Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wedding Entertainment: Helping Guests Have Fun at the Reception

Many brides opt to hire or create a form of entertainment for their guests to enjoy at a wedding reception. In order to completely greet every guest, the bride and groom can often only spend a few moments with each friend or family member at a wedding, so entertainment can help keep guests in a celebratory and relaxed mood all day (or evening) long.

Here are just a few of the many entertainment ideas you can incorporate into your wedding!


A DJ plays a variety of music to which guests can both listen and dance. DJs can play a wide range of different musical genres, including pop, swing, rap, classic rock, and more, making them an excellent choice for a reception that includes many different age groups and musical tastes. Here's a list you can look at:

The traditional advantage of a DJ is that popular contemporary music can be played without having to tune a radio, change any CDs, or push buttons on an iPod—the guests and the newlyweds can enjoy music without having to think about the actual set-up and operation of sound equipment.
DJs are also helpful in that they know how to get people up and dancing; if you want the dance floor to be packed and you’re concerned about getting everyone on their feet, a DJ can help by playing fun, catchy music that is easy to dance to. Some DJs even take requests or allow the bride and groom to create a list of “do not play” songs—songs that they hate or that they think are overdone at weddings.

The downside? If you get a bad DJ, you might end up with bad music. Booking a DJ means you’re putting the musical selections in another’s hands, so be advised that not every single song will be something you would have chosen yourself. Also, DJS can cost several hundred dollars per hour, so this option might not work for couples on a tight budget or those with particularly lengthy receptions.

Live Music

Live music is an incredibly popular option for weddings because it allows guests to experience a private performance of a particular musical group without making them purchase tickets. Such music takes a variety of forms—some couples choose local rock bands to keep the guests dancing, some choose cover bands that play specific songs, and some choose classical groups or musicians (such as a string quartet or a professional pianist) to give the reception a sense of elegance.

However, live music is often the most expensive option, particularly if you are hiring a large band or a fairly well known one. For a better deal, comb a local college or university for student musicians or bands that might be willing to take a smaller fee for their services. Couples with leaner budgets may find musical groups out of their price range, and couples who want to bump and grind constantly might not appreciate the small breaks many bands take in between sets.

Do It Yourself

If you don’t have the budget for a musical entertainer—or if you just prefer to retain control over your specific musical selections—then just do the music yourself! With the invention of computers and personal MP3 players like the iPod, all you have to do is create a playlist, hook up some speakers, and press play!

Many couples like this option because it allows them to choose exactly what songs and selections their guests will hear, and in what order they’ll hear them. Couples with eclectic tastes in music might also prefer to use this option, because it allows them to share songs from virtually any musical genre you can imagine. This is also the cheapest musical option if you already own a computer or MP3 player and some stereo equipment, or if you can borrow some from a friend or relative.

But keep in mind that this option requires someone—a friend, family member, or even the bride or groom— to set up and take down the equipment and to monitor everything in case of meddling by a small child who likes gadgets or a nosy relative who wants to play their favorite music. The do-it-yourself option can save you money, but it can be a hassle if it isn’t properly thought out and well executed.

Other Entertainment Possibilities

Don’t assume that entertainment has to be limited to musical performances! Other types of performances or services can be just as fun, and can prove more inventive and novel to guests who have attending a million weddings with DJs or bands.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Magicians are cool to watch, and there are many who specialize in adult shows.
  • Hired photo booths can provide your guests with some really great pictures—and can get some great candid shots that your photographer can’t!
  • Games are always fun, and can appeal to all ages. For casual outdoor receptions, try horseshoes or volleyball.
  • Make your favors into a form of entertainment; provide disposable cameras so your guests can play photographer, or choose bubble wands to bring out the kid in everyone!