Anyone who is in the throes of wedding planning will tell you that they are looking to make their big day stand out! No one wants a cookie cutter wedding that looks just like everyone else’s! We are all familiar with photo booths and surprise choreographed wedding party dances, but if you are searching for some more unique options to keep your guests entertained while you’re looking at your new spouse with googly eyes, look no further! We have rounded up some of the coolest wedding entertainment options that are currently on trend in the DC area.
Interactive Food – Seriously guys, everyone loves when they get a fantastic meal at a wedding, but when you also wow your guests by including them in the experience, they won’t forget it! We are big fans of interactive food options at weddings and these can be done in tons of different ways. An option that is definitely worth discussing with your DC wedding caterer is having a make-your-own bar on your wedding day. The possibilities on this are practically unlimited; go for a mimosa bar with tons of differences juice choices and fresh fruit, or if you are looking for something a little more savory, a mac and cheese bar with every topping imaginable is always a crowd pleaser! Toward the end of the night, instead of having enough wedding cake to feed an army cut a small cake for photos and offer your guests an ice cream sundae bar where they can make their own fun creations. Another one of our favorite interactive dessert options is a cotton candy machine! With UWL vendor Fluffness, you get all of the whimsy of eating the dessert of your childhood with an added adult twist: creative and inventive flavors to tickle your mature taste buds like sweet jasmine, almond, or salted caramel!
Silhouette Artists/Caricaturist – Caricatures and other drawings can make for a great keepsake for your wedding day – not only for you and your new spouse, but also for your guests! In lieu of traditional favors that often get forgotten or thrown out, hiring an artist to capture the fun of your friends and family is something that they are sure to cherish! These artists like Tiny Paper Portraits can usually accommodate around 15 guests per hour, so make sure you hire them for a long enough period to get in as many guests as you think will be interested. Want to make it a little more personalized to your big day? Supply specialty paper with your monogram or the date of your wedding for the drawings to be done on!
Dueling Pianos – Two pianos are always better than one! This option is one that is sure to get your guests out of their seats and having a great time. Generally performed by very talented and high energy professionals, the songs can often be done on request and will definitely get your friends and family involved in the fun! The only trick here is making sure that the performers are able to easily travel to your venue and have somewhere they can set up across from each other – pianos aren’t super easy to transport around!
Hula Hoop Dancers – Although this may sound like a silly one, having hula hoopers at your wedding could be the next big trend! This activity has transcended its music festival origins to become a fully-fledged option for wedding day entertainment. Many hula hoopers come with multiple hoops that light up or make noise and they can do so amazing things with them! Don’t count this one out just yet.
Hands-On Guest Books & Keepsakes – There are tons of ways to integrate hands-on activities that will create lasting wedding memories. Boring old guest books with signatures and brief well wishes have gone by the wayside and interactive experiences have taken their place. It makes it more memorable when the guests can really take part in the wedding, and this is the perfect way to do so! Taking Polaroids or photobooth photos, writing a little note, and inserting them into a nice leather bound book is certainly a more personal option. Similarly, video guest books are becoming really popular – for this you might want a quieter space for your guests to record their congratulations, but it is something that can have you crying from laughing! One of the most unique guest book options we have heard (and love!) is writing a small note on a piece of paper and inserting it into a pinata to be popped open on the bride and groom’s first anniversary – how fun is that?! In the same vein as unique guest books is interactive keepsakes. For example, one option that we think is super cool is a large board covered in paint balloons that guests can pop via dart to make a colorful and fun item for the bride and groom to take home! No other piece of art will compare!
Mixologist/Flair Bartender – Whether you are looking for fancy and customized cocktails, or someone who can entertain your guests with bottle flipping, juggling, and tricks, hiring a specialty bartender can really be a crowd pleaser. It’s a great option for cocktail hour, where guests are generally just mingling in small groups chatting and drinking before they sit down for dinner. If this is a path that you choose to go down at your reception, make sure you have traditional bartenders on hand too for those guests who want to grab their cocktail and head back to the dance floor stat.
Food Trucks – Okay, we promise this is the last food themed activity, but we just couldn’t help ourselves! Food trucks can be particularly exciting as late night treats, or something that can create a break in the night, post dinner. The options for these snacks are so diverse that we can’t even name them all. Some of our favorites include an ice cream truck (we love Scoops2u), doughnuts, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, and popsicles. Honestly, who wouldn’t love a nice greasy slice after sampling all of the fantastic signature cocktails, or a popsicle to cool down from all of the amazing dance floor action?! If you are looking for more food truck inspirations or options, we did a deep dive into the subject in our What You Need To Know About Food Trucks at Weddings advice post!
Tarot Card Readers – Maybe your guests are dying to know when they too will walk down the aisle! Help them out by bringing in a tarot card or palm reader in for some added entertainment. I bet this isn’t something your guests will have seen at a wedding before and they can really have a good time hearing about what is in store for them in the future!
Lawn Games – If you are having an outdoor reception or cocktail hour, lawn games can be a great option to keep your guests having fun while you are taking photos or making your rounds. We love customized cornhole boards, giant jenga, and ring toss just to name a few! These are also great DIY options that can be done to match your design and décor. Although this isn’t exactly a “lawn game,” adding some comfy furniture to complement your games make for a great opportunity for guests to hang out and watch the fun without feeling like they have to participate if they aren’t feelin’ it.
Magicians – Hiring a magician is a great way to amuse your wedding guests either during the cocktail hour or reception. Do you want a “strolling magic” performance? Local magician Josh Norris does a great job walking around putting on mini shows to entertain small gatherings of guests. This could be done while people are chatting and enjoying their drinks during cocktail hour, or later in the night when guests are taking a break from the dance floor; this is a very flexible approach and is a little less intrusive than having a show put on while guests are seated before, during, or after dinner.
We hope you enjoyed hearing about some of our favorite weddin entertainment options! Of course there are so many more things to choose from, but we think this list is a pretty good start! Curious what other local couples are doing on their big day to keep their guests amused? Check out all of our DC area real weddings for some inspiration and ideas!