How to entertain guests during a long dinner

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
42082 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@partypep:  If your guests are adults they likely don’t need to be entertained during dinner. They will socialize at the tables.

You could provide Mad Libs, a crossword puzzle, or provide a small journal for guests to write notes to the couple.

Post # 5
804 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@partypep:  I like the idea of having speeches done during dinner – gives the guests something to pay attention to, and prevents you from having to stop the party to sit down and listen later.  Another idea is to include a description of the course with everything that comes out – give your guests and idea of why the food you chose was so important.  You could also have something like a live jazz band as entertainment if you have the budget. 

Post # 6
641 posts
Busy bee

I would agree with you, @julies1949: if this wedding was before the dawn of the smartphone. Sadly it is not, and while there are still people who will be with the group, a large portion of the populatin finds it easier to let their smartohones provide their amusement.

I think anything that keeps people able to focus on the actual tactile experiences around them and not check out onto their devices is a good idea, and outright essential.

Small wooden table games, linked puzzles, lengths of cord and instructions on knot tying, paper and origami, little cards with requests for things like their favorite recipe, information passed out about each course so that the non foodies can read up and feel engaged, whatever. Whatever helps people stay in the present. Once you lose someone to their cell phone, honestly, you’re unlikely to get them back.

Post # 7
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014


We are also having a long dinner service; we ended up booking a hip-hop/rock electric violinist performer. She is in Los Angeles.

She plays every kind of music (she also toured with country artists) but is very much the performer. She plans to walk through the tables, take a few requests. It’s a bit of a show while eating and between socializing with other guests. Her sound man is also a saxophone player so they jam out together.

Check out her YouTube channel and website. She comes highly recommended.


Post # 8
42082 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Bracelet00:  I guess I socialize with a different group of people. None of them would think of taking out their cell phone during dinner- especially a wedding . Even those of us who are on call, know how to use the features of our phones, so notifications are not intrusive.

Post # 9
133 posts
Blushing bee

I’d just have music of some sort. Adults don’t need to be entertained during the course of the dinner. I’d rather be able to visit with the people I’m eating with.

Post # 10
2878 posts
Sugar bee

@partypep:  Can you play short games in-between services ? Like the shoe game (each table submits a question). Or the contrary, how well do they know the couple. 

We plan on doing stuff like that, no because we’re afraid they’ll be bored, but because we really want to have fun and laugh and involve our guests, even though it’s ”our” day. Some uncles and aunts don’t know me or my FI very much. It’s a friendly way to get people to socialize and get to know us better as individuals and as a couple. 

Post # 12
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

My friends are having a game where you answer questions about the bride and groom and get a prize at the end XD

Post # 13
76 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We had a 5 course dinner. Which was amazing and everyone loved the food so there was zero complaining that it was too long. 

We had speeches between courses and a few games. We did like a type of scavenger hunt thing which people seemed to like. One person was chosen from each table, and the DJ would tell them they had to find a certain item from the other guests: someone’s driver’s license, a high heel shoe, lipstick, a photo, etc. The guests would have to find the item and come back to the front and sit in a chair. After each round a chair would be taken away, so the last person to arrive would be elliminated. The winner got to dance the macarena with us and a bottle of champagne. 

The games and speeches didn’t take up the whole time, and people were happy to socialize. I wouldn’t sweat it too much. 

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