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How did you make it FUN?

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Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 27, 2006
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I''ve noticed some recent weddings here that just look like so much fun (Decodelighted and TravelingGal, anyone?), and I''m wondering what the brides & grooms did to make it that way. Did it just naturally come together that way? Was it the specific guests invited? Did you do things to facilitate it? (I''m guessing that Irish Car Bombs never hurt.) Any advice for those still in the planning stage would be much appreciated.
 

curlygirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
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2,637
I think it was a combination of things that made my wedding fun.

1. OPEN BAR - as long as the booze is flowing, everyone''s enjoying themselves!

2. Great guests who know how to have a good time and aren''t afraid to let loose

3. Good music

4. A few unusual twists - we had an Armenian band in addition to a regular DJ and it was a huge surprise to everyone when the band started playing and we got up and did traditional folk dances. Even the non-Armenians (including DH and his entire family!) joined in and had a blast.

5. Good atmosphere - there was such an energy amongst our guests and in our venue, it''s kind of indescribable but everyone was on a crazy high and there was just an undeniable buzzing that was going through everyone

Weddings can be fun for lots of different reasons and honestly, my biggest fear was that people would not have fun at mine and I had the exact opposite experience! I think a lot of times, doing things that are a bit unusual make people have the most fun.
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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1,082
Open bar is key.

Don''t make your guests wait in line for drinks- have passed champagne and perhaps a signature cocktail at the cocktail hour, so that way people can get drinks in their hands STAT- w/o having to go to the bar. Some people won''t like the champange or cocktail, so they will go to the bar, but there shouldn''t be a line.

We didn''t have the cake (which was our only dessert) served to the tables- we just have it sliced and people could just take it, that way the dancing didn''t stop- we had some high-top cocktail tables at the edge of the dance floor, so people could eat the cake w/o having to go back to their seats. This kept people on the dance floor where the action was!
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Dec 29, 2004
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17,193
Thanks for the compliment Blenheim! For us, this is what made it work:

- That cocktail hour...gets everyone all greased up and going. Also appetizers...takes the edge off the stomach and everyone is happy.

- A great DJ. Ours was a friend of a friend. I had to laugh when I saw the photos of the Irish Car Bombing only to see that our DJ was in the action! We''re pretty laid back, so we were happy to see the DJ was having a good time too. He definitely had a few drinks too. Music is key...make up your own playlist, or at the very least, a do not play list! Also, music level not too loud so people can still hear one another!

- Small guest list. This is the hardest part of planning any wedding, but the culling is well worth it IMO. A smaller wedding allows the guests to mingle more and gives off the air of people having more fun. When it''s huge, people sit around at the tables and just talk...doesn''t look that exciting. You want people up and out of their seats!

- I didn''t do this on purpose, but our dance floor was off to the side, sort of not within easy viewing distance of the dinner tables. The bar was right next to the dance floor. I noticed people dancing more and being goofy because it wasn''t the center of the room...not to mention the bar was right there so people were hanging out there and could easy move onto the dance floor if they felt so inclined.

-Outdoor, casual beach wedding. I remember saying "I do!" with gusto and people laughed and I heard a few "you go girl" from the rafters. People felt like they could be enthusiastic because it wasn''t a formal setting . It added to the fun.

- You concentrate on YOUR fun. Then everything just seems like it''s fun!
 

tanyak

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
209
1. I didn't have an open bar, just hosted beer and wine. And honestly, a few of the people who were having a blast don't even drink. But I guess alcohol helps people loosen up.

2. A FABULOUS dj. She could really read the room. Our must-play list was really short, like six songs. But she could tell the kind of music we were into (danceable hip-hop, seventies soul like Al Green and Marvin Gaye, more current R&B/pop stuff) and played that.

3. Fun people! We had tons of friends at our wedding that love to dance. My one friend, Melissa, will always be "that girl in the pink dress" to my family. She was on the floor the ENTIRE night and everyone fell in love with her.

4. A buffet and small guest list. We had 80 people total. I would say we were completely done with dinner in under an hour.

5. A super casual wedding. We also laughed during our ceremony, which was under 14 minutes long. People didn't have to wait to get to drinking!

I loved my wedding (sigh)
 

decodelighted

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
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11,534
SO flattered to be mentioned in the "fun" crowd!!!

