Category Archives: wedding entertainment ideas

couple posting for photos before enjoying music for outdoor wedding

Music for Outdoor Wedding: 9 Wedding Planning Questions to Ask

Need music for your outdoor wedding? These tips can help you plan the music for your outdoor wedding, and put you on the path to the wedding of your dreams.

What kind of music would we like for our ceremony? Cocktail hour? Reception?

The first step in choosing music for your outdoor wedding is to think about what kind of music you want during each step of your wedding. There are several options: do-it-yourself, musicians, band, and DJ. Sometimes, the solution is one of the wedding music options, but it can also be a combination. For example, a couple might choose to have musicians for the ceremony and a DJ for cocktail hour and reception. (If you choose the latter, use this list of wedding DJ questions to find the best DJ for your special day.)

For couples who need music for the cocktail hour and reception, make sure you ask a band or DJ for the total cost; some music professionals may charge charges for additional hours. (You can also contact a wedding DJ that offers a package with the cocktail hour and reception services included without any overages.)

Are there adequate hook-ups for lighting and music?

If you want to host an outdoor wedding with lighting and/or DJs, you are going to have to determine if there are hook-ups for lighting and music. You can typically ask your venue staff at a wedding venue, but the matter may be more complicated for a backyard wedding. In these cases, ask your wedding DJ or band for information on required hook-ups for your wedding. (A rental company can also give you information on the electricity requirements needed for event lighting.)

Do we need a tent? A dance floor?

While you may want the weather to be perfect for your big day, it’s (sadly) not always the case. Decide whether you need a tent for your ceremony or reception. Fortunately, there are clear tents and tent styles that still allow you to bring the outdoors in.

If you want to host the ultimate dance part, consider whether you want a dance floor. A dance floor can be a beautiful focal point, and an easy way for your guests to dance without wrenching an ankle (and doing damage to the lawn!) If you are holding the wedding at a venue, always ask before renting a dance floor. Some venues have guidelines specifically about dance floors.

Is there a curfew? Do we need a permit?

Some municipalities require that couples secure a permit for their event. If you are planning a backyard wedding, contact your local municipality for information on permits and curfews. At a wedding venue, staff should be able to give you information during your initial meeting or venue tour. (Don’t forget to pass curfew information on your wedding DJ or band.) Either way, it’s important to do your research; you don’t want the cops to shut down your wedding celebrations and end the fun.

What other entertainment do we need?

As you plan your outdoor wedding, don’t be afraid to consider other forms of wedding entertainment—especially for those who don’t want to hit the dance floor. Fortunately, there are tons of other outdoor wedding entertainment ideas (in addition to music for your outdoor wedding) that guests’ll love. You can choose from any number of ideas, such as yard games, photo booths, table games (with personalized questions about the happy couple!), and tasting stations. (Some wedding DJs even offer photo booths as part of their wedding entertainment package.) You can also talk to your wedding DJ or band about adding dance floor games to your wedding reception line-up. Whatever you choose, be creative and have fun with it!

20 (Fun!) Wedding Reception Table Games

Beautiful floral table decorations and table games at wedding receptionWedding entertainment is about more than hiring the best DJ in Chicago. Obviously, that is a BIG part of a memorable wedding reception, but there are the “other” times to plan for, too. Guests need to be entertained before the bride and groom arrive, while they wait for dinner and the dance, and for those moments when they need a break from their dancing shoes. The obvious choice—and the solution that keeps guests at their table and ready for dinner—are wedding reception table games.

Of course, if you want to make those in-between times more fun, bring your DJ into the conversation (and make sure you have a pro that’s up to the task). They can make announcements, coordinate games, and basically make the night more fun for everyone.

For adults…

  1. Trivia (i.e. related to the theme, about the couple, etc.)
  2. Crossword
  3. I Spy
  4. Word Search
  5. Wedding Hash Tag Game (i.e have them post photos with the wedding hash tag to social media)
  6. Mad-libs Wedding Style
  7. Find a guest with…
  8. Bride or Groom Guessing Game (for a funny photo, ask the DJ to play the game as a group give the guests signs they can hold up)
  9. Wedding cootie catchers
  10. Marriage Advice Cards
  11. Bingo
  12. Request Cards
  13. Photo Booth Props (that they can model and take to the photo booth)
  14. Date Idea Cards

For kids…

  1. Tic Tac Toe
  2. Coloring Sheets
  3. Connect-the-dots
  4. Legos/Bricks
  5. White Play Clay (that doesn’t stain)
  6. Simpler versions of adult trivia, crossword, etc.

5 Epic Wedding Photo Booth Musts

wedding guests in photo booth with silly hats and funny facesA photo booth can be the source of a million funny shots or an unused wedding prop. These tips can ensure that your wedding photo booth is a big hit—and one of the guests’ fav kind of wedding entertainment.

Props

When it comes to photo booths, silly faces aren’t always enough. Supply your wedding guests with an ample supply of photo booth props. If you have a wedding theme, select props that fit with the theme. Think leis and grass skirts for a tropical wedding, feather boas and top hats for a theater theme, and clown noses and top hats for a wedding at the circus. Be creative and have fun choosing the best wedding photo booth props.

