Small Wedding of 30

I am planning a small wedding ceremony and dinner party with only 30 guests (parents, siblings, and close friends). I have the ceremony itself planned out but I am having so many fears for the dinner party/ reception. My family and my H2B's family are not dancers and sometimes they can be a bit shy. I didn't exactly want a small band or DJ because of this but I also don't want there to be no music at all. I'm nervous that the evening will be boring and no one will have fun. I need some ideas of what I can do to entertain them but without making them feel uncomfortable. 

My wedding ceremony will take place at a small outdoor chapel and the dinner party following will be outside under a wedding tent. There will be a rustic theme to both and we are planning to have a catered pig roast dinner. 

 

Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated. 

Posts

  • Kitten2014Kitten2014 Posts: 1,489

    My first wedding was similar - I think we had about the same guest count for the meal as you.  We are also more on the quiet--side-folks and none of us is a dancer. There's no reason you can't have music. Just load up an iPod with your favorite songs into a playlist (let's call it "Reception") and have someone press play on "Reception" once the mingling begins. Make sure that you look at how many total minutes the playlist ends up being. You might be surprised that it is as short as it is, so make sure you have enough songs for as long as you think you all may be there. You really wouldn't want to hear the songs on repeat necessarily, especially songs that are more memorable (or that "stand out"). Make sure to procure one of those little speakers for the iPod and test the whole set-up in advance.

    If budget allows, you could always hire a harpist or a string quarter to play during the meal.  That would be lovely and unobtrusive. 

    I would keep the entertainment simple. Some lawn games perhaps? Perhaps a crafting activity for the ladies (there was one bride on here putting origami paper and instructions for making a crane on her tables). You could also make a point of going around to everyone and having them sign your guest book/ fingerprint tree/ etc. An ice cream trike or truck after the meal would be another pleasant treat + source of entertainment all rolled into one (if your budget allows).

    Small weddings are completely lovely, hun. They are so much more intimate than a big affair. Your guests are actually going to be able to spend quality time with you and the groom, and that's the biggest reason everyone is present. If you end up with no entertainment at all, the evening is still going to be completely heartfelt and memorable.

  • BekhaGBekhaG Posts: 584 New bride

    Hello Jenn6, my husband and I only had 32 guests at our wedding last April and in the planning stages I was concerned about the party atmosphere at the reception (we had a meal followed by DJ/ party) e.g. would people be bored, would anyone dance etc.?

    In our case, these worries were unfounded. On the day, ppl chatted, drank, we put on a magician who was a great distraction during the photos and talking point for the day. By the evening ppl were well oiled (our package included a lot of booze for guests) so were chatty and mingling more than we ever hoped.

    I will say that the dance floor only 'filled up' for a few of the really big, popular numbers, but most of our friends were up dancing throughout the night, while older guests escaped to the separate bar area when in need of a breather, but honestly everyone looked happy and were chatting, my husband and I drank loads with our loved ones and danced all night- it really was the happiest day of our lives, surrounded by our nearest and dearest and because we kept it small we got to talk to and spend time with everyone there. It was a great party.

    I'm sure your experience will be the same :)

    I highly recommend hiring some entertainment like a magician to give guests some focused entertainment and a talking point, and we had a 'pub quiz' planned for post meal/ before the DJ started but in the end guests were happy chatting and drinking so we didn't force this activity on them, but if there had been a lull we would have, to keep the energy and buzz flowing- possibly plan something like that?

    The only lull we got was during the meal. We were all sat round a big oval table which probably made conversation a bit difficult.

    I also highly recommend having your DJ play your fave music and that of your guests. I really hounded our DJ about what we did and didn't want and it really paid off- we got the music we loved and not a 'party by numbers' playlist that we hate.

    You could also ask friends who like to dance to lead the way and encourage people up xxx

  • What about cabaret?? Not everyones cup of tea but I have seen a great Buble tribute, or perhaps Frank Sinatra or a dancing type thing? The kind of thing that would really captivate an audience but not get the involved if they are shy? Like the above post, magicians are also cool - make sure they are not weird though. 

    You could go iPod Disco and have a few different playlists ranging from background to full on party. Select which one that seems to be popular. Ie if no one is dancing then put on downtempo music. LED uplighting is good at setting a good mood (assuming you have a white tent), not sure if it would work with your theme?? 

  • How about an acoustic solo singer? Will add some background music that way and can be at a lower level if required.

    Many thanks,

    Matt

    www.noodle-entertainment.com 

    (Our site is currently being updated, so a very large number of our bands, singers and djs are not online - for a selection of bands that fit your requirements, please email [email protected] with your wedding details and budget and we will check our books.)

  • Hi, 

    I run 2 companies which may be of interest?

    I'm part of Classical Crossover duo "Eden", our highlights include the 2015 Champions League Final in Berlin, Stamford Bridge and the DW Stadium, you can find a little bit more about us here - www.edengb.com

    I also run "Undercover Artists", singing waiters featuring stars of the West End which is a great way to inject some fun and have everyone up dancing. You can find out a little bit more here - www.undercoverartists.co.uk

    Hopefully one of these will be of interest or I hope you've found what you're looking for :)

    Libby

  • EflemEflem Posts: 7

    One of the best things I've ever experienced at a wedding was a pub quiz. I kid you not. Everyone absolutely loved it. It lasted for about 40-50 minutes I think. And as it was a tie there was a dance off at the end. The guy is amazing - Dr Paul, he is based in Edinburgh. 

    Here's a shot of the guests getting wild watching the dance off. 

    image

  • A quite dance and maybe some time where all close to the bride can speak about the bride or groom.

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