Photographic Guest Book - A Polaroid picture is taken of each attendee, placed in a scrapbook, next to which each write a personal message to the bride and groom.
Photographic Table Numbers - The bride and groom have their photo taken at different fun locations while holding up a number corresponding to specific table numbers for their reception. These photos are displayed in conjunction with the seating chart or at each reception table.
Video or Slide Show - A presentation featuring a variety of photos of the bride and groom is projected as guests congregate and socialize.
Bride and Groom Trivia Mixer - A list of questions with blanks for the answers, containing 10 to 20 unique things about the bride and groom known only by one person each, is printed up and distributed along with a pen or pencil. On the list it’s clarified that the answers are only known by one person per question and that a prize will be offered for the first person to get all the correct answers.
Strolling Magician - A skilled and personable magician mixes with those in attendance performing close up magic.
Words of Wisdom Cards - Note cards, pens and a receptacle are provided with instructions for the guests to provide their best words of wisdom on how to have a long and happy marriage. These can be placed in a box or treasure chest as a keepsake or used to fill up a scrapbook.
Sports Theme - The MC is a "sports announcer" and each member of bridal party is introduced as a "player on the wedding team" accompanied by appropriate music and props. The bride and groom are the "Co-Captains of the Wedding Team."
Nightclub - Lots of lights, special effects and current club music enhance a creative and exciting entrance.
Paparazzi - A throng of guests with flash cameras rush the bride and groom as they enter.
Choreographed Dance - As part of the Grand Entrance segment, a rehearsed dance routine is staged for the enjoyment of the guests, featuring the bride and groom’s selected dance: waltz, shag, jitterbug, tango, disco, etc.
Biographical Introductions - Each person in the bridal party is introduced following a short, often comical biographical narration.
Introductions by the Bride and Groom - The bride and groom do the announcing from outside the room.
Humorous Sound Clips - Appropriate often comical sound effects accompany members of the bridal party during a Biographical Introduction.
Buffet Line Entertainment - The head hable is the first to be invited to the buffet, followed by the tables with the bride and groom’s parents and grandparents. Appropriate background music is played throughout. After the immediate families and reserved tables have gone through the line, it's time to start inviting other tables. On their way to the buffet, certain tables, (or their representatives) will be selected to participate in a variety of entertaining routines.
Song Title Table Invitations - Guest tables are named based on song titles. Each table will proceed to the buffet line when they hear their song.
Banquet Staff Introduction - The catering staff is formally announced to the accompaniment of “Be Our Guest” or “Hot, Hot, Hot.” They can even make an entrance carrying covered dishes.
Bride and Groom Buffet Line Trivia - Random trivia questions are asked about the bride and groom. Tables raise their hands only if they’re sure they know the correct answer. The first table with a member's hand up gets recognized and can proceed to the buffet if they have the right answer. If the answer is wrong, they’ll have to point to a different table to go up to the buffet.
Words of Wisdom Cards - Note cards, pens and a receptacle are provided with instructions for the guests to provide their best words of wisdom on how to have a long and happy marriage. Once the cards are completed, the guests share their answers at the table and select the one card with the funniest or most creative advice as the winner. The winning cards will be read aloud by the MC towards the end of the meal.
Baby Name Cards - If neither the bride or groom have children and are planning on starting a family, and the groom’s last name could create some fun suggestions, the guests fill out one card each at their tables with a fun and creative first baby name. Once the cards are completed, the guests share their answers at the table and select the one card with the funniest or most creative baby name as the winner. The winning cards will be read aloud by the MC towards the end of the meal.
Singing Tables - Instead of clinking a glass as a signal for the bride and groom to kiss, folks must stand as a table and sing a stanza from a song with the word “love” in it.
Drawing for Kissing Couples - The MC is provided with a list of couples (married, engaged, and dating) and instructs those in attendance that each time someone taps on their glass for the bride and groom to kiss, another couple will be randomly selected from the list and called to stand and kiss while cheered on. If so decided, the random couple can kiss first, followed by the bride and groom’s imitation of their kiss.
