Most bridal couple’s dream is that their wedding will be remembered long after the big day.One way of doing this is to wow your guests by doing things a little bit different or go as extreme as you like.

Here follows an extensive list on how to blow their socks off from the invitations right through to the reception:

Invitations/Welcome:

  • Create a wedding website long before the wedding. Have a wedding guest of the week or a countdown till the big day.

  • Create the invitations by hand: fold origami or print it out on a handkerchief. Put your story or poems in the invitation.

origami wedding invite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • If your guests is staying over in a hotel over the weekend create a welcome video. Provide tips on what there is to do and what they can expect.
  • Give your guest a say: either through the RSVP cards or on your website. They can request a song or choose the top tier flavour of the cake.

  • Provide a welcome bag with fruit, snacks, a map and a booklet listing other attractions your guests could explore during the weekend stay.

Wedding ceremony/vows

  • Decorate the aisle with a personalised rug with your initials.

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  • Have a show stopping ceremony exit by providing your guests with colorful confetti, pop corn, paper airplanes, mini parade noisemakers or blowing bubbles/bubble magic bottles.
  • Personalize your vows with poems or personal stories.

Transportation:

  • To avoid being separated from your guests during the transition of the wedding ceremony to the reception area arrange special transport for your guests.Play fun music. After all, this is were the real fun starts. Your guests can start to unwind a little bit.

  • Extra signage: if your reception is in walking distance from the wedding ceremony put up wooden signs that will direct your guests in the right direction. You can even put up your personalised bathroom signs. Play music or get a musician to play during transitions.

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  • If your wedding is on a farm or rural area: provide transportation with a tractor and a hay ride

  • For you and your new hubby: you can travel in an old classic car in the family or even on bicycles. If you are having your wedding at an exotic destination wedding location that offers truly unique transportation options like Elephant rides or Hot Air Balloon trips, why not make that part of the wedding experience?

Reception:

  • Get reception ushers to double as “live escort cards”: print out your guests’ names on cardboard or fabrics. Let the ushers walk guests to their seats. The ushers can even dress up as silly characters eg. jesters or paper boys.

  • Create a seating chart display: set out a table and decorate it with your engagement or childhood photos or even family artifacts such as family crests/coat of arms to symbolise the coming together of two families.

  • Inventive Escort Cards: Display your guests’s seating cards on a washing line with clothes pegs, with cupcakes or tied on a string round a tiny champagne bottle with the following warning: “Do not open until wedding toast.”

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  • Wow your guests through a wedding dress change. Change into a more comfortable or short and sexy dress. Or if you prefer to keep on your wedding dress make smaller changes: let down your hair, wear flip flops or add new pieces of jewelry.
  • For entertainment during the meal you can get a dance group or band to perform.

  • Get a local artist to create a painting of the reception room. That way you can capture your wedding as a work of art – literally! Or get a caricaturist to sketch funny portraits of wedding guests or yourself.

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  • To avoid cliché’s of other weddings, decorate the hall with all-over lighting. Or have falling leaves or snow at the entrance or walls. You can even create a geometric pattern or your monogram on the dance floor. It will be extra special if you can have it as a disco light.
  • Surprise your guests with a very creative groom’s cake or a table overflowing with donuts, cup cakes or giant Rice Krispies treats.

  • Decorate your reception with something resembling your interests and hobbies. This could form part of the theme: travel, sport, music, etc.

  • Tell your story: there is nothing that your guests will enjoy more than telling them your story: how you met, your first date, etc. You can do it in your speech or through a photo slide show.

  • Leave a gag gift at each seat: clown nose or a fake moustache. Take photos.

  • Decorate the tables with bright and bold florals or eye catching colours that fit in with the theme: it can be the icing on mini cup cakes, the centre pieces or even your wedding shoes.

  • Light candles to create a mystical and romantic ambience.

Drinks

  • You can have pre-ceremony cocktails: for when your guests arrive at the reception. Just remember to keep it light and give the option of non-alcoholic versions for the kids.

  • Make your cocktail hour interactive with a wine, champagne or liquor tasting. Get a beverage expert or sommelier to give your guests a little lesson in flavours. Provide the samplings.

  • You can have a speciality after-dinner coffee bar to treat all the coffee connoisseurs

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  • Special pick-me-up: while your guests are having a blast on the dance floor, let the waiters hand out trays of cool drink  mini ice cream cones or popsicles for anyone that needs a refreshment or that extra boost of energy for the next dance.
  • Have an open bar with a selection of wine, beers or a signature cocktail. Create your own drink and name it. Make sure of your guests’ safety (when driving home) by closing the bar 1-2 hours before the reception is about to end.

Food/snacks

  • Ask your guests what they would prefer and what their food allergies are. Provide a vegetarian option

  • Do something that resemble your wedding’s season eg. if you’re getting married in the summer provide an ice-cream sundae bar where your guests can built their own sundaes.

