Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ask a Planner... "Let Me Entertain You!"

Hi Geneve!

Can you recommend some fun activities to entertain our wedding guests?

Many thanks!!!
Denise Summers

Hello Denise,

I'd love to!  Many people simply rely on the DJ and Bar to be the entertainment or in recent years incorporate interactive elements like Photo booths and Candy Stations into the mix.  With couples wanting more and more these days to have their wedding be a true reflection of them and leave guests with memories of a really fun and personalized night they are getting creative and coming up with even more interactive and fun ways to keep guests occupied and entertained.  Some of the most successful and popular ones I’ve seen:

CARD/BOARD GAMES: Setting up a Lounge area or simply some cocktail tables with some stacks of retro board games including ones like Twister (that’s a fun one once a few drinks have been ingested), Chess, Life (kind of poignant on a wedding night), Jenga, Darts (suggest the magnetic ones over the actual darts for safety purposes) & Yahtzee are a fun way to encourage some post dinner merriment!  You would be surprised how much fun people have with these since they are not typically played in the home as much as they used to be.  Rather nostalgic actually!

GARDEN GAMES: This works best if your venue includes an outdoor grassy area… Put out games including Horse Shoes, Bocce, Croquet, and if the space allows for it even a Volleyball Net!  Think about the type of guests you have coming… what would they LOVE to see?!

LATE NIGHT INTERACTIVE SNACK STATIONS: From Sundae Stations to Assorted Cookies & Milk (think Oreos & Chocolate Chip Cookies), Candy Stations (this one’s not a new idea, but still fun none the less), Make your own Mini Pizza Stations and my personal Favourite Gourmet Grilled Cheese Station with 2-3 cheese and bread options for mixing and matching (I’ve seen it done with a Chef manning the grill and also a couple small grills left for guests to self operate – both a ton of fun!). 

SCRAP BOOKING/GUEST BOOK STATION: Set up a table with various supplies like glue, scissors, interesting pens, magazines (to cut and paste from), coloured markers, stickers, etc.  Post signage asking guests to get creative and contribute to this Interactive Guest Book Mural for the Bride & Groom.  In the end you end up with a fabulous board of images, thoughts, quotes, & cutouts that tells their story.  I’ve only seen this done once and it was awesome!  

At the end of the night they had an incredible board with pictures of Ferraris (groom had a passion for them!) and Horses (she grew up competing), photos of landmarks around Europe (the couple met on a European backpacking trip), pictures of delicious food (they were huge foodies), and some of the nicest messages and bits of advice from their guests I’ve ever read!  You could also include a Polaroid Camera and guests can add photos of themselves to the Mural. Lots of possibilities!

HIRED ENTERTAINMENT: If budget allows you could always hire entertainment.  My favorites include Slight of Hand Illusionists that mingle with the crowd and continually blow their minds with a variety of fabulous trickery leaving guests laughing out loud in amazement and totally baffled. 

Another one that I personally started incorporating into some of my weddings as of late are hired actors paid to “blend in” with your guests and interact with them in unexpected ways.  The best one we do is “The Drunk Server” who spent the night shocking guests by doing everything a professional server should not from eating the canapés right off the serving trays to sipping excessively full glasses of wine before handing them to the guests, to complaining about his boss/girlfriend, to returning from the washroom with his fly down and toilet paper hanging from his shoe, and even sitting down with guests at varying points to enjoy a swig of “something” from his own hidden flask or a shooter.  It was quite the conversation starter! 

After about two hours of this performance the catering company (who so generously played along as it could be the quickest way to ruin a caterer’s reputation – haha!) dramatically “fired” the waiter on the spot!  A couple minutes later the band shared the secret with all the guests and introduced our Hired Drunk Waiter and the crowd broke out into tremendous applause!  It was awesome. The only people privy to the set up was the bride and groom and a couple VIP guests that had to be told for fear that they would throw the waiter out before the gig could be revealed! LOL

Wedding Planner signing off!  Until next week… keep those questions coming in!  Submit your questions by emailing us at


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Genève McNally, Principal Planner, DreamGroup Productions

Genève first began her wedding career in 1999 as the Catering Manager for one of Vancouver’s most sought after wedding venues, Brock House Restaurant.  In 2004 Genève and college friend Sarah Shore ambitiously started up what is now one of Vancouver's longest running and most trusted wedding planning companies, DreamGroup Productions Inc.

These days, in addition to working with her clients in a full planning capacity, Genève focuses her attention on the sales and marketing aspects of the company and is most often the friendly voice you will chat with when first inquiring with DreamGroup.  Genève is known to inspire and excite both clients and industry associates alike with her exuberant personality and joie de vivre!  Her ability to be refreshingly candid and her in depth knowledge of the wedding industry have earned her the friendly moniker “Two-Cents McNally”.  Genève also teaches the Wedding Planning classes offered through the dg Academy and is the chief correspondent behind DreamGroup's weekly Blog feature Ask a Planner.

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