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30 Creative Ways to Entertain Your Wedding Guests

What guests will remember most about your wedding isn't how it looked but how it made them feel — the moving ceremony, the final send-off, and all of the fun revelries in between. You already know the importance of delicious food and a rocking band or DJ, but there are lots of out-of-the-box ways to leave your mark on guests, from ceremony musicians to live painters and budget-friendly games to splurge-worthy surprises. Browse some unique entertainment ideas that we've spotted at real weddings!

By: Stefania Sainato

Enter Slideshow
  • Musicians

    Musicians

    Bring everyone to their feet, clapping and cheering, with a gospel choir performance. A bluegrass band is another (just as lively) alternative for a country-themed wedding.

    Photo courtesy of Elegant Occasions / Event Coordination and Design: Elegant Occasions

  • Musicians

    Musicians

    A string quartet creates an enchanting ceremony atmosphere — consider hiring musicians from a local college to cut down on costs. A solo violinist, harpist, or vocalist are also lovely choices for couples with a classic wedding style.

  • Musicians

    Musicians

    Give a shout-out to your college years by hiring a marching band to play during your dance floor debut or escort guests to the cocktail hour.

  • Cultural Entertainment

    Cultural Entertainment

    Incorporate your Irish or Scottish heritage by having a bagpiper lead the processional.

  • Cultural Entertainment

    Cultural Entertainment

    No Latin-inspired wedding is complete without a romantic mariachi band serenade.

  • Cultural Entertainment

    Cultural Entertainment

    At an Indian fusion affair, add Bollywood flair with professional dancers.

  • Cultural Entertainment

    Cultural Entertainment

    The dragon dance is a Chinese wedding custom, and these mythical creatures are associated with good luck, longevity, and wisdom. Check out more fun cultural traditions to include in your wedding.

  • Performers

    Performers

    A strolling "human table" kept guests' glasses full at this whimsical wedding.

    Photo Credit: Caroline Lima

  • Performers

    Performers

    A tropical Hawaiian celebration calls for a full-blown luau with fire dancers.

    Photo Credits: Karma Hill Photography

  • Surprise Performance

    Surprise Performance

    A violinist brought down the house with a moving musical performance for her groom.

    Photo Credits: Lovesome Photography

  • Surprise Performance

    Surprise Performance

    Warning: The following idea isn't for the faint of heart! The crowd went wild when this groom surprised his bride with a flash mob performance on the dance floor featuring himself and the bridal party.

    Photo Credit: Maggie Stolzberg Photography / Event Design: Kiss the Planner

  • Surprise Performance

    Surprise Performance

    Photo Credit: Maggie Stolzberg Photography / Event Design: Kiss the Planner

  • Games & Activities

    Games & Activities

    “The Shoe Game" is a fun way to pass the time between dinner and dancing. Here's how it works: Place two chairs back-to-back on the dance floor, and trade a shoe with your new spouse so that you're both holding one of each. The maid of honor or best man will ask a series of questions about your relationship (e.g. "Who said I love you first?"). You and your husband have to hold up the shoe of the person you think is the best answer to each question.

  • Games & Activities

    Games & Activities

    Lawn games, such as cornhole toss, serve as an easy way for guests to break the ice during the cocktail hour at an outdoor wedding

    Photo Credit: Revival Photography

  • Games & Activities

    Games & Activities

    Unleash your inner child with oversized versions of classic board games, like Connect Four and Jenga.

  • Games & Activities

    Games & Activities

    Have your relatives and friends sign in using a non-traditional "guest book," like this pinboard map highlighting where guests call home.

  • Games & Activities

    Games & Activities

    Collect advice for a happy marriage with this precious "pearls of wisdom" prompt.

    Photo Credit: Randy + Ashley

  • Games & Activities

    Games & Activities

    One surefire way to get guests to bond is to have them fill out funny Mad Libs cards during dinner. Read their responses after your honeymoon or one-year wedding anniversary!

  • Games & Activities

    Games & Activities

    Get the party started with a wheel of fortune containing activities for guests to complete during the reception.

    Photo Credit: Studio 29

  • Games & Activities

    Games & Activities

    Keep your high-rollers happy late into the night by setting up an after-hours lounge with billiards, blackjack, and casino games.

    Photo Credit: Renai Photography

  • A Work of Art

    A Work of Art

    Hire a caricaturist, and guests will be talking about this ultra-personalized favor idea for months to come.

  • A Work of Art

    A Work of Art

    Get guests' creative juices flowing by setting up a community canvas where everyone can paint one quadrant. Afterward, you can keep the backdrop as a memento of your big day.

    Photo Credit: Bright Ideas Events

  • A Creative Twist on Tradition

    A Creative Twist on Tradition

    If the thought of a traditional garter toss makes you squeamish (you're not alone!), then consider this hilarious psych-out instead.

  • A Creative Twist on Tradition

    A Creative Twist on Tradition

    For another variation on a garter toss, let your youngest guests in on the fun by tossing up teddy bears for the lucky winners to catch. Or, launch (soft) wrapped candy at the kids’ feet so that every little one can grab a prize.

  • A Creative Twist on Tradition

    A Creative Twist on Tradition

    Revamp the traditional wedding dollar dance by donating all of the change to a charity or special cause that is close to your heart.

  • Photo Booth

    Photo Booth

    Photo or video booths are a surefire way to capture hilarious candid moments from the big day. Personalize yours with a bold backdrop and props that fit the theme of your wedding. Have guests use it during the cocktail hour for maximum exposure (if it's one of the first things they see, they'll be more likely to interact with it).

  • Lounge Area

    Lounge Area

    Set up a lounging area where guests can kick back and relax. A fire pit is a perennial favorite; bonus points if you serve s'mores!

  • Wedding Crashers

    Wedding Crashers

    You may have heard of couples including their beloved pet into the wedding festivities, but did you know that some even include exotic wildlife like llamas or owls? This bride couldn't believe her eyes when her groom brought out her favorite animal on their big day.

  • Wedding Crashers

    Wedding Crashers

    This bride surprised her groom with their college mascot just after they cut the cake — the mascot came up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder — who then got the energy back up for dancing.

    Photo Credit: Maggie Stolzberg Photography / Event Design: Kiss the Planner

  • A Grand Finale

    A Grand Finale

    End the night with a spectacular fireworks display or sparkler exit! Other memorable send-offs include releasing illuminated paper lanterns into the sky, throwing pom-poms or paper airplanes, or waving glowsticks. 

    Photo Credit: Juan Euan

  • A Grand Finale

    A Grand Finale

    Hosting an indoor reception? A confetti drop or faux indoor snow is such a magical way to close out the wedding celebration — just run it by your venue first.

    Photo Credit: Nancy Ray Photography

30 Creative Ways to Entertain Your Wedding Guests

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