After the stress of planning a wedding, you deserve to have some fun. Think of some ways to sprinkle some fun into your ceremony and/or reception, so your guests can partake in the fun too.
BONUS: You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it.
1. Make Grandmas Flower Girls
Instead of having your grandmas walk down the aisle with escorts, hand them a basket of flower petals + put them to work. Make your grandmas feel young again by making them your flower girls. It is a fun way to have your grandmothers participate in the ceremony without having to simply sit in their place at the front of the aisle.
2. DIY Bartender
Set up a beer bar. Have various beers on tap. Guests can serve themselves their beers in nice, big frosty mugs. Feature your favorite beers or beer options from local brewers.
3. Put Your Face on the Bathroom Doors
Choose your favorite childhood photo. Have your spouse do the same. Use a copy of the photo as a sign for the bathrooms. Place the bride’s childhood photo on the women’s bathroom door + the groom’s childhood photo on the men’s bathroom door. Guests will get a kick out of your young faces as they head into the bathrooms.
4. Replace Water with Alcohol
You know those water coolers they have at offices? You know, the ones with the huge water bottles that you need Hercules to lift + turn over when it’s time to put a new bottle into the cooler slot. Get rid of the water + add alcohol instead. Supply guests with cups to fill with alcohol instead of water.
5. Display a Sundae Bar
Instead of wedding cake, or in addition to wedding cake, supply the makings for an ice cream sundae bar. Set out various types of ice cream + all the toppings. Guests can create their own sundaes + can enjoy it far more than something served up to them that they don’t like.
6. Blow Bubbles
Give each guest a mini bubble wand. As the you leave the ceremony or reception location, the guests shower can shower you with bubbles. Bubbles are fun for all age wedding guests + it can make for some really neat pictures. You can also have guests blow the bubbles during your first dance but be careful because some dance floors can get slippery!
7. Hand Out Biodegradable Light Lanterns
Have a biodegradable light lantern for each guest, couple or family attending the wedding. As part of the celebration have each of them write a short wish for you + tie it to the paper lantern. Have all of the wedding guests release the paper lanterns all at once.
8. Write a Memory
Have each guest write a fond memory of the wedding couple or wedding advice on a nice index card. Seal the cards in a big envelope or decorative box so you can open it on your first wedding anniversary.
9. Be Charitable
Many couples marry now at an age where they’ve already been living independently. They have most of what they need. In lieu of wedding gifts, guests could make a donation to the couple’s favorite charity. Each guest then receives a thank you certificate from the charity at the wedding (amounts of the donation don’t have to be stated on the certificate).
10. Create Photo Memories
Have each wedding guest, couple or family bring a photo of the bride or groom. The photos can be recent, or from when they were children. If possible, the guest should label the photo with the event of the photo + the date it was taken. Display the photos at the reception + then assembled in an album or framed collage for you to display in your home later.
11. Spread the Love
A wedding is a new beginning. Buy native-to-the-area wild flower seeds in bulk + repackage in small re-sealable plastic bags (a teaspoon of seeds to each bag). Label the package with instructions that the guests should spread the seeds in the dirt along the road they take to return home as a symbol of spreading the love witnessed that day.
12. Entertain the Tiny Humans
Children at a wedding ceremony can be precious, precocious + sometimes a problem. Little ones bore easily + don’t really understand the meaning of a wedding ceremony. All the kids are excited + dressed up + end up sitting, jumping, running or yelling. Plan activities to keep the kids occupied so they stay out of trouble, quiet + have fun at your wedding. It can be as simple as providing crayons + a coloring book to occupy them during the ceremony.
Keeping kids occupied during the reception can be a problem. If the site where the wedding reception has a separate room close by, turn it into a play room for the kids. Hire a babysitter (or babysitters), fill the room with toys + activities + let the kids go to town. You can set up a corner of the reception room for kids with a similar concept in mind, even if there isn’t a separate room you can devote to the kids.
