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Cheap AND expensive wedding entertainment ideas

Follow our entertainment guide for on-budget ways to rock your reception

We advise spending at least 7-8% of your total budget on entertainment but it’s not always easy to dedicate a lump sum. Here are some budget-friendly ideas, as well as some super-swanky ones, to prove that you can spend exactly what you want to on your own wedding day. Who’d have thought it? 

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MORE EXPENSIVE IDEAS

  • Casino games: For Vegas-style table hire, try funkycasinos.co.uk.
  • A pro photo booth: See boothnation.com or thephotoemporium.com, and try these cute dressing-up ideas.
  • Singing waiters: Check out sopranobella.co.uk.
  • Silhouette artist: Send your guests home with a keepsake inspired by the Victorian art form. See theshadowcutter.co.uk
  • Magician: We love deceptive-arts.co.uk and dariusmagic.com.
  • Fireworks: A pricey but unforgettable 5-7 minute fairytale ending. 
  • A live polo match: Don’t have a barn full of horses at home? Try these venues: Ham Polo Club, Coworth Park and Cowdrey Estate.
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UNUSUAL AND QUIRKY IDEAS

  • Video booth: Shy guests need not apply, so keep the booze flowing!
  • Carousel: The venue Preston Court comes with one, or hire one for your venue from hortonssteamfair.co.uk or eventswithadifference.co.uk.
  • Double-decker bus creche: These cool options from crechemobile.co.uk, leosplaybus.co.uk and thespacebus.co.uk are sure to keep kids entertained.

8 TIPS TO STOP YOUR GUESTS LEAVING EARLY

  • A digital graffiti wall: You must admit, that sounds like a whole lot of fun.
  • Silent disco: We were pretty judgemental about this when greeted with headphones at our recent work party. But soon enough, the dance floor was packed with sashaying guests while the oldies enjoyed a bit of peace and quiet! 
  • Festival line-up: Produce evening entertainment in the form of scheduled song and dance acts. Chuck in a hot dog van and everyone’s a winner.
  • Circus slideshows: Check out the aerial performers and fire-eaters from jugglinginferno.com.
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BUDGET-FRIENDLY IDEAS

  • A teddy-bear picnic for kids: Cordon off their own little area and make them feel like the adults of the party.
  • Garden games: Croquet, rounders, giant Jenga – there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained.
  • Sparkler send-off: Cheaper than fireworks but still as explosive and great for photos. 
  • DIY photo booth: Craft your own selfie backdrop.
  • Pub quiz: Get the Best Man to play quizmaster and everyone will love it. 
  • Scratch-card lottery tickets: Hand these out as favours for a cheap alternative to that casino theme. 
  • Juggler: Don’t dismiss it just because you and your nephew try it at home all the time. A professional juggler reaches whole new heights of entertainment.

19 UNUSUAL WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT IDEAS

  • iPad caricaturist: Personal favours delivered by email – see sensiblepencil.com.
  • Line-dance lessons: Guaranteed to get your guests giggling, try alivenetwork.co.uk or ceilidhtree.co.uk.
  • Themed children’s treasure hunt: We love the idea of a magical round of ‘Find the Fairy’.
  • Duck herding: Trust us, this is amazing: quackpack.co.uk.
  • Children’s craft table: The parents will LOVE you for this one.
  • Your BFFs as DJs: One set each and everyone will love it.
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  • Fairground kiosks: Think candy floss, a DIY coconut say or ice cream cart.