Make your party stand out with more than just a band or DJ.
Photography: M. K. Sadler1 of 13
Great entertainment is definitely one of the key elements of a memorable event. While choosing a band or DJ for your wedding is an important part of the planning process, know that there are additional ways to keep your guests busy throughout the night. Sure, a packed dance floor makes for a great party, but there are more ways than one to keep people entertained.
What happens if only half of your crowd considers themselves big dancers? Instead of being seated throughout the party, offer fun alternatives to get guests mingling. Interactive food options, a cigar-rolling space, or a mixology station will get your loved ones exploring the reception. Having tons of kids at your party? A temporary tattoo bar appeals to loved ones both young and old. We even have an idea for those who don't want to let noise restrictions cut their party short. A silent disco can keep your party going well past midnight.
Here, wedding experts share their best ideas for additional ways to add entertainment to your party—from small music quartets to performers. Click through to find the option that's best for you.
Photography: Charlotte Jenks Lewis2 of 13
"A lot of couples are also looking to bring their friends and family into the wedding night. If your cousin is a singer or performer in a Broadway show, for example, then why not have them stand up with your band and lead your reception in a great rendition of one of your favorite songs as a couple?" —Stacie Shea, Owner & Creative Director, Stacie Shea Events
Photography: Melissa Jill Photography3 of 13
"Food can be a great source of entertainment. We love the trend of bringing food trucks to a big event and allowing guests to grab dessert or late-night snacks in a fun and interactive way. These little surprises and out of the box ideas are all your guests will be talking about the next day. Plus, it gives them energy to keep the party going!" —Jennifer Thye, Owner, Imoni Events
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"While the music might stop, the second guests grab a pair of silent disco headphones, the after-party is just getting started. A silent disco offers a way around any noise restrictions and are a fun, creative option for keeping your celebration going." —Kristen Gosselin, Owner & Creative Director, KG Events & Design
Photography: Charla Storey Photography5 of 13
Create A Temporary Tatoo Bar
"A temporary tattoo gives guests permission to let loose a little. Plus, it makes for some interesting conversations in regards to choice of tattoo and even placement!" —Wendy Kay, Owner & Creative Director, Birds of a Feather Events
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Photography: Chris J. Evans Photography6 of 13
"Incorporating a hands-on, tactile experience is fun and informative. It's also a great party favor alternative. For example, cigar-rolling stations and lei po'o stations (where guests make their own flower crowns) allow participants to take what they make." —Kimiko Hosaki, Founder & Creative Director, Elements by K.H & co.
Photography: Whyman Studios7 of 13
Welcome Guests with Performers
"Use performers to play up the location of your wedding. For a recent wedding in Miami, we used living vine performers on stilts (camouflaged into the surrounding greenery with body paint and green leaf costumes) to welcome guests to the Perez Art Museum, which is known for it's hanging gardens. Silently and slowly maneuvering around the crowd, guests watched in awe, then posed and took photos with the performers." —Tracy Taylor Ward, President and Principal Designer/Planner, Tracy Taylor Ward Design
Photography: A Bryan Photo8 of 13
Show Some School Spirit
"We love it when our clients show a little school spirit by drawing from their collegiate roots. One of our favorite weddings deployed a 15-member second line à la New Orleans, replete with tubas and trumpets, surprising guests at cocktails under a canopy of live oaks." —Calder Clark, Owner & Creative Director, Calder Clark
Photography: Anna Shackleford9 of 13
"Live event artists offer both entertainment during the party and a meaningful keepsake after the wedding. Guests will love watching the painter in action and the newlywed couple receives a wonderful piece of art for their new home together." —Courtney Wolf, Wedding Planner & Marketing Director, Invision Events
Photography: Dez and Tam Photography10 of 13
Gamble the Night Away
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Photography: Mike Cassimatis11 of 13
Have a Calligrapher On Site
"Hire a calligrapher to write well wishes for the couple to open on their first anniversary. It's a fun interactive activity for guests to enjoy during cocktail hour and a wonderful gift for the couple." —Kate Turner, Principal Designer, Kate & Company
Photography: Braedon Photography12 of 13
"Having a mixologist can seem like a subtle touch, but it really is an added element for your guests during cocktail hour and the dance party. We recently featured Muddle & Wilde, a local, organic citrus-based mixer company to our bars and loved how many guests were playfully interacting and sipping each other's cocktails and mocktails." —Cassandra Santor, Owner, Cassandra & Company
Photography: Morning Light by Michelle Landreau13 of 13
"If you have the opportunity to incorporate any cultural elements, do it! Guests love experiencing those special moments and learning about the wedding traditions of different cultures. This couple invited in a zaffe group and surprised their guests with an amazing entrance they will never forget!" —Diana Venditto, Owner & Creative Director, Eventi Floral & Events