Dancing is the go-to traditional wedding reception activity, and it’s been that way for ages. And with good reason! A celebration, old and new friends, some good music, a dance floor, and perhaps a few cocktails is a tried-and-true recipe for a good time. However, it can also be a big bummer for people who aren’t particularly fond of shaking their tail feathers. Or the same old songs and group dances might be getting old for those who attend a lot of weddings. (The Cupid Shuffle again!?) So…are there any fun wedding reception entertainment ideas besides dancing? Absolutely! And here are 10 of our favorites.
First on our list of wedding reception entertainment ideas is to hire a live event painter. Having an artist at your wedding crafting a painting of the event on-site produces a stunning keepsake of your wedding to bring with you into your new life. Check out this example:
However, it’s not just a memory to keep for you, but one you get to share with your guests as well. It will be a treat for your guests to watch this painting come to life in real time. For some, it might also provide a moment of repose away from all the commotion of the dance floor. Position your live painter out of the way enough to view the whole scene, but not too far away that they are unapproachable. This way your guests can wander in and out to watch the progress of the artwork unfold.
Hiring a caricature artist might be less formal than a live event painting, but it is a wedding reception entertainment idea that will be tons of fun for your guests. Let your guests sit for a drawing and be surprised and humored at what the caricature artist comes up with. This also provides an extremely unique keepsake to take home with them and remember all the fun memories made. Not only that, but it also offers your guests a much-needed opportunity to sit down and rest from all the activity on the dance floor while still doing something fun.
If you want to treat your guests with a wedding reception entertainment idea that’s really special, hire professional dancers to perform for you and your guests at your wedding reception! If you have a favorite style of dance or dance troupe, having them dance at your wedding will be a real treat for you and your guests.
For example, if you love ballet, having a group of dancers perform a ballet would be a lovely addition to your wedding reception events. Or maybe there’s a style of dance that’s culturally significant to you, your partner, or you both that you’d like to have performed to pay homage to your culture and share with your guests. For example, a Cambodian Aspara dance or an Irish step dance (Riverdance). Or maybe you just want to really kick your wedding reception entertainment up a notch with some belly dancers! Either way, it will be something your guests will love.
Not everyone enjoys boogying on the dance floor, so it’s important to have some wedding reception entertainment ideas in place to give your non-dancers something to do. A variety of backyard-style games are an excellent option to keep your guests occupied either individually or in small groups when opting not to dance. They might even keep some of the kiddos occupied too if you have kids at your wedding.
Providing activities like this is a thoughtful gesture for those not used to dancing and keeps the options open for more fun overall for your guests. Also, these backyard games are super easy and cheap to set up, whether your reception is outside and you have a lawn to use or if you are indoors and just marking off a space for them. Some of the activities you could include might be:
If you and your partner have a bit of a goofy side and want to encourage your guests to feel like a kid, one of the most surprising wedding reception entertainment ideas would be to provide a bouncy castle. You read that right. A bouncy castle! And yes, they have (bigger) bouncy castles for adults. Let your guests kick off those dancing shoes for a little young-at-heart fun bouncing around as an adult in a favorite childhood pastime. Or they can simply enjoy the spectacle of watching others bounce it up. This addition to your reception is sure to be a hit and something your guests will never forget!
Everyone likes to be impressed, and nothing is more impressive than magic! Therefore, choose some wedding reception entertainment that will amaze your guests by hiring a magician! Whether you hire a magician to do a formal stage performance during the reception, have their own booth on the side, or wander around to tables and perform tricks, your guests will be delighted and amazed by this magical addition to your wedding!
As your guests flow in and out of the dance floor and wander around your reception to mingle or grab a cocktail, why not give them something to watch? A couple of wedding reception entertainment ideas that are trendy are to hire are a mesmerizing aerialist to perform near high-traffic areas like the bar and/or to hire circus-type performers to perform tricks and stunts during cocktail hour. If you’re an extravagant couple who really wants to leave an impression on your guests, rent a portion of “The Big Top” and make your reception “The Greatest Show on Earth!”
Another wedding reception entertainment idea is quickly becoming a wedding reception staple, and that is including a photo booth. Especially in this day and age of social media, a photo booth is a great way to provide your guests with an Instagram-able opportunity that provides memorable (and postable!) pics that are as much fun to take as they are to keep for the memories later!
Provide plenty of silly, cute, and fun props for your guests to pose with. If you choose a wedding theme that might be fun to play with, let your props reflect the theme to get your guests really into it! A fun and interactive photo booth gives your guests a much-needed break to be goofy after all those serious moves on the dance floor.
Another similar wedding reception entertainment idea that’s trending is to provide a slow-motion video booth. This is conceptually similar to the photo booth, except the result is a (usually silly and fun) slow-motion video that will be the most fun and unique keepsake for your guests! Watch this video to check out some of the results!
Include some wedding reception entertainment ideas to keep your guests amused even while just sitting at the table. Whether taking a break from dancing or needing an ice breaker while getting to know other guests over a cocktail, having an activity or two available at each table can keep the party going even in the smaller moments. A great table activity might be a wedding-themed mad lib that will be as hysterical for your guests to fill out as it will be for you to read later! Or you might consider using some of your favorite photos of you and your partner to turn into personalized puzzles as a unique and fun way to keep your guests occupied (and “Oooo-ing” and “Awww-ing” over your pics!).
Last, but certainly not least, what would a list of wedding reception entertainment ideas be without FIREWORKS!? If it’s in your budget and venue/county-friendly, why not end the night for your guests and begin your married life with a BANG!
Love this content and want more? Read more about wedding planning on our blog. Are you helping to plan a wedding and still need to nail down a venue? Give us a call to schedule a tour and see why Jennings Trace might be your perfect place.