Post # 1
I’ve been to a few weddings where it’s mostly a mingling sort of thing and people chill at their tables all night.
I want my wedding to be a BLAST. I want to have fun, and I want all my guests to have a great time. So I’m trying to figure out how to keep it all rolling so it doesn’t just die out and fizzle. It’s an open bar, but i definitely don’t want people just hanging out by the bar all night, either. I know music is key, so I’m going to be very picky about what is played. Too much 80’s ruins the vibe
What makes a reception FUN? What keeps guests involved and interested for a few hours so it doesn’t turn into something blah? Share tips, thanks!
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2009 - St. Thomas of Villanova Church & the F.U.E.L. House
I was definitely going to say the music. What’s the layout/floorplan for your reception space? We’re having dinner on the second floor of our space, then asking all guests to move downstairs for dancing and dessert. So, while people aren’t OBLIGATED to move, doing so will keep them with the crowd. We’re hoping the change in location keeps things fresh, and, combined with great music and increased ability to mingle — you won’t be restricted to talking to JUST the people at yourr table all night — will help create a festive, awesome atmosphere!
You could also plan on some "games" — like what Mrs. Sea Breeze and her husband did during dinner — to get everyone involved and having a blast!
Post # 4
Definitely music, aka dancing. You have to have the kind of classics that are fun to dance to, whatever that is in your group. I think lighting makes a difference too. If you can change the mood by changing the lighting as it gets later and you want there to be more of a party vibe, that can definitely help.
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2009 - Ralston Hall Mansion
I think the right music for your group is important. That’s what keeps them dancing!
Also, at one wedding we went to, the bride and groom picked out some guests to participate in a dance contest (while everyone was still seated for dinner). That worked well for them as a way to get the party started, and it was hilarious to watch since they paired the dance contestants into the most unlikely couples they could think of. (But make sure you pick people who don’t mind the spotlight if you do something like this!)
Post # 6
I agree with everyone. Music, lighting, I know for us we are having a beach wedding and having a lot of things for people to do. Live music, yard games on the beach, bondfire with smores. Just things like that. I think ice breakers are great to as long as it works with your crowd I know with our group they would work great. Plus the bar always helps!
Post # 7
Great music which causes much fun dancing!
Post # 8
Here’s what our venue looks like. Basically the dance floor sits up a little bit (where the railing is) and the tables are next to it, but slightly lower.
I’m not sure how we’d change the lighting I guess to make the vibe….what do you mean with this?
Basically we have a lot of older guests, and then we have our friends, the younger guests. And sometimes it’s hard to get the younger guests (by younger i mean in your 20’s) dancing! there’s that line between "let’s go dance" and "let’s drink and chat" and I’d prefer the latter. I’m only having like, 5 of my famliy members coming, the rest is my FI’s family, and they all know each other, sO i’m just not sure what’s going to be the best for our gropu
At least my bridesmaids know it’s their job to dance…and hopefully they’ll get people out there hopefully.
Post # 9
For me, a wedding is better when there are no choreographed or group dances (electric slide, macerena, chicken dance). Many people choose not to participate so they return to their tables and thats when they get settled there. I also think that having special dances like, all couples then slowly eliminating couples is a waste of time if it goes longer than one song. Same goes for the dollar dance — this has nothing to do with the "tacky" debate… sometimes it goes on for 3 or 4 songs and at the point, no one cares and they head to the bar. I say a good mix of oldies, recent classics and today’s hits that will attract all age groups to dance is the best way to go. Also be careful with how many slow dances you have as well as songs that have odd tempos ("is this a fast song or should we be swaying?" type songs).
Maybe you could also incorporate some mix and mingling cards on the table. There are a lot of different options here, trivia about the couple, photos of the couple, etc. I think we are going to have an irish blessing at each, once people realize that each is different, they will start to move from table to table to read each.
Post # 10
Oh yeah, and I forgot to say that the best weddings I’ve been to are the ones where the couple is joining in on the fun! Nothing is more fun than watching the bride and groom tear it up on the dance floor. The most boring weddings I have been to are the ones where the couple makes no effort to have fun. In fact, at one I went to the bride did not even SMILE the ENTIRE day.
Post # 11
We had a photobooth at our reception– we were amazed how many people did it and said it was so fun. Plus, we have amazing photos of our friends, and endearing photos of our older guests who got silly in the photobooth– things we never would have expected!
Post # 12
Wow, I’m surprised there aren’t more responses! We’re having a photobooth, too, and I’ve already told my Fiance that I’ll be busting a move. At some point, the wedding becomes a dance party. GOod times.
I’ve upgraded us to some hard liquor to help with this. =]
Post # 13
I think 80’s music is the best to get people to dance actually. It’s just about the last time when everybody agreed on music! It never fails to get the dance floor packed when some 80’s hairband song comes on that everybody knows the words to. At one of my best friend’s wedding we rocked out to classics like Benny and the Jets, Livin’ on a Prayer and some old early 90’s rap. It was sooo fun!
Post # 14
It totally depends on your guests! You say no 80’s music, and my wedding will be full of it – I know my guests (of various ages) will all love it! *lol*
If you’re worried about guests not getting up, look into an interactive DJ who will play games with them… or start the night off with a conga line ending at the dance floor – guests may be more inclined to stay on the floor if they’re already there with everyone else!
Post # 15
To kind of branch off this question, what else makes a reception fun besides great music/dancing? We’re doing a lunchtime reception and forgoing the regular DJ/dance hour b/c 1. our reception is a bit shorter than normal and 2. we don’t know how many people would feel comfortable getting down with it in the bright light of day =P — many of our guests have shared their own stories about feeling awkward dancing at other daytime receptions…but we are still thinking of including a dance hour with dance lessons but more as a fun activity than anything else. If there are other brides in our nontraditional dancetime boat, it might be helpful to hear what other things make the reception memorable besides an awesome DJ!
Post # 16
I think a DJ or band that can cross some time barriers is best. Throw in some 70’s disco, mixed with some 80’s and music from today, and a few oldies but goodies and that’s perfect! I also love it when there’s some sort of interaction going on. I went to one where you had a question about the bride or groom (on a card the size of a business card placed on the napkin/dinner plate) and the first people to find the other person with the correct answer on their card to the question won a prize (was some wine from the venue). Half the people there got a question on their plate, half got an answer. That made people mingle with each other. And if you won a prize, you couldn’t continue to compete..then they kept asking a few new questions..and so on.
It was so fun! Just get creative. You could do that with half of a picture of either you two or a place special to you and whoever can match up the other half of the picture wins..