The ceremony is over, the formality of the day is coming to an end, and the bride is ready to kick up her heels! Some couples tend to become a bit worrisome once the dance floor opens up, afraid their guests will grow tired or disinterested throughout the night. After all, a bride’s biggest wedding day fear is having the majority of guests leave before her big sparkler send-off! We have come up with a few ways to keep your wedding guests entertained all night long, ensuring there will be plenty of people to throw confetti as you bid adieu:
Reserve a cozy spot for conversations. This is a crucial detail when you’re planning your reception! Not everyone wants to dance their hearts out all night, so it is important that you give these guests an area where they can cool down and enjoy a good conversation (probably about the other people dancing their hearts out).
Hello, open bar! Free drinks on a Saturday night? Difficult to say no to that. Everyone knows that alcohol gives guests the liquid courage they need to get out on the dance floor and bust their best moves. Pro tip: wedding receptions where alcohol is served tend to last at least 1.5 hours longer than dry receptions.
Cut the cake already! Cutting the wedding cake a little earlier will keep from awkward interruptions for later when everybody is in the middle of their groove!
Late night snacks. Who doesn’t love chowing down on some delicious fried foods after a night of dancing?! Our caterer, All Occasion Catering, quickly becomes everyone’s favorite vendor when they come out with a biscuit bar, flaming donuts or Krystal’s! This will keep your guests not only happily entertained, but also keep them from partying too hard. Pro tip: if you have an open bar, we HIGHLY recommend shutting down the bar and serving a late night snack to begin getting guests ‘back on track.’
Create your own playlist. Even though he/she is a professional, you know your guest list better than your DJ does. Some brides and grooms like to choose their own songs, so they know every word and can sing along without feeling left out. Be sure to mix it up and play songs for every generation! Grandma probably doesn’t want to get down to Fetty Wap. Pro tip: Allow your DJ to accept requests from your guests. If they know their song is coming up, they’re guaranteed to stay!
Group activities that don’t involve dancing. Karaoke machine? Cards Against Humanity? Blackjack table? With these options, your non-dancing guests are bound to want to stay a little longer!
Shake it like a Polaroid! If your photographer is off the clock, set out a few polaroids or disposable cameras so your friends and family can get interactive with each other. No wedding guest ever turns down an opportunity for a selfie. This can also be a great alternative to the traditional guest book. It will leave you with not only sweet notes, but also pictures to remember the fun night everyone had! Pro tip: invest in a photo booth or fun backdrop!
Arrange for guests’ transportation back to the hotel. If you’re serving alcohol, this is for everyone’s safety. You can also arrange the buses to begin shuttling at a specific time, ensuring your guests will stay as long as you want (but don’t be cruel, holding them hostage!).
Specialty bars. Investing in a specialty bar (moonshine bar, cigar & bourbon bar, etc.) gives guests a reason to stay past the bouquet and garter tosses, knowing there’s a shot or two of whiskey in their future. Pro tip: Don’t open up your specialty bar until at least 9 p.m. to evenly break up the night’s activities and give guests something to look forward to.
Relax – seriously! We know wedding planning can get a bit hectic, but once the day arrives, everyone will have more fun if you can look over any little debacles (and trust us, there is always something that can’t be controlled)! Don’t spend your entire wedding day stressing and wondering if your guests will leave early. You spend months and months, dollar after dollar planning this one day. ENJOY YOURSELF. Pro tip: If you’re on the dance floor having a great time, your guests will be doing the same. If you’re sitting at the table looking bored, your guests will be doing the same.