October 6, 2022  •  7min read

What Can Your Guests Do Before Your Wedding Reception

Guest activities before wedding reception

Besides providing your guests with delicious meals, flowing drinks and an excellent playlist for your wedding, you can also add some interactive experiences after the ceremony. This will make your wedding reception a festive event that your guests will never forget.

Activities to Entertain Your Guests before the Wedding Reception

Like everything else that has to do with weddings, you will need a plan to keep your guests entertained before the reception. Some may sit in their cabs or cars while others stroll in the venue before it begins. Some guests may even look for something fun to do. Between the ceremony and reception, your guests may feel a little lost. 

During this time, you are likely busy taking pictures which is important as you need to create those magical memories and enjoy your special day. However, your guests must also be entertained while waiting to meet you at the reception. Here are some excellent ways to entertain your guests between the ceremony and reception.

Host Snacks and Cocktails

Food is first on this list for a reason. The last thing you want is for your guests to get hungry! When people have a full belly, they’ll be okay with whatever they follow.

If you’ve organized a big dinner or luncheon to feed your guests in the reception, then in the meantime, they can have something a little lighter. A pre-party snack should be perfect.

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A Cocktail Hour or a Refreshment Hour is one of the best ways to make your guests happy during the gap. A mixed cocktail with light refreshment will please the crowd.

Couples usually arrange cocktails and nibbles at the local pub or rent a room at the venue’s reception where guests can wait for them to arrive. It’s up to you whether you want to cover the bar tab or let guests pay for their drinks. But we think you should cover the cost for some snacks and finger foods and, of course, the room hires if there are any charges involved.

Hire Entertainment Like a Band, Comedian, Magician or Caricaturists

There’s nothing wrong with hiring a professional entertainer, especially if your guests are good with casual activities after the formalities are over. Even though some guests would prefer the classy jazz sounds or a string quartet, you can take it up a notch and hire a local wedding band to get the party pumping. With the full swing of the digital age, many couples hire a DJ for their wedding, and that’s all the entertainment they need. 

Professional entertainers or the main event, like a magician or comedian, is always fun and if they are experienced. They’ll know how to keep your guests entertained for as long as you need them to be.

Getting a caricaturist to sketch your guests’ portraits will also offer them a lifelong keepsake from your special day.

When your guests are seated with a small plate of snacks and drinks, all they need to do is to sit back and relax while enjoying the entertainment.

You can get a jazz or rock band, a wedding singer or a pianist. For music that works with a cocktail hour, go for easy listening instead of a full band. You’ll want the music to be in the background instead of the ceremony’s focus. A cocktail hour should be perfect for a solo guitarist, pianist and singer.

If hiring these professionals is too expensive, check with your friends or family who may have rocked back during high school with their musical talents. As a wedding gift, they might just be willing to show off their skills. This might even become an open mic event for hidden talents from your guests to surface, making an event that nobody will forget.

Interactive Guest Book

Signing a guest book is more of an interactive approach these days. Instead of putting the usual empty guest book on the table, you can let guests get really creative with their replies. Offer them a big blank space that lets them speak their minds – you’ll never know what they’ll end up writing!

The guest book is a great way to keep your guests entertained while waiting for you to arrive. Everyone knows that face time with the couple is limited during the ceremony and wedding reception. However, your friends and family will want to express their good wishes for you. The guest book should let all your guests take their time and write notes of kindness and encouragement that you and your partner will later enjoy reading.

You can get really creative with your guest book. One most fantastic new guest book features is a polaroid camera or a photo booth. The idea is that your guests take a picture of themselves and then tape it next to their message in the guestbook. This idea shouldn’t take much explanation, but you should include a sign with a brief description just in case.

Other Ideas to Entertain Your Guests

Besides the ideas we’ve listed above, there are other ways you can entertain your guests before moving on to the wedding reception. Here are the alternative things you can do:

Wishing Box

Put a “wishing box” next to the escort cards for your guests to write their wishes for the couple. This will certainly keep your guests busy.

Exploring the Venue

If you’re having a wedding in a destination like Bali, and you’ve booked one of the best venues on the island, then letting them explore it is an excellent idea! A breathtaking venue in Bali is perched on dramatic cliffs, next to their never-ending rice fields or on the shore of a secluded beach. Encouraging your guests to explore the area will be something they’ll look forward to. Just remember to ask them to return when the reception or party begins.

Guntur author at Bali Wedding
Guntur has been writing tips and tricks for weddings in Bali since 2020. He has written everything from preparing a pre-wedding in Bali to the best wedding dress and makeup you should choose for a wedding in paradise.

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