Lemmie think .... we wanted a "casual" atmosphere ... so everything else followed: barn location, comfort foods, buffet vs. table service, people drinking from glass bottles, cupcakes (finger food) ... and because we didn't want people to be SHOCKED when they got there -- we stayed casual in our invite wording & wedding website etc. Folks came in comfie clothes expecting more like a BBQ than a traditional wedding.

Aspects that turned out to be especially fun:

* bonfire
* sparklers
* the "portrait" set up against the back of the barn ... where all guests were invited to take their turn posing ... maybe 50% did ... but those who did put on quite a show for everyone else!
* having toddlers & infants there!
* really yummy BBQ & fixin's

Aspects that MIGHT have contributed to the fun:

* homemade desserts brought by local guests & labeled with "who" & "what"
* that WE waited in line for the buffet with everyone else
* personal touches to the vows (we actually pledged to marry DESPITE specific kinda funny "flaws" ...which were *listed* ... the audience really got a kick out of "recognizing" us: good & bad ... and we liked the idea of acknowledging our "whole" selves ... and picking each other ANYWAY.

* picking quirky humorous readings
* unusual ceremony music (pop songs played by DJ)
 

codex57

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
1,492
Keys for us were a good MC and ways for the audience to get involved other than the MC asking them to or the typical games.
 

larussel03

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2005
Messages
1,747
At the last 2 weddings I went to last summer, one was really fun and one was not so fun.

The really fun one had open bar for the cocktail hour only and a really great DJ/emcee (who I actually hired for my wedding, his personality is so great!). The people were great, we were sat with people around our age that we knew.

The not-so-fun one had no open bar at all (no wine, beer, nuthin), and an AWFUL DJ. I mean awful--how many rick james songs can you really play in a row??? Then he sang karaoke for the couple.
We also got seated apart from people we knew with these cousins who rolled their eyes at everything.

If I had to rank these, I''d say (going from most important to least)

1. Music...very important, a bad DJ or band can ruin the reception, IMO
2. Fun people
3. Booze (maybe not necc. open bar all night, but offer something ie: for an hour or wine and beer)

And another thing, but this may be just me--no games. I hate the dollar game and maybe other people think it''s fun, but I find that no one wants to be the one stuck with it who has to run around doing silly things. Actually, I take that back...they did the game at the unfun wedding with the awkward unfun people, but if it had been at the fun wedding where we were seated with people who were cool then it would have been funny. So I guess that depends, I just personally am not a game person.
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,136
Thanks for the advice! Keep it coming.



I''m a little worried though. Almost everyone has mentioned music and DJs/MCs. We weren''t really planning on having dancing. I have two left feet, plus we''re having a morning ceremony (with bagpipers!) followed by lunch so the time of the day didn''t really seem to call for it. The reception is in a restaurant that generally has pleasant music playing in the background, so we were kind of just planning on having them play what they normally play. But would that adversely affect the wedding fun?
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
1,082
Blen,
I think you should think about having dancing- were you not going to have a first dance?

We didn''t do any big introductions- just had DH and I announced and then went right into our first dance- then we stayed on the dance floor and the band announced for my parents to join us and they played the first song from my parents'' wedding, then they did the same for DH''s parents, then we all went into dinner, they did the toasts, and then we ate.

If you don''t have dancing is it just going to be a big cocktail reception w/ dinner?

Also another thing that I think is important w/ regards to it being fun is that your photographer and/or videographer are unobtrusive and don''t get in the way. I have been to a few weddings where the photographers were like paparazzi and were constantly between the guests and the bride and groom- like in the way- also it gets annoying when they are constantly herding people around.
We did posed pictures at the church after the ceremony and then went to the reception w/ like 20 minutes left in the cocktail hour- I just let my bridal party go they were done and just enjoyed the rest of the evening- no more rounding up, no more posed pictures, no head table, etc. DH and I had some time to ourselves after the pictures while everyone was at the cocktail hour.