Kissing Judges - A table is selected with each member given a set of large score cards numbered from 1 to 5 used to rate the kiss. After the kiss, the “judges” hold up a card rating the quality of kissing. Too low an overall score might be grounds to try again in an attempt to get a higher score. (Guests are apt to cheer the bride and groom on to attain a perfect score.)
Farthest Traveled/Closest Birthday - Guests are asked to compare specific information about themselves at their table and, in accordance with the bride and groom’s chosen category. One person from each table stands who has: traveled the farthest, whose birthday is closest to the wedding date, who has known the bride and groom the longest, etc. The person in attendance with the most impressive response wins a gift or the centerpiece.
Winning Chair - A sticker is placed under each chair and guests are invited to stand. As music is played, guests move clockwise from chair to chair. When the music stops the winner of the centerpiece will be revealed by looking under the chair that’s currently in front of them.
Penny Under the Plate - A penny is placed under one bread plate per table and guests are invited to lift their plate and see who has already won the centerpiece.
Napkin Pass - To determine who has won the centerpiece, guests pass a linen napkin around their table waving it over their heads while some music plays. When the music stops the person with the napkin is either the winner -or- is asked to fold the napkin and drape it over their left arm as they are now appointed as the table’s waiter and will be responsible for fetching their table’s drinks . . . after they congratulate the real centerpiece winner to their left.
Dollar Pass - One person per table volunteers to hold up a dollar bill which will be passed around the table as music is played. When the music stops, the person with the dollar is told he has won second place and gets to keep the dollar. The person who contributed the dollar is now identified as the winner and is awarded the centerpiece.
“Top 10” List - Guests are invited to create a David Letterman style ‘Top 10’ list about the bride and groom with ten fun endings to the line “The Top 10 reasons why “Joe and Mary” should be together are . . .” The MC selects the best 10 lines from each table and compiles them into a list that will be read out towards the end of the meal.
R.S.V.P. Top 5 - The person receiving R.S.V.P.s keeps track of the first 5 responding that acknowledge their attendance. The MC will read out these names (singles, couples, families) towards the end of the meal, inviting them up to the dance floor while playing music like Herb Alpert’s “Taste of Honey,” “Get Ready For This,” “Hirnando’s Hideaway,” “I Ain’t Jivin’ I’m Jammin’,” etc. Those in attendance are then challenged to guess what these people have in common, and finally it’s revealed that they were the most prompt in the room and the first few to send back their R.S.V.P. They are then each presented with a small gift.
Future Anniversary Card - A pen and an anniversary card is placed on each guest table, along with an envelope assigned with a different year of marriage. Printed instructions are included (so the MC won’t spoil the “surprise” by announcing it) that will ask the guests to sign the card and write a note that they would like the bride and groom to read on that anniversary. Envelopes are sealed and collected to be read by the bride and groom during future anniversaries, reminding them of their wedding day.
Longevity Spotlight - All married couples are asked to stand, and while a song like “Through the Years” is played, each is asked to sit down depending on how long they’ve been married ending with the couple who have been married the longest who will then be invited to share their secret for a lasting marriage.
Prerecorded Best Wishes - A prerecorded message is obtained from a special guest who cannot attend and played in their absence.
Multi Media - An audio or visual clip is played or projected to enhance an individual’s toast.
Basing the Order on Content - By conferring before hand with those giving a toast, the MC can help arrive at the most effective order based on each toast’s quality be it emotional, comical or poignant.
Unrehearsed Surprise - The MC is provided with names and seating arrangements of one or more friends who are gifted speakers or naturally funny. When the formal toasts are delivered before the meal, the guests are informed that there are still a few more toasts coming during the meal, but who will be giving them has yet to be determined. When the guests least expect it, the MC will gather their attention while introducing the first “surprise” toaster who, although completely unprepared, will be handed a cordless microphone as the MC walks away.
Pass the Microphone - After the formal toasts, others are given the opportunity to say something on behalf of the bride and groom.
