The other day a friend of mine planning her wedding sent me a text that read “I know you’ve been to a billion weddings. Have you ever been to one at…” (I won’t reveal the venue to keep it under wraps. It just won’t be cool anymore if you all hear about it). Her text reminded me that yes, at one point in time I was quite the wedding hopper. Less so than the guys in the movie “Wedding Crashers” but more so than say, my friend who sent the text. I have worn a few bridesmaid dresses, been walked down the aisle by a drunken groomsman, read poetry to all the guests in tears, sat at the head table, and watched my date put the wedding garter onto the groom’s sister’s leg with his teeth. Combine this experience with my need for dancing at all celebratory events and yes, I could give a few wedding entertainment tips.
My biggest wedding entertainment tip is be aware of music choice. Is what you are choosing simply nostalgic to you? Or are you choosing music that the whole gang will enjoy? We are all guilty of it (Backstreet Boys “The Call“) and the truth is that the DJ usually knows what is best. Try to mingle the mainstream mix that will pacify your grandparents, a bunch of hits from your youth and some more obscure tracks that you know your close friends will get down too. The worst is when music is too slow to dance to, when the floor clears and two people are left mouthing every single word along to their perfectly choreographed routine (although this can be fun if it doesn’t feel exclusive and more like a gift/performance to the guests) or when guests are hitting the bar more than the dance floor. (This is a personal preference and born of the assumption that you don’t want the ambulance or cops showing up at your wedding reception, nor do you want the bar budget to be cray cray). Choose your music wisely people. If this isn’t your specialty, find someone who can help you.
Another wedding entertainment tip from yours truly is to ask your friends and family to contribute. Maybe you don’t want your great uncle playing the bagpipes, but perhaps there is a way to use his talents in an adorable and heart warming way. Could your little cousins do a dance to a traditional song that is recognizable to the family and bring a tear to everyone’s eye before cutting the cake? Does your best friend play in a cover band? Is your new sister-in-law a film maker? Keep the band sets short to break up the DJ music, and ask your new sis to make a short film to show in segments between courses. Ask your budding comedian second cousin to MC the reception. Get a flash mob together and surprise everyone mid-dance party. Including friends and family increases the “being a part of something” vibes. People like that. Of course, be sure to curate the talent carefully. Be brutal, don’t let your mom sing Bohemian Rhapsody a capella…unless she is really really good.
Lastly, I have to say that I am a huge fan of photo booths. The kind that not only print the pictures for you but also post them to your social media and send them to your email. You have to have this.
(Bonus tips: I think if there was some way to get a few select video games projected onto the wall at a wedding reception that might just be the best thing ever. Outdoor weddings where everyone camps at the site are great because the great outdoors are the best entertainment, especially if you are near some kind of water or can set up croquet/volleyball/other outdoor games. Hire someone to come in and lead a quick dance lesson. I went to a wedding once that hired a square dance caller. It was a blast!)
If you’d like some more wedding entertainment tips check out this blog post from Belvedere Events and Banquets: