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  • Julie Orrell

Keeping adults entertained at a wedding…

Many people think it’s the children you should keep entertained at a wedding so that they are not running around causing havoc, and I do agree to a point, however, we are all children at heart, so we all still need to be entertained whether we are 2 or 62.

On the point of children, it is so important that if you are including children in the guest party that there is something for them to do especially if you are going to have huge periods of time in your day that don’t involve the ceremony, food or drink. At one wedding I planned a few years ago, the bride told me they were having lots of children so needed lots of entertainment…I hadn’t realised how many children at that time. I’m sure in the end we had about 27 children attend the wedding. But lucky for me (as I do sometimes end up becoming a babysitter) we had a children’s entertainer booked, a separate marquee just for the children, lots of colouring books, lego, children’s snacks….and the list went on…

Anyway, back to the adults…some adults are quite happy chatting away to others whilst having a drink, but there are those occasional guests who need slightly more entertaining as otherwise they start hearing their bellies rumbling. I’ve seen all sorts of entertainment over the years but perhaps the best were the traditional games such as coconut shys, hop-scotch and hook a duck. It was great at one wedding watching various grown ups kicking off their shoes and politely moving the children out of the way as they took over the games. I did have to laugh to myself as the competition heated up.


Other entertainment I’ve seen is a bucking broncho…when it was first mentioned as an option I have to admit I was a little dubious. However, seeing the bride having so much fun on her day really was special…and the bucking broncho was definitely well worth the money. Everyone was loving it!

Music is an obvious choice but make sure it can be heard. If you have a large venue with huge grounds and a string quartet is playing – make sure they are in amongst the guests rather than hidden to one side. Also music that people recognise really works as you’d be surprised how many guests start to join in…sometimes I don’t think they even realise they are humming or singing along and when those hips start moving in time with the music you know they are having fun!

Photobooths are always fun but remember during the early part of a wedding most people will feel too self-conscious to strike those poses and some will need a little bit of alcohol to help them lose their inhibitions…so perhaps positioning the photobooth closer to the dance floor might be advisable. As the lights go down, the disco lights or fairy lights are switched on and the alcohol is flowing, your guests will start to use the photo booth in between their Peter Kay dance moves! Homemade photobooths can be just as fun though – hang a frame in a tree, position next to it a table with a guest book, pen, glue stick and polaroid camera…and let your guests loose with their creative genius.

Magicians…do they entertain your guests? Absolutely if they are one of the good ones…I certainly have worked with at least two exceptionally talented ones. They might not necessarily agree with my timing of when to use them…I usually say in the gap between a meal and the evening do, but I’m not sure anyone appreciates being ‘gap fillers’. Whenever you have them, if you choose a talented magician your guests will watch in awe.

Caricaturists…I’ve seen a couple of these in action…and they are incredible artists and able to really capture the moment. My only concern with this sort of entertainment is that it only involves a select few and how many people want to stand still at your wedding whilst they have their portrait drawn.

Band or DJ or both…I’d always suggest both…however if you’re going for either make sure they are good ones and match you. Do you want someone who will play classic ‘wedding’ type music, someone who talks a lot over the mic (not my preferred ones) or someone who is really into their music and able to mix songs together – one DJ I know can mix the latest dance music with old classics such as Grease…and the dance floor goes wild!!


Bands – now this is a difficult one – what type of music do you and your guests enjoy? I’ve seen so many different artists – singing waiters (whom surprised the guests with their opera talents), a Frank Sinatra singer, a gospel choir, various bands of different genres…to more well known artists such as Chico (whilst exceptionally cheesy I have to say he was fab) and McBusted.

You just need to make sure that whichever musician you choose, they are sized appropriate to your venue, that you’ve checked whether the venue has a noise limiter and that you are going to enjoy the type of music. You also need to be clear on where you want your musicians to set up…I had one band that decided they wanted to take over the entire dance floor for their set up. When I asked them where they thought people were going to dance, they just shrugged and said on the carpet? Not on my watch! Needless to say they moved but if they hadn’t have done, no dancing would have taken place under the starry sky and that’s what the bride had dreamed of.

Stilt walkers

What other entertainment is an option…the list is endless: sumo wrestling suits, inflatable obstacle courses, dodgems, bouncy castles, ice-cream vans / bikes, crepe stands, fireworks….and the list goes on….just think about who you are, what you want to achieve and then choose the entertainment based on that. Remember, entertained guests will stay at your wedding for longer and often for the full duration (unless they have children, have travelled some distance and are not drinking, or are of the older generation).

Adults like to have fun as much as children and sometimes even more so…but remember whichever entertainment you choose it has to reflect you two, as a couple. At the same time if you can’t afford entertainment, don’t worry…mixing with family and friends is often entertainment enough! 😉

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