Wedding Entertainment Cornwall
Keep your guests young and old engaged with these entertaining ideas
Uncle Donald hates weddings but being married to the ever-social Auntie Betty means an annual flurry of wedding invitations. At best he knows the brides and grooms through after-work socials, at worst he couldn't pick them out of a line-up. Endless weddings where he feels like a plus-one equals hours of small talk and stifling yawns. Not good. So make sure no one feels like a spare part at your wedding, whatever their age or preference, with these ideas from the experts on all-encompassing W-day ideas.
Little people are a tough crowd at W-day, primarily because there are multiple personality types to deal with – from the tulle-covered flower girl taking her role very seriously to the hyperactive toddler bouncing between knee slides and hysterics. So how to keep tears and tantrums at bay with a little distraction? “Have a small, separate room for the children,” says Laonni from Jenny Wren Weddings (jennywrenweddingsandevents.co.uk
). “Fill it with blankets, screen TV shows and movies, and have boxes of toys to occupy them and ensure they don’t get bored,” she adds. And take inspiration from the kids’ room for a little fun for the adults, too. “Have a few small boxes full of silly costumes and accessories for people to dress up in for photos or just for fun,” says Laonni. And if you have nice weather, try “outdoor games on the lawn – for example, badminton, ring toss, noughts and crosses or cornhole,” she adds. “Garden games such as giant chess, croquet and kites are a win for all ages to enjoy,” adds Tracy from Blue Fizz Events (bluefizzevents.co.uk
Getting to know you
So when Uncle Donald – not someone you’re going to catch in a feather boa and a fake moustache – starts stifling a yawn, what’s the best course of action? “Mini quizzes,” says Laonni. Perfect for guests who love getting their teeth into anything with an element of skill, quizzes are entertaining and an immediate icebreaker. “Scatter them around each table and you can relate them to the bride and groom, who’s the best dressed, who’s got the best hat, who’s wearing the best shoes etc,” says Laonni. “A pop quiz with questions about the couple – such as where did you first meet – is a great idea to have at each table while your guests enjoy the meal and gives everyone an opportunity to introduce themselves,” says Tracy. If technology allows, any gadget geeks will appreciate “small sliding photo screens on each table with photos relating to the bride and groom and all their guests,” says Laonni. “These create icebreakers and talking points across the table,” she adds. “Photo or video booths allow your guests to cement their memories of the day by sharing their stories for the happy couple to see after the event,” says Laonni. “We recently set up a Polaroid guest book where all the guests were able to take a photograph of themselves and put their name on it so everyone knew who each other was,” agrees Tracy, before adding “photo booths are great for all ages and people can even engage with each other in the queue and while swapping props, too.”
Drink to that!
OK, it’s a given that boredom somewhat abates once cocktail hour strikes, “so have a DIY cocktail bar where your guests can create their own drinks,” says Laonni. But it’s worth remembering no one wants to be the only drunk on the dance floor so try not to use the bar as the quick way to becoming the social butterfly! Continuing the evening’s entertainment, Tracy suggests a casino. “A casino in the evening is a great way for all sides of the family to interact and have a lot of fun,” she says. With professional-look tables, official croupiers and even customised money, there are hours of fun to be had and no risk of gambling away your real-life hard-earned millions!
So there’s nothing to say the older generations are necessarily the slower, with plenty of silver surfers up for an energetic performance on the dance floor. But for any guests who do want to take it easy like Auntie Jean and her dodgy hip or perhaps any breastfeeding mums or well-behaved children who need to take some time out, it’s nice to offer an alternative to just a sofa in the corner crammed with snoozing relatives. “Where possible, we suggest a table or snug area en route to the bar with cards, dominos and seating in a quieter space… where guests can still feel part of the event but can talk and get to know other guests over a hand of cards,” says Tracy.
And of course a wedding wouldn’t be a wedding without some musical accompaniment. “Have a musician who will play various music types to cater for every guest (from the old to the young),” says Laonni. Either ask your DJ to make sure he plays tunes that span the decades or commission different musicians for different areas, so the quieter corners can be filled too. Background noise is lovely but it doesn’t always have to be thumping beats. Resting to Pachelbel’s Canon is much nicer than complete silence or a steady stream of background squeals from the dance floor.
So with just a few well-thought-out ideas and consideration for every generation, you should be able to put together a day where everyone can enjoy themselves: young, old, sprightly or early-nightly. “Essentially,” says Tracy, “it’s about considering all of your guests’ needs and comfort at all times, ensuring there are elements to the day that make them feel involved in your making of memories.” So remember when you’re wedding planning, all your guests need is the opportunity to enjoy the day at their own pace, no matter what age group or friendship circle. “Simple touches can make all the difference!” adds Tracy.
words Elizabeth Chester
Copyright Wed magazine 2017