The Old Key Trick - A fun practical joke is to pass out a key to several ladies during the cocktail hour and then at a given moment to the accompaniment of “Just a Gigolo,” instruct all those in attendance who have a key to the groom’s house to bring it up since he is now officially “off the market.” (Keys can be passed out to a couple of guys too, for extra laughs.)
Father/Daughter Segue - If the toasts are scheduled to immediately proceed the father/daughter dance, the father of the bride can be the last to have the microphone to say a few words, give a toast, and then invite his daughter to the dance floor.
Dad/Daughter, Mom/Son Slide Show - Photos from the past of the father with his daughter and/or mother with her son are projected on a screen complimenting the bride’s dance with her father and/or groom’s dance with his mother.
Dad/Daughter, Mom/Son Invitational - During the bride and groom’s dance with their parents, all father and daughters or mothers and sons present are invited to join in on the dance floor.
Recorded Messages - A special message recorded by the dancers is played preceding the song or mixed into the song during the instrumental segments for any of the special dances.
Wedding Party Dance Moves/Torpedo - An uptempo song is played for the wedding party featuring them in a “Party Circle” or “Soul Train Line” which can lead into a Torpedo Dance where en masse they “attack” sections of the room each bringing guests back with them to the dance floor.
Longevity Dance - All married couples are invited to the dance floor and will dance together until eliminated by the MC based on years of marriage, until only one couple is left who in turn can dance with the bride and groom.
Sneak Attack - The maid of honor and best man are positioned on either side of the bride and groom who cut the cake and ready themselves to feed one another. Instead of smashing each other with cake, they instead simultaneously reach around and "smash" the maid of honor and best man.
Cake Cutting Serenade - Just before the Cake Cutting, the MC passes out lyric sheets to all the guests informing them that this is a surprise, and then invites everyone to gather around the cake and sing a song like “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You,” “That’s Amore,” or “I Got You Babe” to the bride and groom, while they cut the cake and feed each other.
Groom’s Cake Presentation - If there’s a creative groom’s cake, it can be brought in with festivity accompanied by an appropriate song as folks gather around for the Cake Cutting.
Birthday/Anniversary - If one of the guests is celebrating a birthday or anniversary, the MC can invite them to the cake table so the bride and groom can present them with the second slice. If it’s a birthday, a lit candle can be placed on the slice of cake and folks can sing “Happy Birthday” to the recipient.
Congratulatory Dance - Instead of a Money Dance, give everyone an opportunity to dance with the bride and groom and offer their congratulations, without asking them to come up with any money or pay anything.
Original Money Bag - For the Money Dance, instead of the ordinary containers, the maid of honor can hold a large treasure chest or a white pillow case with a big dollar sign printed on it.
Dollar Pass Segue - If a Dollar Pass was used during mealtime those holding the dollar can serve to kick off a Money Dance by being invited to the dance floor for a special honor. The men and woman holding the dollar are guided into separate lines and the bride and groom brought up to commence what is indeed the Money Dance/Dollar Dance, as the MC invites all to participate.
Safety Pins - Guests are given safety pins to pin the money to the grooms tuxedo.
Go With It! - Instead of being concerned what the guests might think by being asked for money in turn for the privilege of dancing with the bride and groom, the MC literally invites them to bring up 10’s, 20’s an all major credit cards while music with a money theme is played in the background. A fund raiser thermometer can even be brought out with an outrageously high projected goal.
Dollar Bill Confetti - A series of upbeat polkas are played while the fathers of the bride and groom exchange the guests’ larger bills for a comparable amount of new dollar bills. The guests are instructed to throw their wads up dollar bills in the air above the bride and groom as they are sent to the dance floor to cut in.
Bouquet Presentation - When there are a limited amount of single ladies present, instead of throwing the bouquet, it is presented to someone like the most-recently engaged female friend or the longest married couple.
Presentation to Married Guests - When there are a limited number of single friends in attendance, the MC invites all the married ladies up to a corner of the dance floor and has them cross to the opposite side (where the bride is standing) by ascending years of marriage. When the longest-married woman is identified, the bride presents her with the toss bouquet. The process is repeated with the married men, but they are called over to the groom in descending years to reveal the man who has been married for the shortest time. The groom presents him with the garter.
