3 Ways to Keep Your Guests at the Reception

Have you ever been to a wedding where people start “peacing-out” after about 30min of the reception starting and within an hour, HALF the crowd is just gone!?!

I’ve been to several actually (imagine that). I hate seeing this. I hate seeing the couple looking around wondering what the heck happened and where did everyone go. So here are 3 ways to keep your guests at the party so you can enjoy them longer!

Oregon Wedding Photographer Betty Boyce Photography-5439 copy.jpg

This may not seem like a big deal but ask any party planner … IT IS! There is definitely a flow to your reception and the moment there is a gap … that is prime time for people to come up to you for an awkward early exit. To be honest, the guests don’t really know what is going to occur at the reception … they have a general idea and that idea may not be super exciting for them. Clearly informing your guests via table cards or a display board on what will be happening and WHEN gives them a clear idea of what to expect and look forward to! Bonus points if you have some sort of "surprise” later in the evening … they won’t want to miss it!

Some traditional ideas:

  • Grand Entrance (make it special)

  • First Dance Special dances with parents (maybe a choreographed special?)

  • Take Cutting + Toasts (fun stories are great)

  • Bouquet & Garter Toss

  • Formal Exit (sparklers, lavender, cell phone flash lights, bubbles, human tunnel …)

    Some non-traditional ideas:

  • Grand Entrance (make it special)

  • Money dance ( guest pin money to you & groom to dance with you for a few seconds)

  • Shoe game (you sit back to back with your parter with one of each shoe and get asked fun questions to which you raise the appropriate shoe for your answer)

  • Yard game competitions (do more than just put them out … get people involved in a competition while they wait for dinner)

  • Special guest performance (inviting someone musically talented? ask them to perform something special as a gift to you … guests love these unique touches and it really puts out some incredible feels for the evening!

  • Wedding party lip-sync battle … get each side of the wedding party to pick a song and do a lip-sync battle and have the guests be the judges on who wins


2. Hire a DJ

I promise they are worth ever.single.penny! DJ’s come in all shapes and can bring so many things to your party but the most important roll is to KEEP THE PARTY ROLLING … they are your guest HYPE, they play music the crowd will respond to.

When you boil it down to the basics, wedding guests remember three things the most – the ceremony, the food and the party afterwards. A professional DJ guarantees the last part will be an absolute smash, and you won’t find yourself asking ‘what did I pay for? but instead you will be remembering back to that incredible party and how much fun it was being with all your guests in such a fun manner.

Salem Oregon Wedding Photographer Betty Boyce Photography-5266.jpg

3. Get a Photo Booth

Because EVERYONE wants a photo of themselves! In todays culture … selfies are happening left and right and your guests will want a token to remember this rad day with you! A photo booth is an incredible tool for guest entertainment and enjoyment for all ages! I just so happen to include my super rad (digital only, text directly to your phone for instant sharing!) photo/GIF booth for all my weddings and it is such a big hit, most people hit it up 2-5 times a night! There are photo booth companies, DJ’s sometimes offer them also .. but there are differences. Some print, some don’t, some have a background and props, some don’t. I think this is the perfect thing that is starting to take the place of “wedding favors” …