10 Planning Tips to Avoid a Boring Wedding

10 Planning Tips to Avoid a Boring Wedding

The average UK citizen ties the knot at thirty-three years old, so if you've recently hit the big three-zero, get ready for a flurry of wedding invites.

Statistically, some of those weddings may turn out to be a snooze-fest - and historically, guest lists overlap. All that to say, if you're planning your nuptials, prepare to have your event directly compared to every other reception in recent memory - eek!

To avoid a boring wedding, you'll need some incredible wedding planning tips to ensure your once-in-a-lifetime event stands out from the rest.

Your celebration's success and staying power will ultimately come down to the nitty-gritty details. From timings, transitions and ice breakers to live wedding entertainment that makes an impact, we've compiled ten tried and tested tips to ensure your reception is unique, engaging and fun.

alternative wedding band
Unique and Unusual Wedding Music Acts

Quirky wedding entertainment that fits in perfectly with your big day.

1. Begin With Transitions and Timelines

Throwing an entertaining wedding begins with an understanding of human psychology. Humans like structure and guidance, even at a party. If guests don't know what to do, rather than upsetting the status quo, they probably won't do anything.

If your reception is full of awkward transitions and confusion, prepare for a lot of standing around and waiting.

Your guests are craving direction. If every section of the wedding is clear and attendees know what to do and where to go, they'll gladly follow the instructions and participate in everything you have to offer. You can offer your guests clues and cues to help them understand what's happening, where to look, and what they should do to make the most out of your careful event planning.

One of the easiest ways to keep everyone on the same page is to hire an emcee for the evening. Often, a DJ or wedding band leader can fill this role. This individual is the charismatic "voice" of your event, jumping on the mic to announce transitions, let guests know what's coming, and tell them exactly where to go.

A great wedding emcee knows "when to hold and when to fold." They can gauge the energy in the room and conclude each activity before guests lose interest.

Elements at your specific venue can help ease transitions, too. Consider incorporating event lighting, room dividers, and signage to help guests move through the day's festivities.

2. Unique Entertainment

Even untraditional weddings tend to follow a template. To throw a party that stands out and keeps guests on their toes, you'll need to think outside the box. One of our favourite ways to challenge the status quo is by hiring unique entertainers that guests are unlikely to see elsewhere.

Think you've seen it all when it comes to wedding DJs? Think again! If you're yet to witness the electrifying performance of a Sax DJ, you're in for a treat. This fusion of live sax and dance-floor fillers will keep guests guessing all night long. The sax covers a broad range of genres, making it a surprisingly perfect fit for even the most bespoke wedding themes.

The diverse range of genres and styles on offer is key to keeping your dance floor packed and boredom at bay.

kids wedding entertainment

3. Keep the Kids Busy

When adult wedding guests get bored, they generally have the tact to keep their opinions to themselves (and gossip in private later). On the other hand, kids tend to let you know at once! Bored kids make for distracted parents, meaning fewer guests will be available to enjoy the festivities, especially if they begin leaving early.

If you intend to invite young guests to your wedding, it behoves you to plan ahead and ensure they'll be able to participate in an appropriate way. Some couples set up a children's creche, complete with a nanny or alternate children's performer. Others offer a range of child-friendly activities for little ones to complete independently, from scavenger hunts to craft projects.

Even if you only have a handful of little ones at the reception, make an effort to set out kid kits or include all-ages garden games. Family-friendly wedding activities keep everyone busy and active. Parents won't feel like they're missing out if they're having fun with their children!

4. Don't Skip the Wedding Band

Anyone can plug a smartphone into a sound system and hit "play," but a recorded playlist quickly becomes background noise when the crowd begins chatting. If you want to prevent boredom and get your guests up on their feet, live music makes a huge difference. Performers add a sense of vitality that's otherwise impossible to replicate, transforming your dance floor into a can't-miss destination.

Best of all, a live wedding band can suit any theme, time period, aesthetic, or sensibility.

Have you always wanted a Great Gatsby-style postmodern jazz band to accompany your first dance? What about a high-octane 90s band playing the hits from the year you met your spouse? Perhaps you've fallen in love with Bridgerton and dream of a live orchestra that seamlessly switches between pop covers and classical? Professional wedding musicians know how to structure a setlist to ensure no one stays sitting for long.

5. Make Food Fun

At weddings, guests often permit themselves to eat beyond capacity for one incredible night. Plus, dancing burns energy, leaving guests famished! If your wedding breakfast is earlier in the evening, consider offering guests something to take the edge off as the celebration wears on.

A recent trend in wedding planning involves turning your mid-reception snack break into an activity. Rather than serving a treat, allow the guests to participate in its creation.

