For adding that extra wow factor to your wedding, we highlight some unique ways to entertain your guests and keep the party going
You’ve got your something old, something borrowed and something blue, but what about something exceptionally new? We’ve asked some top wedding planners around the world to put together some out-of-the-box ideas, from transformational decor to surprise performances, that will help make your day the most talked about and unforgettable event of the year.
Create a sensation at your event by adding imaginative performances in addition to the live band. One option to consider is a magician to circulate and perform among the guests during the cocktail hour. This will encourage people to mingle outside their group and is something children would also enjoy.
For the reception, ribbon dancers strike the perfect balance of whimsy and romance. Don’t limit yourself to the pre-dinner cocktails and reception though; the after-party is also a great time for performances, such as fire dancers or an eclectic drum band if the wedding is held in a beachside resort, or light-hearted routines by acrobats and musicians on stilts.
“The more-theatrical performers are best reserved for the reception and after-party so that the ceremony can remain sacred and uninterrupted,” say Clara Isabella Boatto and Eva Zoe Trevisan, the founders and creative directors of Design Anarchy by Chic Weddings, which has offices in Amsterdam, London and Venice.
“We love when our clients prioritise the fun in any celebration, whether it is palm readers, acrobats or dancers that resemble birds and are perched on a mirrored ball. We also love unique bands that have tambourines or saxophone players rather than a traditional quartet.”
And if the venue includes a pool, take inspiration from the movie Crazy Rich Asians and include a routine by synchronised swimmers. “By introducing them at cocktail hour, this would be a great way to get guests excited for the celebration to come,” say Boatto and Trevisan.
Many events these days immerse the guests in a full sensory environment with interactivity between sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. “The senses can be manipulated using out-of-norm methods,” says Lelian Chew, founder of the Wedding Atelier, which is based in Hong Kong.
“Elements might include constructing 3D multi-material tactile walls that add another dimension to feel, using scents that stimulate your olfactory system, or adding design elements that play with perspective and provide visual stimuli.”
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The venue can also be transformed using 3D video mapping, which allows guests to walk through an ordinary venue feeling as if they are in a completely different environment. “The sense of mystery and magic is truly brought to life when the content imagery is juxtaposed with the space and environment, such as creating a light show within an old industrial oil bunker styled with mirrors to reflect the multiple refractions of lights like in a prism,” says Chew.
Your guests are dressed to the nines for your special day, so having a fashion illustrator on hand to do sketches of them is a fun activity for the cocktail hour and allows each guest to take home a customised wedding favour. “The illustrator can create on-the-spot sketches of your guests within minutes,” says Chew, “a perfect keepsake for guests and a unique way to capture the magical moments at your wedding.”
You can also borrow a page from children’s birthday parties—with a chic twist that makes it more suitable for adults and will add an element of wonder and surprise for later in the night. “Commission a special artist who can change the look of the guests by drawing interesting fluorescent patterns on their bodies or faces that can only be seen under a special light used on the dancefloor,” say Boatto and Trevisan of Design Anarchy by Chic Weddings.
Interactive elements for the guests at unexpected times help keep the party going and the energy levels up.
“I think a break away from the typical live band and DJ is the most fun,” says Mark Niemierko, founder of his eponymous London-based weddings and events firm. “A fun factor later in the evening will be to have a tarot card reader set up shop somewhere. And if your venue can’t extend beyond 12am, have the after-party at the hotel or somewhere else where you can arrange for an open bar and a pianist to play song requests to create a group singalong.”
Fireworks, like no other wedding entertainment, will finish off your wedding in style. But as Beth Helmstetter, the CEO and creative director of Beth Helmstetter Events in Los Angeles, notes, there should be one last wow moment during the getaway. “Bring in a vintage car to strike up nostalgia among guests, with fireworks lighting the way as you drive off at the end of the night,” she says.
The following day, Helmstetter suggests, instead of a farewell brunch, give guests breakfast-in-bed kits. “A sweet box filled with doughnuts and iced coffee or croissants and juice is a memorable takeaway and allows guests the luxury of sleeping in the next day,” she says.
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