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Your wedding is a day to remember for the rest of your life. Ideally, it should be a day for friends, loved ones and guests to remember for the rest of their lives too, as they don’t come cheap. TheKnot.com estimates the average cost of a wedding nationally to be $28,000, with Missouri coming in at a shade under $25,000. For that sort of stack, guests should be leaving flush with happiness. If you’re looking to have something a bit more unique than the local cover band, here are some ideas to consider.
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With the rise of smartphones and social media, we take more photos than ever before. It’s certain a lot of guests will be taking snaps of the soiree, but rounding the pics up to see if they can go into the wedding album can take time and effort. Some couples will leave disposable cameras on each table for guests to use and leave, but manual film processors aren’t so common in this day and age. Hiring a photo booth with an attendant can be a fun, and practical idea. The quality of the shots is assured, and creates an inclusive feel – remember guests will have been kicking their heels watching a lot of photography they’re not involved in for much of the day.
If Mother Nature is playing nice for the big day and there’s outdoor space to entertain, think about some genteel outdoor games. You may not want the groomsmen playing touch football and having to explain grass stains to the tux hire company, but games like bocce ball, Giant Jenga or croquet can be enjoyed by everyone in the party. They can be especially useful for the afternoon when people are waiting their turns to be called by the wedding photographer.
Space will be at more of a premium inside the venue and what works outdoors might not be viable inside. For maximum inclusivity at minimum square footage, a poker table could be set up. This shouldn’t be a full-on game of Texas Hold’em taking up hours of the night, but a much simpler idea. In three-card poker, you’re dealt a hand and the best one as they stand wins. There are not many resources needed – a table (which the venue will have), someone to deal the cards (and keep a note of who drew what) and perhaps some printouts with poker hand rankings on said table. Each guest gets to draw and the best hand of the evening can take a prize home.
Entertainment can make or break a reception. A DJ with a box of dusty ‘romantic favorites’ doesn’t cut it anymore and a couple would expect them to have access to streaming services to facilitate guest requests. Likewise, the new wave of close-up magicians like Apollo Robbins, Shin Lim, and the late Ricky Jay have inspired a new breed of illusionists to put the rabbit back into the hat and turn their hands to wowing guests with card tricks, coin tricks, and close-quarters conjuring. Hiring an illusionist to meander among the tables at the reception can charm guests.
The last thing any couple wants is to think their guests feel like they’re doing them a favor by coming to the reception. Make the special day as memorable for them as it is for you.
Article written by Jackie Roanes