For example, set up a sweets station and allow guests to create a custom bag of goodies to snack on. They'll feel like kids in a candy store as they scoop up their favourite treats. They can enjoy them at the party or take them to go as an additional wedding favour.

You could also incorporate a late-night food station. Hire a food truck and send guests to order whatever gourmet indulgences they want. You could also hire a crepe station, a wood-fired pizza oven, or a candy floss machine.

wedding sweets / candy stand

6. It's Okay to Pick and Choose

Weddings involve a lot of traditions, from the sentimental to the downright bizarre. How are you supposed to share a first dance, toss a bouquet, fling a garter, smash cake all over yourselves, enjoy a father/daughter dance, listen to speeches, have a toast, and dodge grains of rice all in one night?

The truth is, you don't have to.

You've hired your venue for a limited time, and what happens while you're there is entirely up to you. If gathering an audience to formally cut the cake feels a bit dull, you're well within your rights to skip it altogether in favour of more dancing, lawn games, or another entertainer.

Allow yourself to make room for the elements you're excited about and forget the rest. If your guests are enjoying themselves, they won't notice you passed on the first dance in favour of a flash mob!

Your wedding is your day, and there's no right or wrong way to do it. Your attendees will remember what you included, not what you skipped.

7. A Singing Waiter Surprise

Even if you account for every single second of your phenomenal wedding day, there will necessarily be some downtime. What sets some weddings apart is how couples use that negative space in interesting ways.

What will you do with the period your guests spend awaiting their wedding breakfast after a long wedding ceremony?

Consider bringing in a troop of secret singing waiters to liven things up while the scent of a feast begins wafting from the kitchen. They'll take on the roles of ordinary waiters at your venue, down to the uniforms. When your attendees least expect it, they'll burst out into song and dance, turning the arduous wait into a surprise performance!

This is just one fun, unexpected way to make use of downtime during the reception. You might also consider including a fire show, a table magician, or a roving performance troupe such as a roaming acoustic band or mariachi band.

8. Allow for Ice Breakers

You don't need to fill every second of downtime at your wedding. Many guests will know one another and be eager to chat and reconnect. These built-in periods of discussion can be a bit awkward for guests who might not know anyone at their table.

You can eliminate awkward silences and small talk by offering guests easy ways to break the ice. Include a few games or activities on each table. These can focus on the bride and groom, as you will inevitably be the element that all guests have in common!

For example, include a quiz about the newlywed couple, including questions about your relationship. Encourage the guests to work together. Make sure to offer a prize or reward for any table that makes an attempt.

best man speech

9. Shorten Those Speeches (The Fun Way!)

Nothing kills the mood faster than a wedding toast that goes on just a little too long. Even the most lovely, heartfelt speech gets old once you hit the tenth minute. If you set your expectations for speeches upfront and add an element of play to the wedding toast, everyone will have a good time without hard feelings.

For example, have your emcee tell the guests that you'll enforce a strict five or ten-minute limit for speeches. Set a timer and display the countdown for all to see. Allow guests to count down out loud when speech-givers get down to the final seconds and enforce a funny, playful consequence for anyone who goes over.

You can take a leaf from the "televised award show" book and have your live band or DJ start playing loud music once your verbose guest reaches the time limit. You could also have the best man or maid of honour on hand to spray chatty speech givers with a water pistol when they go over their time.

If your expectations are both clear and fun, everything will stay on track. Plus, you'll add an extra dose of joyful anticipation to a typically slow part of the reception.

10. Make Memory-Making an Event

You've hired a professional photographer, but it will be a while before you see the photographs. You're eager to share the snapshots from your big day immediately! Why not put your guests to work, keep them entertained, and capture some memories simultaneously?

First, consider setting up a photo booth where guests can dress up and get a bit silly. Digital photography means there's no limit to the number of crazy photos they can take throughout the night.

You can also encourage guests to download a private photo-sharing app to consolidate their smartphone photos from your event in one place. If that seems complicated, create a designated wedding hashtag and encourage guests to tag their best shots on social media.

Some couples throw things back to the past and include a few disposable cameras on each table. Guests can grab a camera and take some fun, unexpected candid photos. That's a great way to keep guests busy and capture some special memories in the process.

Wedding Planning Tips to Keep Boredom at Bay

Your marriage is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion, and guests will come from near and far to be with you as you tie the knot. You may never have another opportunity to gather so many of your loved ones in one place. Our wedding planning tips will ensure that every moment you spend together is magical, memorable, and fun!

The key to a non-stop wedding reception is professional, experienced wedding entertainment. Not only will your wedding band or DJ keep your guests busy, but they'll also manage the transitions so you won't miss a beat. Popular acts tend to book quickly, so enquire with Bands For Hire today or risk missing out!