(Closed) Ideas For A Non Boring Reception?

posted 6 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Can you bring something that will play music? Laptop or iPod deck? Various wedding games that involve the guests. It really depends how, well, casual you want to get, because I’ve really never been to a wedding with entertainment other than music and the usual garter/bouquet toss. Can the money you’re spending on fireworks be used elsewhere to allow for some entertainment? Your money with fireworks will, literally, go up into smokes; that money can go towards music or other picture options (a homemade photo booth concept that is more to your liking maybe?). I’m curious to see everyone else’s responses.

Post # 4
21 posts
  • Wedding: November 1999

Check out Local venues (VFW, ELKS, AMERICAN LEGION) see if they can recomend a DJ/entertainment  we booked our DJ for the whole night 5-7 hours for 250  we know that no matter what were gonna tip 50 so $300 isn’t to bad, plus he has all the lighting he does it on weekends for fun, and we watched him DJ a benifit dinner to see how he was before hand.  I live in the middle of nowhere too so I get having nothing close.

Post # 5
35 posts
  • Wedding: July 2012

So this might not be what you’re looking for but you could try putting board games on the tables or maybe setting up a Wii station where guests could bowl, play guitar hero, etc. if they get bored.

Post # 6
2125 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I wouldn’t worry to much, but you do need music and perhaps a charasmatic family member to get up and speak when needed. 

Ask your friends if they have any DJ/karaoke equipment you can use.

Post # 7
3175 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@aurigarose:  This is what we did (putting board games on cocktail tables in the cocktail area). Honestly, most people didn’t play them though! They just mingled. We did set up corn hole (you can buy personalized wedding sets if you want something more “fancy”) & bacci outside & those were a big hit. People played all through cocktail hour & after dinner. It also helped get people out of the small bar area (which would’ve been too crowded if everyone congregated there the whole time).

Post # 8
2335 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Alcohol and dancey music

Post # 9
6598 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Alcohol, food and good music and you have a good time!

Post # 10
37 posts
  • Wedding: July 2012

We’re having card & board games for our guests who aren’t that into dancing after lunch, because we have a lot of friends who are into them.  We’ve also checked with our venue, and they can hook up an iPod or laptop with iTunes so that it plays our music playlist through their sound system — no DJ required!  (We didn’t have the budget for one, either, and the DJs in our wedding area don’t have a lot of the music we’d want anyway, including our obscure-but-lovely first dance song.)

If your venue can’t play from iTunes, etc., and your guests aren’t gamers like ours, what about turning guest book stuff into fun activities by having tables of guests work together to try to come up with the best piece of marriage advice, or the funniest (realistic) prediction for you & your groom 5 years down the line?  You could turn it into an inter-table contest with cookies (or something equally inexpensive & easy to divide) as the prize.  Or there are these guestbook pages I found online, which could potentially double as activity sheets & conversation starters:  http://www.guestbookstore.com/guestbooks/wedding_pages_casual.html

If your guests aren’t already the chatty types but you want the focus to be on mingling & conversation, how about a card or page of random questions at each reception table?  You could use icebreaker questions if not all of the guests at each table know each other, or questions like “If you could pick our honeymoon destination, where would you have us go?” if they do know each other… just as conversation starters, if needed.

Alternatively, I’ve got a married friend who swears that putting a book of Mad Libs at every reception table was the best idea she had for her wedding.  A lot of us hadn’t played Mad Libs since we were kids, but we were falling out of our seats laughing!  There’s even one called “Mad Libs in Love”, I think.  They’re very inexpensive, too — between US $2 & $4 each.

Ooh!  If you want dancing but not at DJ pricing, would you be comfortable thinking outside the playlist box?  I’ve heard of couples hiring someone to teach the guests Contra dancing, Irish dancing, Square dancing, Victorian Ballroom dancing — often for *much* less than a DJ would cost.  (In our wedding area, for example, it would be $150-200/hour for most DJs’ packages, but only $40-60/hour for a historical dance instructor, and you’d only really need them to come in *after* the meal.)  If that’s something that interests you, you might check whether there’s a club or an educational/non-profit organization (like a historical society) that could hook you up with someone competent & affordable.

It *is* possible for everyone to have fun without a DJ telling them how to do so at every given moment, I promise!  Just think about what your friends & family enjoy, and use that as a jumping-off point.  🙂

Post # 11
828 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Booze and at least some sort of music.

Post # 12
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Plug your iPod into speakers so you have music!  Could you afford to buy some poloroid cameras and film to put at tables?  Or some disposable cameras.  


I think the best part of weddings, though, is drinking/talking with friends and family…  

Post # 13
102 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Just wanted to echo the boardgames idea.  I plan to set up a table with a few boardgames for the guests that aren’t as into dancing as me and my friends are.

I’m also going to be creating personalized crossword puzzles with clues about me and Fiance, and putting them out at the tables.  The tables can work together to solve the puzzles, and whichever table finishes first will get a small prize.

Post # 14
228 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My DJ was found on craigslist, he’s doing the reception for 300, I can give you his number if it’s in your budget. Other than that, before we found him we were just going to hook up our iPod to some speakers for music.

Post # 15
4663 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

definitely booze.

how about a powerpoint slideshow with some music to it of you as kids, you guys meeting, etc. just a short little touching slideshow. dont’ go overboard.

Post # 16
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

you dont need a DJ but you do need music.  Put a huge playlist together on your MP3 player and plug it into some speakers!!  You can even ask somebody to announce your first dance for you and start the music and let it play all night long!!!

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