Joyous woman in front of wall

12 ways to make sure your wedding guests don’t get bored

Keeping the energy levels up and your guests happy doesn't have to be difficult – all it takes it a bit of careful planning

1

Make introductions

Hopefully all your friends who bonded at your hen and stag dos will already be chatting (and laughing at a few memories), but give the other folks a helping hand by introducing people you’re sure will get on. You never know, you could inadvertently start a new love story!

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2

Work the seating plan

There’s nothing more boring than sitting at a table with people you’ve got nothing in common with. So don’t try to be clever by splitting up friendship groups and families… forced small talk is not fun when you have to keep it up for the entire evening.

A close-up shot of a wooden step ladder at a wedding venue, place cards can be seen with a list of all the wedding guests and a seating plan.

3

Communicate timings

It’s not just the ceremony that requires an order of service. Put up an ‘order of the day’ schedule at your reception so your guests know what to expect – and stick to your timeline. In between events, some people might choose to head outside for a breath of fresh air rather than sit at the table. Not sure what should happen when? Read our guide to building your reception timeline.

4

Keep the music playing

You know what’s extra boring? Silence at a party! Don’t get so hyped up about your evening playlist that you forget to arrange music for the daytime too – we’ve put together the ultimate wedding breakfast playlists.

5

Hire entertainment

If you know there’ll be a lull at some point during the day, plan something to keep guests occupied, such as a magician or live band. Want to make sure this isn’t something they’ve seen before? We have 19 unusual wedding entertainment ideas for you to try.

6

Limit the speeches

We’ve heard about weddings where every member of the couple’s families seemed to spontaneously stand up and say a few words  – uncles, cousins, the lot! If the toasts drag on, everyone will be clock-watching as their stomachs start to rumble and their drinks run dry, so set a strict time limit for the speeches.

Best man performing speech for toast at wedding reception. Bride and groom listening to a speech at their wedding reception.

7

Play a group game

Play a Mr & Mrs quiz, a pub quiz, wedding bingo, tug of war – anything that gets everyone involved and cheering on.

8

Let guests occupy themselves

Facilitate fun by leaving out activities for people to do: hire giant lawn games, bring in a photo booth or pitch up some fairground games.

9

Don’t let them get hungry

If you don’t want a hoard of ‘hangry’ guests on your hands, serve snacks or canapés before the wedding breakfast and again in the evening. Hunger makes time drag like nothing else!

Real wedding: The food

10

Organise surprises

Plan little unexpected treats to break up the day and give everyone a talking point – whether it’s a creative drinks station such as a DIY hot chocolate bar or fun favours.

11

Don’t run dry

Serving drinks at the start of your reception is a sure way to get everyone mingling. You don’t have to splash out on expensive champagne – Pimm’s, punch or local real ales will also go down a treat.

12

Joke around

Give your guests a giggle by showing that you don’t take yourselves too seriously. Use slightly embarrassing questions for the Mr & Mrs quiz, poke fun at your surname or include awkward childhood photos in the decor. You’ll set an informal tone that will put everyone in the mood for fun and laughter.

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Looking for more entertainment ideas? Check out our every-budget suggestions for keeping guests entertained.