If you and your spouse-to-be have a particularly eclectic range of friends and family that you are expecting to attend your wedding, you may well be concerned about awkward silences and an overall lack of ‘vibe’ at your wedding reception. Indeed, the best, most fun wedding receptions are those at which guests feel comfortable to socialise and enjoy themselves freely. So, it is important to ensure that you create this relaxed ambience. In addition to good music, food and a general feeling of joy, you can get your guests chatting by using some of the following talking tactics:
Place a pack of cards or a board game with a set of instructions on each table, encouraging guests to play with one another as they wait for the bride and groom to arrive. Alternatively, you can print a set of cards with questions and answers that are specific to you, as a couple, or to certain wedding traditions that you have incorporated into your day.
At each place setting or as a centrepiece, place individual photographs or an album through which guests can page. This can contain couple photographs or pictures of those present that span several years. As they spot themselves and laugh at outdated attire, they will relax and talk to one another.
Instead of a starter or snacks on the table, allow guests to prepare their own nibbles by placing a fondue pot and several forks on each table. As guests have to interact to some degree (sharing the pot), they will begin to natter and giggle, which will soon evolve into a comfortable buzz of happy conversation across the room. Many different kinds of fondues are now available, including cheese and chocolate ones, for a slightly different twist.
As your guest gift, leave each guest a mood ring as well as a card to interpret what each colour means. They will compare colours and start to chat away as they reveal more of their personality to each other.
Resist the temptation to seat family members and groups of friends together. Rather, split them up and request that they engage other guests in conversation, so that they are helping you to establish the ambience. Do this with your bridesmaids and groomsmen too, as guests are sure to want to have lengthy conversations about the ins and outs of your special day.
Instead of a guest gift, place a card at each setting. This card should outline a specific assignment that forces guests to talk to one another (perhaps the person sitting to their right or opposite them, for example). They may need to find out certain information (e.g. the name of the person’s childhood pet, where they went to school, etc…) or plan with them to achieve a certain objective. Regardless of your strategy, this will force them to interact in a fun, comfortable way.
If you begin to sense a silent atmosphere and lack of a vibe, take the initiative by introducing guests to one another and pointing out common areas of interest. By making it a little easier for guests to become acquainted and comfortable with one another, you will ensure that your day is relaxed and memorable for all.
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