Ultimately, your wedding day is about celebrating the love between you and the person you’re about to marry. But there’s another goal at hand: throwing one seriously epic party that your guests will talk about for years to come. But how do you make your big day stand out amongst the throngs of weddings your family and friends have attended in the past? While there are many ways to upgrade the standard nuptials, here is a list of easy ways you can get the party started (and continuing!) right.
To start, think about the wedding experience as a whole. Sure, your nearest and dearest are elated to watch you marry your longtime love, but sitting for an hour-long ceremony is not their idea of a celebration. Remember that many of your guests have traveled to spend time with you, not watching you, so ensure the evening is interactive. This way they’ll feel like an important part of the proceedings.
And while the night should certainly cater towards your preferences, think about the total experience for your guests, too. You may love soft jazz music, but that won’t fill your dance floor, so consider those tunes for cocktail hour and have your DJ amp up the playlist after dinner.
To help you plan and execute the best wedding ever, we outlined few sure-fire tips that will leave your guests impressed. We promise, including even just a handful of these standout ideas will turn your wedding day into an event to remember.
Keep Your Ceremony Brief
Don’t get us wrong, your friends and family are present at your big day to see you get married — but no one wants to watch a drawn out ceremony. Keep the actual proceedings (not including entrances and exits) around 20 minutes so you won’t lose anyone’s attention.
Choose a Personalized Program
While we’re on the topic of the ceremony, don’t forget about creating a wedding program. By personalizing this piece of stationery with interesting details about you and your groom, a breakdown of the ceremony’s proceedings, and any important information they should know (like a translation of traditional vows or that you’d prefer photos aren’t taken) you’ll capture their attention and get all of those key details across. Plus, it will keep them busy if the event runs a little late.
Use a Wedding App or Hashtag
There are many great wedding apps to choose from for your big day. Some interactive apps allow guests to upload wedding photos into one curated place, while others keep your friends and family up on any wedding-related news. Want something even easier? Create clever hashtag and ask guests to tag all of their photos using it.
Greet Each Guest
It may sound obvious, but it’s important to personally greet each and every guest at your wedding. Once the celebration is underway do your best to spend time with each person — whether that means chatting over a cocktail, visiting their table at dinner, or letting loose on the dance floor.
Create a Well-Planned Seating Chart
It doesn’t matter if your reception dinner will be a buffet, plated meal, or family-style servings: A smart seating chart is vital to ensuring your guests have a good time. Try to group people together with similar backgrounds and interests, so they’ll have something to talk about even if they’ve never met before.
Make Sure Your Guests Are Comfortable
No matter what time of year you’re tying the knot, it’s important to think about what your guests might need to stay comfortable throughout evening. That may mean offering wraps, parasols, or flip-flops.
Ask for Song Requests
Want to know the best way to get your guests out on the dance floor? Play the songs they actually want to hear! Have your DJ make an announcement that they’ll be taking requests and watch the dance floor fill up when a crowd-favorite comes on.
Have Phone Charging Stations
Sure, the whole point of your wedding is for guests to be present with you, but technology is a necessary evil we can’t avoid. Offering charging stations is a very kind way to show guests you care about their personal needs. Plus, if you want to see tons of Instagram photos of your amazing reception, your friends and family will need battery life! Tuck them away near the bathroom or entrance. (Don’t forget to include a sign with your hashtag, too!)
Play Wedding Games
When guests need a break from dancing, what’s more fun than an interactive game? Options like bocce ball, oversized Jenga, and backgammon are fun ways to get your friends and family to interact with each other.
Make a Memorable Exit
No one wants your wedding night to end, but since it has to, go out on a high note. Do a fun and festive farewell, like a firework show, sparkler exit, or confetti send-off! Your guests will love it, and it will make for some amazing photos.