Frame

If you want guests to mark the special occasion, provide a frame with the wedding name (i.e. Smith Wedding, Doe-Smith Wedding) and/or the date and social media hashtags. If a frame isn’t your first choice, instead opt for a chalkboard (perfect for a school teacher wedding) or a rustic sign.

Location

Don’t let your photo booth become a forgotten wedding entertainment prop. Position the photo booth in a convenient location that guests can easily reach (without too much direction). The ideal location for a photo booth should be near the dance floor and bar—easily accessible for a fun shot in between wedding dances.

Space

Not all photo booths are created equal. Do you want group shots? Smaller, personalized shots? Old-fashioned printed professional shots? Weigh your options carefully as you decide on the right photo booth rental. For a less-stress option, choose a DJ that offers a photo booth rental as part of a wedding entertainment package.

Reliability

To get every shot (and the best pics) possible, make sure you have a reliable (and well-built to avoid a photo booth collapse!) photo booth that won’t break down. Unfortunately, a do-it-yourself photo booth is not always the most reliable equipment—and doesn’t come with a back-up when it does shut down. For those reasons, research wedding photo booth rentals carefully; rent a wedding photo booth that comes with a back-up in case of problems and the pros with expertise to get awesome wedding reception shots.

6 ‘Other’ Ways to Entertain Your Wedding Reception Guests

wedding guests in photo booth with silly hats and funny facesEveryone loves a good wedding dance, but sometimes it takes more than just a rocking wedding reception to keep your guests entertained. Use these ideas to keep everyone enjoying your wedding dance—even the non-dancers.

Table trivia

For those who don’t want to venture out on the dance floor, give them trivia cards customized about the couple or the theme of the reception (i.e. history questions about the 20’s, your city, movies, etc.) Get your DJ in the act with fun trivia music and announcing the winners and their rewards (i.e. the right to head up to the buffet first, door prizes, extra drink, etc.)

Photo booth

Give your guests a chance to have fun AND take home a memento from a great wedding reception. Use these tips for choosing the perfect photo booth, then take your photo booth props to the next level by choosing props that are connected to your wedding reception theme.

Yard games

If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, give your guests a good corn hole toss, lawn bowling, ring toss, or ladder ball game to take on. For a wedding reception with a more indoor designation, bring your yard games inside or add fun options like a foosball or pool table.

Coloring station

Your youngest guests are going to love a coloring station meant just for them—and their parents will thank you too. In addition to coloring pages, add a simple craft that won’t cause too much of a mess (to the kids and their clothes).

Interactive food station

An interactive food station has two major benefits: 1) it’s a major draw and 2) it keeps your guests fueled and ready to head out on the dance floor. Choose a food station that’s tied into your location or theme for the ultimate coordinated entertainment addition.

Caricature artist

A caricature artist can be a novel addition to any wedding reception line-up. Perfect for an outdoor carnival theme, a caricature artist can be a major draw when your guests need a break from the dance floor.

Complete Wedding Entertainment Checklist

wedding guests having fun dancing at wedding receptionThe days of hiring one wedding entertainer for your wedding is over.  Today’s wedding guests can look forward to so much more; you can meet (and exceed!) their expectations by choosing from this list of wedding entertainment options (or ask us for ideas!).

Main stage entertainment

____DJ (find a good DJ with these tips)

____Band

____DIY (here are the pros and cons of DIY wedding music)

Off-stage fun

____Photo booth (tips for finding a quality photo booth here)

____Glow-in-the-dark bowling (in the hallways?)

____Face painter

____Celebrity impersonator or mascot to circulate

____Fireworks (only if allowed)

____Interactive food table

____Foosball or pool table

____Yard games (especially at outdoor wedding)

____Photo stand-ins

Table entertainment

____Crossword puzzle using clues that tie into your theme

____Coloring pages (especially for young guests)

____Have guests make their own wedding favors

____Trivia cards

____Advice cards (for guests to give couple tips)

____Wedding-libs

____Hangman

25 Entertainment Ideas That Your Wedding Guests’ll LOVE

couple in photo booth with silly hats and funny facesNo one wants their wedding to be remembered as the “boring one” with nothing to do—and not all your guests just want to stand around and talk.  To ensure that every wedding guest walks away from your event raving about the good time they had at your wedding, use these ideas to keep your guests entertained from dinner until their exit from the wedding reception:

  1. DJ (use these tips to hire the best!)
  2. Band
  3. Wedding video
  4. Coloring books
  5. Yard games
  6. Trivia cards (about the couple)
  7. Photo booth (with these cool photo booth props!)
  8. Entertainers
  9. Photo stand-ins
  10. Wedding-libs (Mad-libs that fit your wedding theme)
  11. Lanterns
  12. Fireworks
  13. Tic tac toe (yard, chalk board, or paper)
  14. Hangman
  15. Flash mob dance
  16. Bowling (indoor or outdoor)
  17. Sidewalk chalk/chalkboard chalk
  18. Sparklers
  19. Corn hole
  20. Ring toss
  21. Chess (large scale-indoor or outdoor)
  22. Interactive food/sweets table
  23. Pool table
  24. Foosball table
  25. Advice station (where guests can give you advice on cute little cards)