10 Secrets to a Fun Wedding
From specialized cocktail bars to dance sets in between dinner courses, our very own wedding expert Natalie Ho shares her insider tips to ensure your wedding guests have a blast from beginning to end.
1. Pre-ceremony cocktails
Prep your guests for a great time by surprising them with a cocktail reception before the ceremony! If this idea isn’t for you (or your budget), it’s still a great idea to welcome your guests with a thirst-quenching beverage. You can keep it simple with infused water in glass cannisters, lemonade, or iced coffee in a plastic cup with a cute straw.
2. Ceremony speeches
Make your ceremony intimate by incorporating a set of speeches. Consider having the best man and maid of honour speak briefly. Speeches can be heartwarming and entertaining during a ceremony, and you’re guaranteed to have the attention of the whole room!
3. Short and sweet cocktail reception
Whether your cocktail reception is before or after the ceremony, limit it to 75 minutes max. If it goes any longer your guests will start to get restless. Plus, the longer your cocktail reception goes, the more food and drink you’ll have to foot the bill for.
4. Specialized cocktail bars
One of the coolest wedding trends right now is gastro cocktails. BarChef is the main provider in Toronto and their cocktails will totally wow your guests. Having a specialized cocktail bar at your reception could also be as simple as a Caesar or margarita bar. Your guests will be excited to have options outside of the regular bar rail, and it doesn’t have to add major additional costs!
5. Inspiring food
Don’t opt for the boring chicken or fish. Push your caterer to come up with something delicious, creative and personal for you. Serve some of your family’s cultural dishes or your favourite food as a couple: burger and fries, BBQ ribs, brisket and cornbread. Tell a story through your food – guests will appreciate it!
6. Dancing in between courses
Want to get the party started ASAP? Have a dance set between dinner courses if you don’t plan on having many speeches. If your guests aren’t used to this format, you may need to mobilize your wedding party and close friends to kick it off. This plan allows your guests to get up, stretch their legs on the dance floor, and have fun during dinner.
7. Late night bites
Late night allows you to be creative and showcase the food you love: dim sum, pizza, shawarma… the list goes on! Quantity and timing of your late night food is key. Half of guests usually leave before late night food is served, so don’t buy too much. And make sure your late night food is served at the very end, especially if your guests just indulged in a four-course meal!
8. Dessert stations
Swap the standard plated dessert for a fun dessert station. A dessert station offers an interactive element for your guests and mixes things up. Some of O&B’s favourite dessert stations include bubble tea, candy bars, milkshake bars, beaver tails, or even an ice cream truck depending on your venue!
9. A full dance floor
Your bar needs to be located right next to the dance floor, or else you won’t have a big dance party. Also, don’t start your dancing too early if you want the party to go all night. Dancing usually doesn’t last more than three hours!
10. Let loose!
The best way to ensure that your guests have fun at your wedding is to let them see the couple having fun! You’ve been planning this day for months, and now it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy it. The day will go by in a flash, so don’t sweat the small stuff.
Photos by Mango Studios, Jennifer Ballard Photography, Amsis Photography, Sweetheart Empire & Ones Worth Framing.