Psst. As a bride-to-be, you probably don’t want to hear this…but lots of weddings can be boring. Surely, in your heart of hearts, you know this, and have sat your way through your fair share. But with a little imagination and planning, your wedding will be the event that’s talked about for years to come…and in a good way.
Break the ice beforehand.
Weddings are essentially a big group of people who don’t know each other. They’re thrust together in a formal setting and expected to make small talk. There are two ways around this: one expensive and one free. Invite guests to a rehearsal dinner and introduce everybody beforehand. Better still, and completely free? Set up a Facebook group and add people virtually.
Encourage plenty of interaction and introduce people who have mutual interests. If dad likes golf, hook him up with Tony, your mate from work, who’s also a semi-pro.
Don’t leave guests hanging
Nothing is more boring than standing around, thirsty, waiting for the pictures to be taken. Set up a cocktail and snack area, where guests can mingle (and discreetly remove painful shoes). Turn up the tunes and keep the party going!
Keep guests well-fed
Another cruel fact of life: to some, the highlight of a wedding is the food, not the actual moment where you tie the knot. Keep guests amused with a supply of unusual hors d’oeuvres. Forget sausage rolls and try soup shooters, vegetable skewers or mini cheeseburgers instead. Plus, the food will absorb alcohol. Double winner.
Hire an unusual venue
Most hotels aren’t particularly exciting; but how about a wedding in a science museum, a zoo or aquarium? If you’re in a hotel or you have a bland recreation space to contend with, why not dress it up with themed décor? Or, hire speciality entertainment like a photo booth, face painting or magician.
Plan your seating thoughtfully.
Although it can be tempting to mix up your guests simply for the sake of ‘mingling,’ it can be uncomfortable to seat people with others they don’t know. Seat friends, colleagues and families with each other as best as possible, but don’t be afraid to make new introductions. And what’s wrong with playing a bit of Cupid on your wedding day?
Limit the toasting time.
This is perhaps the most emotional part of the day, as guests proclaim their well-wishes and words of encouragement to the new couple. But an overly-long and boring speech session can soon kill a party vibe. Stick to speeches from the key guests, then ask them to keep their spot down to a few minutes.
Rock around the clock
An inexperienced or self-indulgent DJ can ruin an evening. Choose passionate professionals with five-star reviews. A decent DJ hire agency should provide an affordable act with an enormous database of tunes to keep even the most diverse dance floor hopping. Consult with your DJ beforehand and make a playlist of your favourites.
Strictly come dancing
Nothing is more entertaining than a dance off. Make Strictly-style score cards, pick a judging panel, then organise five or six rounds where the winners stay on. The winners may surprise you. Who knew Uncle Albert and Aunty Ivy could jitterbug so well?