Cluster Bouquet Toss - The bride tosses a bouquet that breaks up into four or five smaller bouquets in flight.
Teddy Bear Toss for Children - Before tossing the garter and bouquet, have the younger children come out and toss a stuffed animal or animals for them to catch.
Dance Floor Toss - Instead of interrupting the dancing, the bride and groom can toss the bouquet and garter from the fully-packed dance floor with the MC instructing the single gals to raise their hands and then the single guys, or just making it fair game for anyone to catch either bouquet or garter.
Handcuffed Groom - The Best Man handcuffs the groom’s hands behind his back so he can’t use them to remove the garter.
Mission Impossible - While the theme song to “Mission Impossible” is played in the background, the MC announces that the groom is about to embark upon a special mission where he must find and retrieve an article of clothing on his wife’s person that contains a hidden microchip embedded with secret information with profound consequences, and that it has been booby trapped to explode if it’s touched by human skin requiring the groom to use his teeth.
Mary Poppins - Just like in the movie where Mary Poppins produces all kinds of uncanny objects from her purse, the groom will remove an array of unusual items before actually finding the garter. The bride is seated in a chair with its back to a table that is covered with a table cloth. An accomplice feeds over-sized items to the groom from under the table and chair.
Blindfolded Garter Switch - Instead of having the single man who caught the garter place it on the leg of the single lady who caught the bouquet, blindfold the guy and then quietly substitute the lady with the groom.
Football Garter Toss - After the groom successfully removes the garter, the MC brings out a small football along with a marking pen so the bride and groom can autograph it and put their wedding date on it. The groom then throws the football to the assemblage of single men to the theme song from Monday Night Football.
Garter Toss with a Bribe - A twenty dollar bill is safety pinned to the garter and accompanied by the theme song from The Apprentice, the groom shoots the garter to the wild assemblage of single guys.
Love Story - Accompanied by an instrumental rendition of the bride and groom's favorite song and presented just before their entrance, the MC narrates a specially-prepared short story describing the events surrounding the marriage (e.g. when and where the bride and groom met, their first date, favorite things to do, future goals, etc.
Family Unity Candle - Three candles are positioned within the main focal point. Just before the Grand Entrance, the MC invites a selected representative from both families to come up and light the two smaller outside candles. Then, immediately after their introduction, the bride and groom each take one of the outside candles and light the taller middle candle symbolically joining the two families together. This can also be done right before the meal by the mothers of the bride and groom, again in a symbolic joining of the two families.
Hula Hoop - All those who choose to compete are invited up to see who can keep their hoop spinning the longest.
Limbo - When there are many children, a limbo event can be featured after the younger folks have finished their meal while the rest of those in attendance finish theirs. It can also be included as a dance floor feature growing out of the music during open dancing.
Newly Wed Game - The MC seats the bride and groom back to back in chairs on the dance floor. They are both given objects that represent the two of them, one in each hand (Barbie and Ken dolls, a sign on a stick saying “bride” and “groom” or their first names, an empty wine bottle for the bride and an empty beer can for the groom, or the bride and groom can even remove their shoes and trade one apiece). The MC then asks them a series of questions worded in such a way that the only answer can be either “the bride” or "the groom,” to see how well they really know each other. Both bride and groom answer by holding up the appropriate item.
Twenty-One - Teams of 5 people each, form a line on one side of the dance floor. On the opposite side for each team there are 21 large plastic or Styrofoam cups. In the middle of the dance floor, taped in front of each team is an “X.” One at a time, a player from each team races to their cups, carries one to the “X” and forms a pyramid (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). When a player has placed their cup, they go to the end of their line and the next player does the same thing. If the pyramid falls down during the building process, the team member on the dance floor has to set up the whole thing before their team can proceed. The team that finishes their pyramid first, wins.
Special Performances - One or more of those in attendance are presented as a featured performer during mealtime or in conjunction with an appropriate segment during the open dancing.
