events. Provide safe a distraction for the little ones so that the adults can celebrate fully with you. Coloring books and kids tables are wildly popular for this purpose. Also try chalk if you have a venue with hard washable cement surfaces.
12. Celebrate Your Send Off
It would be impossible to say goodbye to each guest individually. Why not say goodbye to each guest all at once? Interactive send offs are fun for the whole crowd, and usually require little coordination. Simply choose a send of time, and appoint 3-4 people (maybe the bridal party) to spread the word when the time comes. Some great ideas include confetti, sparklers, ribbon wands, and sky lanterns!
Was your wedding interactive? Have you been to a wedding where these activities were provided? Comment to share your experiences!
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