Other fun things-
pigs in a blanket- everyone loves these- except maybe vegetarians.
we had a "kids table"- for the 12-18 year olds there and gave them and no one else disposable cameras
the locomotion-
 

qtiekiki

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,876
When it comes down to it, I think it''s people that make the difference. We had two receptions. I had fun at both, but the guests at the second one had more fun than the first one. And that''s totally on the part of the guests because the second DJ was a diaster and I planned both receptions the same way. That''s not something that can be controlled.
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,136
Date: 12/14/2006 8:31:47 PM
Author: dtnyc
Blen,

I think you should think about having dancing- were you not going to have a first dance?


We didn''t do any big introductions- just had DH and I announced and then went right into our first dance- then we stayed on the dance floor and the band announced for my parents to join us and they played the first song from my parents'' wedding, then they did the same for DH''s parents, then we all went into dinner, they did the toasts, and then we ate.


If you don''t have dancing is it just going to be a big cocktail reception w/ dinner?


Well, we weren''t really planning on having a first dance. Or a bouquet toss, or a garter toss, or really anything that we would be doing because everybody else does it and not because it means something to us. The ceremony is going to be on a patio between the restaurant and a lake. Immediately following the ceremony, we''re having cocktails and hors d''ouevres. After that, a three course lunch and then cake. And lots of wine and scotch and champagne and beer -- we have that base covered, at least.
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
1,082
Date: 12/14/2006 8:59:35 PM
Author: Blenheim
Date: 12/14/2006 8:31:47 PM

Well, we weren''t really planning on having a first dance. Or a bouquet toss, or a garter toss, or really anything that we would be doing because everybody else does it and not because it means something to us. The ceremony is going to be on a patio between the restaurant and a lake. Immediately following the ceremony, we''re having cocktails and hors d''ouevres. After that, a three course lunch and then cake. And lots of wine and scotch and champagne and beer -- we have that base covered, at least.
We didn''t have any tosses (I didn''t even wear a garter) nor the big intros of bridal party, no smooshing of t so I figured if I could get him on the dance floor once I wanted it to be w/ my mom, as shehe cake, etc. and seeing as how our wedding was the day before a large round-numbered b-day of mine I didn''t dance w/ dad, because I am far from being Daddy''s little girl, but I did want my parents to dance - due to surgery my dad had he has poor balance and loathes dancing loves to dance.

It is all up to you, but I think that most people consider dancing @ a wedding fun- just look at the Wedding Crashers "I am a phenomenal dancer!"
Also cocktails can lead to dancing- especially champagne.
 

ChargerGrrl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
2,865
The gals have pretty much covered it.

Although it was mentioned before, I would second two things:

- get the FUN going from the get-go. our ceremony was a blend of traditional and non-traditional to give it a lively twist. we had a couple of friends perform the song "Grow Old With You" from The Wedding Singer. Our guests were both laughing and crying over it!
- PEOPLE make all the difference. i''m not just talking about who your guests are, but how many you have. i certainly mean no disrespect to anyone, but i cannot think of a BIG wedding where I really had fun. those tend to be more formal and stuffy and they DRAG ON AND ON AND ON.

Oh yeah, one last thing that made things FUN- we brewed our own wedding brew. It was a hit!
 

San Diego Bride

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
Messages
392
everyone's fun is a little different. we had a blast at our wedding without a dj or dancing (other than a first dance). i think it was pretty similar to what yours will be, blenheim. our ceremony was at 11 am followed by a cocktail hour. we did a first dance then a father-daughter dance followed by a 4 course lunch. we didn't throw anything at anyone. we weren't really into tradition and, married or not, there was no way in hell that my husband was going to reach up my dress in front of my dad.


things that made it fun for us:
1. we planned the wedding WE wanted, not the one everyone else wanted
2. a small guest list; we had less than 50 people and were genuinely glad each guest was there
3. our wedding was casual, but elegant; it made us happy and i think the casual atmosphere allowed our guests to have fun too
4. very few posed pictures; we took some quick pictures then were able to enjoy the cocktail reception with the guests
5. martini bar
6. we had a sit down meal followed by a dessert buffet complete with wedding cupcakes instead of cake; it encouraged everyone to mingle
7. after the reception had finished we went down to the beach for fun pictures
8. we spent a couple of hours alone and then got together with a bunch of our friends; we laughed until our stomachs hurt!; i wouldn't change having a daytime wedding for anything.
 

