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Wedding 101

The Meal

     The meal is often overlooked as a time for allowing your guests to feel more involved in your reception. Often, your providers will look to take a break, throw on some background music, and eat their meals as well. After all, people are eating, so there's really nothing to do right? Wrong. Let's not forget, the reception is supposed to be a celebration, not just a dinner where people wear really nice clothes and have fancy decorations. In this article, we will discuss ways that you can add life to your meal while encouraging your guests to become active participants so they're not feeling like audience members watching from the outside.


     Like we said, at many wedding receptions, it is pretty common for the default setting to be background music during dinner. Whether a band or a DJ, the background music choices played during dinner should be chosen by you, and should be geared toward building the energy in your reception. The key is building energy in a manner that will match your personal style, while complementing any themes you may have chosen for your wedding reception. Music that is too loud or would best be described as obnoxious by most of your guests should be avoided in favor of music that is light-hearted and unobtrusive. It is also important to play familiar songs and artists that people know and will sing along to. Artists like Coldplay, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews Band, David Gray, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, are nice easy listening and familiar artists that have upbeat tunes. When listening to upbeat and familiar songs, people will sing along, let their guard down, and as the meal and the guests will be having fun and be ready to start dancing.


     What is one of the most common things that you hear when you are at a wedding reception? You are probably thinking music, laughing, conversation, right? What about the clinking of the glasses to make the newlyweds kiss? It's fairly common at a wedding reception for the guests to clink on their glass as a signal that they want the bride and groom to kiss. You can build on this tradition by adding your own fun twists. You can provide your MC with a list of several other couples who will be in attendance. Then you can have your MC instruct your guests that each time they tap on their drinking glasses and the two of you kiss, another couple will be randomly selected from the list and be called upon to kiss as well. If you are both more outgoing and slightly daring, you could require that the randomly selected couple kiss first and then the two of you must imitate their kiss. So your guests will be finding fun and creative ways to make two of you, and your friends, kiss.


     You can try telling your guests that tapping on their drinking glasses to make you kiss just won't work at your wedding reception. Have your MC inform your guests that as an alternative, if they stand at the table and sing any portion of a song that includes the word 'love',  then and only then, will you kiss for them. If your group is already going to be a bit rowdy, soon you may have tables competing to see who can come up with the most creative song. This activity is not advisable with a buffet or food station meal because many guests may not be seated at the same time. Also, a band may not be able to stop playing music as easily when the guests start singing as maybe a DJ could fade out the background music.


     Consider making one of your favorite sports or competitive activities into it you need kissing activity. If you are a golf fan, bring a putting green, putter,  and some golf balls. If you are a basketball fan, maybe you can bring a Nerf basketball hoop! Be creative, and don't be afraid to be bold.  Your MC can randomly select guests to participate from a list compiled during your planning process, or you can have your bridesmaids and groomsmen compete against each other. Another favorite is the bean bag toss game. It never ceases to amaze me how much noise the guests will make when one of them sinks a bean bag in the hole from 20 feet away!


     Using an idea we have previously discussed, have the guests fill out one note card per person at their tables as words of wisdom for your marriage. Once the cards are completed, have the guests to share their answers at their table and then select one card with the funniest or most creative advice as the winner. The winning cards will then be read aloud by the MC in an entertaining way toward the end of the meal.


     Put an envelope with enough lottery tickets for each guest at the table under each table centerpiece. Have your MC inform your guests to find the envelope and pass out the tickets without scratching them. When instructed, all of your guests will scratch off their tickets at the same time, and random noises  from the cash prize winners will be heard from different seats in the room. Perhaps your band or DJ could play a song having to do with money to add a little bit more fun.


     Place an anniversary card, all with different years of marriage assigned on the envelope, along with a pen, on each guest table. Include printed instructions that will ask the guests at each table to sign the card and write a note they would like the two of you to read on that particular anniversary. Once the cards are completed and sealed, they will be collected and put with the regular gift cards so that the newlyweds can discover them later. On many of their future anniversaries, the bride and groom will be able to open yet another anniversary card that will bring back  fond memories of their wedding day. 


     Place note cards and pans at each table and provide your MC with a small, steel canister to be used as a time capsule. Have the MC invite guests to fill out the cards with their names and some special thoughts to share with the bride and groom. The MC will collect all of the cards and any other fun momentos the guests may want to include. These will be sealed inside the steel container until their 1st, 10th, or even 25th wedding anniversary.

     Don't mistake dinner as a time for simple filler music, and a time that you can't do anything fun.  Be bold, try new things, but as always, prepare ahead of time.  Thanks!



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