  • Include local delicacies on the wedding menu especially if it’s a traditional or ethnic wedding eg. biltong, cooked chicken feet, mopani worms, etc.

  • Serve your favourite food.

  • Surprise your guests with a surprise filling in your wedding cake.

  • If you want to create an old fashioned carnival vibe provide a cart with nostalgic sweets, cotton candy or pop corn.

  • Bring out the inner child in you and your guests by providing a sweets/candy bar. Display candy, cookies or other tiny treats in bowls or jars with scoops. Provide cute candy bags and monogrammed stickers or washing pegs to secure their bags until they arrive home.

  • You can have a wine and cheese bar or hand out sandwiches and beer.

  • Serve your special home made brownies and give your guests the recipe.

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Games/dances

  • Get an impersonator to impersonate your favourite celebrity. The guests can watch a performance, then mingle and pose for photos.

  • Hire dance instructors to teach your guests a special dance eg. swing, tango, polka, etc.

  • Let the kids watch a puppet show or movie and hire a responsible teen to keep an eye on them.

  • Get a face painter for the kids. Adults can join in if they are willing.

  • Blow up a photo of you both and make it into a jigsaw puzzle. Place a piece at every seat so that every guest can join in to assemble your work of art.

  • Rent or make your own photo booth where you and your guests can pull funny faces. Send the photos with a thank you note after the wedding. This will make a great addition to your wedding photos

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  • Have a dress-up parade on the dance floor. You can place a trunk full of customes and silly props right at the front. You and your guests can play air guitar while posing for photos.

  • You can host an after-party at a club with a DJ or band. Provide munchies and beverages and make sure your guests take a safe ride home. You can even have a themed after-party eg. casino with gaming tables and card dealers. Or the after-party can be a disco, blues club, piano bar or karaoke.

  • Surprise your guests with a special first dance that you and your bride learnt. Perform a choreographed routine and for extra wow power let your dad or grandpa join in.

  • Play songs or have popular dances were the guests can join in eg. chicken dance, YMCA, twist, Thriller – Michael Jackson or Psy’s Gangnam Style. Let your guests get physical and let them all join in in a conga line. Do a silly line dance.

  • Let your guests participate in a quiz or game. Give a list of trivia questions about you and your partner for each table. Make it fun by giving out little prizes to the winners.

  • Involve talented guests: bakers, musicians or comedians to be a part of your day.

  • Do a scavenger hunt.

  • Surprise your guest by sharing your special talent or skill with them eg. balloon animals, play an instrument or beat boxing.

  • If your wedding is held on an estate or wineyard: send your guests on a little tour before the event.

  • Let your guests shout out when their favourite songs are being played.

Cozy corner

  • Create a cozy corner away from the dance floor to give your guests time to rest in-between dances. Your guests can bask in conversation on comfortable sofas, chairs or pillows while playing soothing music in the background. Create a VIP vibe by closing this section off with curtains.

  • If it is a hot summers day provide fans and/or on a cold winters night warm blankets.

Exit/Thank you/Wedding favors

  • Treat the men with a cigar roller that will personally roll them a cigar with the blend of their choice

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  • Print out cardboard cutouts for those who couldn’t attend the wedding. Take photos.
  • Play or dedicate a song to a friend as an inside joke.

  • Play your guests’ wedding songs.

  • Make a donation in honour of your guests for a mission you’d like to support. Provide a note explaining your gesture or do it during the speeches.

  • Make your guests feel special by joining them in their happy celebrations by announcing upcoming birthdays and anniversaries.

  • Thank your guests in a speech or a special frienship circle dance.

  • Throw out the traditional guest book and replace it with a personal object that they can sign. You can put the object as a memento in your house. For example: guests can sign a surfboard, rugby ball or photo poster.

  • You can even create a time capsule and let your guests fill in special messages. You can only open it on a specific day eg. on your honeymoon or 10th anniversary.

  • Burn CDs of the songs that you played at your wedding and let the waiters put it in your guests car stereos or on the car bonnets with a little thank you note from you.

  • End the reception with a bang: wow your guests with an outdoor fireworks show. Make it extra special by resembling your wedding colours.

  • Send off your guests with a farewell breakfast: either in the form of a breakfast buffet or send croissants and coffee to their rooms.

  • Follow this link for 22 more ideas on Wedding Favors your guests would enjoy

Remember, your guests make out a large part of your wedding. Do something they will enjoy but don’t overwhelm them with too much entertainment activities. Give them enough time to rest in-between. By showing consideration for your guests they will appreciate it so much more by spreading the word of your successful wedding.

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Images Credit: smilebooth.com.au ; theartzoo.com ; bridalguide.com ; fellowdoesfab.blogspot.com; mytulumwedding.com ; leadingedgegifts.com ; wittywhitswords.blogspot.com

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