TravelingGal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
17,193
Blenheim, mine was a daytime wedding, and it would not have been the same without the dancing. It just added a fun festive air! During our meal, the DJ was supposed to be playing easy jazz type music. But as I mentioned before, he was a friend of a friend, who was at the wedding . The table kept making my friend call the DJ and request music, and soon everyone was requesting music they wanted to hear, which made it interactive and fun. However, this was unbeknownst to me until halfway into our reception when I paused and turned to TGuy, somehwat perplexed, and asked,

"Honey, WHY is ACDC playing during the meal?"


So I just rolled with it!

Anyway, what also puts a damper on weddings IMO is too much of a darn program. When I was a guest, I hated being herded around for bouquet/garter toss, etc. We did none of that. We had no MC, no program, no nothing, outside of our first dance which we did when we were introduced.

I guess we hosted a PARTY, not a wedding reception.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
Date: 12/14/2006 8:59:35 PM
Author: Blenheim

Date: 12/14/2006 8:31:47 PM
Author: dtnyc
Blen,

I think you should think about having dancing- were you not going to have a first dance?


We didn''t do any big introductions- just had DH and I announced and then went right into our first dance- then we stayed on the dance floor and the band announced for my parents to join us and they played the first song from my parents'' wedding, then they did the same for DH''s parents, then we all went into dinner, they did the toasts, and then we ate.


If you don''t have dancing is it just going to be a big cocktail reception w/ dinner?


Well, we weren''t really planning on having a first dance. Or a bouquet toss, or a garter toss, or really anything that we would be doing because everybody else does it and not because it means something to us. The ceremony is going to be on a patio between the restaurant and a lake. Immediately following the ceremony, we''re having cocktails and hors d''ouevres. After that, a three course lunch and then cake. And lots of wine and scotch and champagne and beer -- we have that base covered, at least.
Blenheim,

We had a small wedding, 28 guests total, and no dancing and everyone had a blast (we had a guitarist play the entire evening). They had to kick us out of the room at 11:30 and people were bummed about leaving. Our guests were on the older side (mostly aunts and uncles) so it was a lowkey event (not nearly as exciting as deco and TG''s days appear to have been) but people really enjoyed themselves and we kept it casual and fun.
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Messages
9,488
Date: 12/14/2006 10:38:50 PM
Author: TravelingGal

I guess we hosted a PARTY, not a wedding reception.
This is exactly the feel we're going for.

Our 7pm ceremony will be short and sweet, followed by guests being able to eat immediately (we'll be taking pictures before the ceremony). There will be a full dinner, dancing, and free booze (!) to get people to loosen up a bit and have fun. An iPod will be playing from speakers so we get to choose the music we want (and think the guests will enjoy). No garter toss, no bouquet toss. Just eating, drinking, dancing and mingling.

I went to a wedding recently where the ceremony was an hour, and the bride and groom didn't show up for an hour and a half after while we had to wait around with no hors d'oeurves. THEN, we didn't eat for another hour. Only beer was free: everything else was a cash bar, which was a total bummer. The bride and groom didn't even come to each table to thank everyone for coming. Oh, and to top it off, the DJ was rude. They were playing the newlywed game at some point during the night, and when people would playfully scream who the question was about, the DJ would yell "PLEASE NO YELLING OF NAMES, THIS IS FOR THE BRIDE AND THE GROOM." As if it really mattered.
It was not a fun wedding.

I think what makes it fun is making it most importantly putting your own touches in (eliminating the typical wedding format) and also important: making it about everyone, rather than just the bride and groom. Sure, it's a wedding for the bride and groom, but you're hosting a party. Keep your guests in mind and try to make them as comfortable as possible.

Those are my $.02.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,009
I like to think we had a fun wedding
I agree with Ebree about having a short ceremony. Our picture session was fast for the wedding party so they could enjoy the party. No silly things (garter toss, smashing of cake, ex...) Non-cheesy DJ. Short speeches. Great food. Open bar. Good set of people. I think it just all came together. Even one of my BM that came without her BF (we got married in a different state) had a blast and she hardly knew anyone. It was a true celebration of our love.
 

nytemist

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Messages
962
A lot of our fun factor stemmed from having it Halloween. We also did it exactly how we wanted it, not how my mother wanted. We had cool friends there and relatives that wanted to come and support whatever we wanted to do, not preach about sticking to traditions. It was such a good time.
 
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