As much fun as some find it to let loose and boogie down at weddings, others aren’t quite as hyped to spend the whole night on the dance floor. Even if your guest list is full of club regulars and you’ve packed your DJ’s setlist with the best songs, it can be a good idea to plan for a few alternative ways for attendees to have fun at your reception.
From synchronized swimmers to tarot card readings, these unique wedding entertainment ideas are sure to delight guests of all ages.
Surprise With Synchronized Swimmers
If your wedding venue includes a pool, why not put it to good use? With cheeky choreography and eye-catching costumes, synchronized swimmers will put on a performance that your guests won't soon forget. Schedule them during cocktail hour, when guests are already mingling. That way, no one feels like they can't get up from their seat to 'gram a pic.
Have a Live Painter on Hand
Sure, the masterpiece a live painter creates serves more as a keepsake for the marrying couple, but that doesn't mean guests won't be excited to watch them as they work. Place the artist somewhere where they can see the whole setting, but isn't so far removed that guests can't easily amble over and observe.
Sample Spirits With a Bourbon Tasting
Complement your signature cocktails with a station dedicated specifically to your favorite spirit. Be sure to station a beverage pro that's especially knowledgeable on the subject behind the bar, so they can answer any questions your guests may have about different flavor profiles and aging processes.
Have S'mores Station
Snacks that involve cooking and assembly double as an activity, don't you think? And s'more roasting is the perfect excuse for guests to gather for cozy conversation around the fire pit.
Added bonus: if you're planning for a kid-friendly wedding, your youngest guests will absolutely love this idea.
Let Lion Dancers Lead The Way
With their bright costumes and fantastic movements, traditional lion dancers are a wonderful way to honor Chinese heritage and totally wow your guests. Schedule them as a surprise intermission during the main dance party, or, for a one-of-a-kind entrance, have them lead guests from cocktail hour to the reception space.
Pick a Corner for Tarot Cards
Give guests the opportunity to peek into their future with a tarot card reading station at cocktail hour. This is an especially on-theme wedding entertainment idea if your celebration includes other celestial-inspired details.
Invite a Team Mascot
If there's a diehard sports fandom in your midst, consider arranging a surprise appearance by their favorite team's mascot. Not only will the mascot already know how to rev up a crowd, they'll also provide a prime photo op for guests. Pro tip: This can also be a fun surprise gift for a groom or bride.
Set Up a Bouncy Castle
Bounce houses: They're not just for children's birthday parties! Any young-at-heart crew will appreciate this playful, inflatable addition to an outdoor wedding reception.
Include a Jenga Set in the Lounge
This classic game can be easily set up in your cocktail lounge, and will be a fun way for attendees who aren't into dancing—or just need a break from it—to pass the time. Looking for a creative guest book idea? Leave a few permanent markers by the set and encourage folks to sign it.
Go Boho With a Flower Crown Bar
Calling all boho brides! If you'll be donning a flower crown on your wedding day and want to give your guests the same option, set up a station where they can easily create their own. You'll need covered florist wire, florist tape, garden shears and scissors, and fresh blooms and greenery in shades that match your decor scheme.
Leave Mad Libs at Every Table
Guests will have a blast writing their own versions of your love story, and you'll laugh for hours when you read through the options after the fact. Stack a few templates—there are plenty available on Etsy—in the center of every reception table alongside a jar of pens, and encourage guests to use them as way to get to know their table mates.
Play the Shoe Game
How well do you and your spouse really know each other? And who has the best memory when it comes to your relationship? Put it all to the test and put on a show for your guests with this popular (and easy to play!) wedding reception and engagement party game.
Have an Aerialist Dazzle from Above
Acrobatics can be a surprisingly elegant way to incorporate a unique wedding entertainment option into your big day. Hire aerial silk performers to showcase their art in a high-traffic area, such as over the bar, and your guests while have something amazing to watch while they wait for their drinks.
This quick and easy game will feel even more wedding-appropriate if you replace the X's and O's with your initials. For a rustic wedding, make your own set with hot-glued rope and jumbo letters from a local craft store.
Host Circus Performers at Cocktail Hour
Stilt walkers, fire-breathers, and ribbon twirlers are all wonderful spectacles to behold. Set them loose during cocktail hour to spark conversation and get guests in the party mood.
Bring on the Belly Dancers
In the Middle Eastern zaffa tradition, musicians and a belly dancer lead a just-married couple and their guests from ceremony to reception with a lively parade. You can also opt to honor your Arabic heritage with a belly dancing troupe performance just before dinner.
Set Up a Fortune-Telling Tent
Horoscope-loving couples may want to continue the trend of looking into the future of their marriage with a soothsayer at the reception. If guests have questions about their love life, a wedding is the perfect time to ask!
Celebrate With a Second Line
This unique New Orleans tradition sees a brass band (the first line) lead a group of partygoers (the second line) through the streets in parade style. Just be sure to plan in advance—permits can be required.
Opt for a Video Guest Book
In lieu of handwritten messages, some couples are now asking guests to record well-wishes with DIY video stations and iPads. Ask your band to remind attendees of the option a few times throughout the night. The more celebratory your guests feel, the more, ahem, expressive their sentiments might be.
Book Your Favorite Impersonator
At a fun coffee shop wedding in Philadelphia, Britney Spears impersonator Derrick Barry surprised this couple and their guests with lip-synched renditions of the iconic artist's greatest hits. We bet even the non-dancers in the group had fun singing along.
Include a Driving Range
If you're getting married at home, on a private property with lots of acreage, or maybe even at a country club, set up an area where guests can practice their golf swing. Be sure to include clubs for left and right-handed folks, and don't forget a few extra buckets of balls.
End With a DIY Bud Vase Bar
There's no shortage of creative wedding favor ideas out there, but how about something a touch more interactive? Set out single-stem blooms and pretty bud vases, then invite guests to create their own mini arrangements before they head out the door.
Do a Silent Disco
Okay, this last one technically involves dancing, but it's just too good not to include! If your wedding venue is outdoors or has an early noise curfew, keep the music flowing through headphones. Guests that don't want to boogie can opt to explore the venue grounds while still participating in the same immersive musical experience.