As the celebration of lifelong love and commitment between two people, the planning of a wedding can often be a daunting task. From the date and location to the décor and more, there are many factors that go into the planning process to ensure the bride and groom and their guests can look back on the day with nothing but happiness.
For those couples seeking unique and creative ways to keep their wedding guests entertained, First Coast wedding planner Sarah White of The I Do List shares some of her favorite methods for doing just that.
Capture the moment
There are countless ways for a bride and groom to memorialize their wedding day that will not only allow them to look back on it with fondness, but will also score them points for creativity with their guests. One of White’s personal favorites? Silhouettes.
“One of my favorite things that I have seen done in a few weddings recently is to hire a silhouette artist,” White says. “Basically, you sit there, and this artist will hand-cut with just a pair of scissors your silhouette out of black paper and then mount it on a piece of cardstock.”
The silhouette artist, White adds, can cut out two copies at a time, so that each guest can add one silhouette to the couple’s guest book and take the second home with them as a favor.
Likewise, live-painting is another option White suggests for a stand-out way to capture the joyous memories of one’s wedding.
“You can actually hire someone to come and live-paint a moment in the middle of your wedding,” she says. “So, whether that’s your ceremony, or your first dance or your cake-cutting — whatever moment it is, they will paint that scene throughout your reception. Guests can watch, and at the end of the night you get this really cool keepsake that you can hang on your wall.”
For those who still want to celebrate their big day with photos, however, White says photo booths and the more recent selfie stations are always popular — though for digital photos, she notes that it’s important to have a way to gather and print them, if the bride and groom wish to have hard copies.
“I usually recommend using a service,” she says. “One of the ones I really like and use frequently is called Appy Couple. You pay for the service, but guests can upload any photos they take to a cloud-based system, and then you have access — as do all of your guests — to print those photos.”
While using hashtags to gather photos via social media has become popular over the past several years, White adds that there are drawbacks to relying on that method.
“We’re seeing more and more guests who aren’t active on social media,” she reveals. “And also, your guests don’t always want to post every single picture they take to a social media account, whether that be Instagram or Facebook. Something like Appy Couple is a great way to get all of those photos, and if you’re going to do a selfie station where they’re using their phone, that’s the best way to make sure you get copies of those photos.”
Surprise with snacks
Refreshments are also an important factor at any wedding and provide an easy way for the bride and groom to personalize their reception while satisfying their guests’ cravings. For instance, for those couples who aren’t big fans of cake, White proposes offering an alternative to the traditional wedding dessert.
“You can do a gourmet cheese station after dinner, which is very common in Europe, or you could have an ice cream truck pull up,” she suggests. “Hyppo Gourmet Popsicles actually does catering, and they will bring out their popsicle cart and work with you to do custom flavors, so that’s really fun too.”
Specialty tasting bars, White adds, are also a fun twist on a traditional wedding staple.
“Instead of having just a bar, you can have a whiskey-tasting bar, or a wine-tasting bar, and guests can get a sampling of a variety of different things,” she says. “It’s just something different that really piques guests’ interest, creating this unique experience for them.”
Hire a babysitter
The question of what to do with the kids can be a real challenge for many wedding guests. Should the children come along? Would they be a disruption? For the sake of those parents who wish to enjoy the festivities without the downside of having to supervise their little ones, White suggests hiring an on-site babysitter.
“Something that we will do that’s very common is we will have a certified babysitter, and they come on-site, so parents are more comfortable than leaving their kids at a hotel or at someone else’s house,” she explains. “They will block off a room at the venue, put the kids in there with a babysitter and games and movies, and we’ll order them pizza. So, it becomes a very fun night for them, but they’re on-site with their parents, so parents can still have fun at the reception.”
Whether it’s through incorporating cultural accents representative of the couples’ heritage, or even adding personal touches that share their relationship’s story, White says the single most effective way for a bride and groom to ensure every guest is happy is for them to focus on just one thing: each other.
“I think the best way to entertain your guests at your wedding is to make your wedding different, and the way to do that is to really make it unique and special to you,” White says. “Incorporate parts of your story and parts of your family history and what brought you two together into your wedding, and that in and of itself — because it’s different, because it’s representative of you — will make your wedding more entertaining to guests.”
For more information on The I Do List, visit