Use the infant room or “crying room” of the church during the wedding ceremony. Parents can stay with their children or leave them under the care of an adult. This works especially well when there are infants + toddlers who may get upset + cry (or scream) during the ceremony.
During the reception, if it’s in a different place than the ceremony, make an area for a children’s activity center. Stock it with easy to carry toys such as crayons, puzzles, books + other activities. Children can color pictures of the wedding couple, play pin the bouquet on the bride or boutonniere on the groom, or make wedding bouquets out of paper flowers. One sweet way for children to commemorate a wedding is to give each of them a bag of rose petals + have them throw the petals in front of the wedding couple after the ceremony.
Include the kids as part of the ceremony or reception by setting up a receiving line of the children. You can go down the line of kids. Not only does it make the children feel special but you’ll also get lots of adorable pictures.
Assign tween girls, those between the ages of 10 and 13 to look after the children under adult supervision. Most girls those age like to “mother.” This also occupies the tweens something to do as well.
Guests take cues from the bride and groom at the wedding ceremony and reception. If you lead the way to fun, your wedding guests are sure to follow.
13. Take Song Requests
Add a line to your response cards that asks guests to request one dance song. Compile the list + hand it over to your DJ prior to the wedding day. Having the DJ play your guests’ requests is a surefire way to get them up out of their seats + moving on the dance floor.
14. Make a Sparkly Exit
Instead of birdseed or flower petals, hand out sparklers + lighters at the end of the night. Have each guests light their sparklers + wave them in the air as you + your new spouse walk by them. It’s a great way to make a statement as you exit the wedding ceremony or leave your reception for the night. It’s also a great photo opp for your photographer.
15. Offer a Candy Bar
Create a candy buffet. Fill dishes with an array of your favorite candies. Place big silver scoops in or near each dish. Provide cellophane bags + ribbon (or some kind of ties). Guests can pick the candies they like, fill their bags + take their sweet treats home to enjoy later.
16. Play Quarters at Your After-Party
When the night is done, head back to college for a quick game of quarters (or flip cup, or beer pong, or any other drinking game you enjoy). Guests that stick around after the reception is over are typically in for a little after-party. Turn the time into a competitive game + everyone is sure to have some extra fun.
17. Host a Contest
Have a pie eating, sundae eating or hot dog eating contest. Enlist all of your wedding guests to participate or select a few volunteers from the crowd. It is fun for the participants to compete, the crowd to cheer them on + for you + your spouse to watch.
18. Self Serve Punch Bowls
Rent or buy punch bowls, complete with a ladle. Place one at the center of each guest table. Of course, fill it with punch! Guests can help themselves to glasses of punch (liquored up or not). It can make for happier guests when they don’t have to stand in line at the bar to grab their next drink.
19. Throw Multiple Bouquets
Replace one toss bouquet with four or five toss bouquets. Hold the bouquets so it appears as one large bouquet. The singles will get a surprise when several bouquets of flowers spring in their direction. They are sure to scream with glee as they trample each other to try to catch one.
20. Confetti Cannon
Nothing screams let’s party down like flying confetti. Confetti is something that can make guests of all ages laugh + really get into the groove. You can rent confetti cannons from a local party store to shoot confetti onto the dance floor. As the confetti showers guests in your wedding colors, you’re sure to see some laughs, smiles, giggles + dance moves.
21. Make a Grand Exit
Create a grand exit, for your guests, that is. Fill the exit hallway or doorway with helium filled balloons with colorful ribbons or strings hanging from balloon. Stage the photographer at the exit so he or she can capture guests as they leave the party. As the balloon strings tickle their faces, have them pose for their last hoo-rah of the night.
Weddings do not have to be stiff + formal events. No matter what the tone of your wedding style is, add some fun to your day with one of these zany ideas.
I’m Kristie McCauley, a former certified wedding planner + lover of wedding planning. I share tips, advice + how-tos with brides + grooms that are planning their own weddings. Check out The Wedding Workshop, a self-paced course that walks couples step-by-step through the process of planning their own wedding.