Unique ideas for entertaining guests at your drinks reception

The ceremony has gone smoothly. Your guests are excited, chatty and mingling while you pose for pictures and other essential freshly married couple stuff. Now comes one of the hardest parts of wedding planning, keeping your guests entertained in that hinterland between your wedding and your evening reception.

Group of Young People Enjoying Dinner at the Restaurant

It’s usual to bridge this gap with a drinks reception which can span anything from one to three hours depending on your schedule. You want to keep energy levels high, drinks flowing (but not too quickly) and start to get everyone in the party mood. One way to keep your guests happy and occupied is with entertainment. Don’t wait for the reception to get your show truly on the road, try one of our unique entertainment ideas below.


An increasingly popular way to keep your guests in high spirits and encourage a little early getting to know each other is with games. From personalised games that get your guests talking about you as a couple to cheesy parlour games that raise a laugh and a few eyebrows, there is no right or wrong way to incorporate this idea. For something unusual, create a personalised treasure hunt with hidden clues around your reception room or provide old-school board games to make your guests smile.

Live music

Music at a wedding should never be confined to the band and the DJ after your meal. Great music creates a mood and a focal point for every portion of your day. For an unusual wedding reception idea, choose music that is just a little outside your guest comfort zone. A salsa band or jazz act makes a statement and creates a talking point.

Feeling brave? Ask your more musically inclined friends to perform and keep your music choices truly personal.

Create a slide show

If tackling PowerPoint sounds like a distinctly unentertaining way to add to your drinks reception, well, you’re probably not alone in that view. But, if you can get your hands on a projector and have a few design skills this can be amazing. Put together a highlights reel of you as a couple alongside your best bits with all your favourite family and friends. Set it to music, make it funny or poignant, essentially get creative! Play this across a wall or screen at your reception to create buzz, hundreds of talking points and a real feel-good factor.

Make magic

This is an old-fashioned entertainment idea that’s stuck because it really works. Hire a magician to mingle with your guest, perform tricks and leave them open-mouthed. Forget fusty, old-fashioned performances in top hat and tails, modern magicians can create a vibe that suits you. Casual and conversational performances work in this type of environment and it can really help time fly.

Kid centred activities

Do you have a heap of kids at your wedding? The grown-ups and kids will love you if you provide entertainment that keeps those little ones occupied. Depending on numbers you can go flat out and hire an all-round entertainer or someone to paint faces, make balloon animals or tell stories. It leaves the grown-ups free to mingle and stops the kids from feeling bored, tired or downright grumpy.

Have fun with food

If there is going to be a long gap between your wedding and the evening meal, you’re going to want to feed your hungry guests. Bring food and entertainment together by creating theatre through a bite to eat. Fondue, a chocolate fountain or a create your own sushi station are all unique ways to incorporate food into your drinks reception. Beware, finger food and over-enthusiastic guests can lead to spillages. Provide bibs, napkins or aprons to keep your wedding gang looking pristine.

Singing waiters

The most effective entertainment includes an element of surprise and what can be more surprising than your waiters breaking into song or even dance! The trend for multiskilled waiting staff is growing and this is a unique but effective way to get your guests attention. You can guarantee that after a couple of songs all your guests will be posing for selfies with their favourite singing server and everyone will be in a celebratory mood. Up the effectiveness of this entertainment by directing your waiter to those guests whose reactions could be the most fun or ask them to sing personalised songs to your favourite people.

Your drinks reception shouldn’t be stuffy or dull.  Up the fun factor with great entertainment!

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