Dominance Paper Race - The best man and maid of honor will each place their fingers into a roll of toilet paper standing side by side on the dance floor. In a fun way to present who will “wear the pants," “control the checkbook,” or “call the shots” during their marriage, the bride and groom will race to see who can unravel their roll of toilet paper the fastest.
Video/Slide Show Projection - A well-paced, themed dvd or slide show presentation is featured during a select segment of the reception.
Sorority Song - If the bride was in a sorority and it is traditional for the sorority sisters to serenade the bride with a special song, this makes a good lead in to the bouquet toss.
Reception Action Slide Show - Photos taken during the ceremony, Grand Entrance, parents dances, during mealtime, and dance segments can be projected throughout the proceedings.
Choreographed Dance Routines - A rehearsed or practiced dance routine can be presented featuring a guest or group and placed on the agenda as part of the entertainment picture.
Shoulder Rub Party Start - In essence, everyone is “tricked” into a giant conga line by standing in a circle with their arms around each other’s shoulders, leading to rubbing the shoulders of the persons next to them, then dropping their arms, turning to the right and placing their hands on the hips of the person in front of them.
Group Photo Kick Off - Everyone is invited to the dance floor for a group photo while “Freeze Frame” is played in the background. As the photo is completed, the dance music immediately kicks in and everyone is invited to get involved.
Group Hug Party Start - The MC invites the bride and groom’s parents to hold hands in a tight circle surrounding them on the dance floor. Next the wedding party is invited to do the same thing around the parents followed by the immediate family on the bride’s side and then on the groom’s side all holding hands in concentric circles around the bride and groom. Next up are the out of town guests and finally the local guests are invited. The MC then invites everyone to politely squeeze in and give the bride and groom a group hug. The bride is then instructed to hold up her hands so that everyone can see her as she is now the leader of a room-wide conga line.
Snowball Dance - Starting with one couple dancing, whenever "Snowball" is called, those dancing go out amongst those in attendance not yet dancing and select someone to quickly bring back to the dance floor. Thus starting with 2 then making 4 then making 8 then 16, 32, etc. on the dance floor until there's no longer enough in attendance to double the dance floor population, at which time everyone is invited who hasn't been selected. The next command given is simply to change partners.
Fertility Dance - The bride’s mother and father are called to the dance floor and everyone is invited to form a large circle around them. All are informed how delighted the bride’s parents are to be celebrating their daughter’s marriage and how they are also hoping to someday soon they might be calling themselves grandparents. So with the help of their friends and family everyone will now participate in an ancient fertility dance. What follows is the “Chicken Dance.”
Dance Instruction - Fast-paced dance instruction for popular line dances and/or the Shag is included without interrupting the flow during open dancing.
Reaching Out - With the bride and groom standing on a couple of sturdy chairs, and the guests clustered around them, “Sweet Caroline” is played, and the guests are instructed to act out the song reaching out to the bride and groom as the songs lyrics direct.
Last Dance and Entertaining Sendoffs
Formal Toast Segments Replayed - A recording is taken of the formal toasts, and during the moments following is quickly edited so that poignant sections and humorous comments can be mixed into the last dance song.
Circle of Love - The MC invites everyone to make a big circle around the bride and groom in order that they may feel everyone’s friendship during the last dance of the celebration. At various parts of the song, everyone is directed to take a step closer.
Circle of Love: Bride & Groom Thanks - The bride and groom move around the circle bidding farewell and expressing their appreciation to each person that has remained until the end of the reception.
Human Tunnel - The MC has the guests form into two lines facing each other and then make a long human archway with their arms, under which the bride and groom exit the reception hall.
Circle of Love: Farewell from the Guests - From the Circle of Love, the MC moves quickly from person to person letting each one express their best wishes on the microphone.
Catch a Plane Exit - After the bride and groom have delivered their “goodbyes,” the MC asks over the microphone where they’ll be going on their honeymoon at which time the bride and groom shout out their answer and run frantically out of the room because they have a flight to catch and “are running late.”