How to Make Your Wedding Fun for Your Guests

Worried about your guests having fun at your wedding? We put so much effort into wedding planning to make it a good experience for our guests, but when it comes down to it, there are only five things you need at your wedding for your guests to have a good time—plus one optional element. The rest is just extra.


7/14/20236 min read

people raising wine glass in selective focus photography
people raising wine glass in selective focus photography

If you’ve been to weddings before, you know there’s a lot that goes into planning them to make them successful. The location, the time of day, the colors, the food, the music selection, the after party… the list goes on. If you’ve been to multiple weddings before, you also know that no two weddings are alike. Some are outdoors and embracing nature, some are in hotel ballrooms, some are intimate, and some are massive. There are live bands or DJs, buffet dinners or plated meals, and kids or no kids.

We would bet, though, that you had a great time regardless of the set up. Why is it, then, that worrying about whether guests have a good time is one of the biggest stressors of wedding planning? It’s understandable. You’re spending months and a good financial investment throwing a party, and your guests are a huge part of your celebration. They’re attending your wedding for a reason. They’re lifelong friends and your closest family, so you want it to live up to your expectations and for it to be worth it for the effort to get there.

You also might be concerned that your guests might have opinions about what you’re planning. You’ll spend endless amounts of energy trying to make it a perfect experience for them. However, no matter what you do, your thinking is right that guests WILL have opinions. You can’t satisfy them all, so it’s no use overthinking every element to make every guest happy.

Remember those weddings you went to. No matter what, you had fun.

When it comes to planning your wedding, it’s easy to fixate on the extra activities, entertainment, and goodies for your guests to make them happy and have a good time. However, there are only five simple things that are needed for your guests to have fun (plus one optional thing!), and most of them you probably haven’t realized you’re already doing. Everything else is extra.

1) For you and your partner to have a good time

The number one reason your guests will have fun is if you are. We cannot stress this enough. No matter if it’s pouring rain at an outdoor venue, if there’s not enough food and you end up ordering a bunch of pizzas, or if the speakers for your music don’t work, so long as you and your partner are laughing through it, embracing it, and having a great time, so will your guests. If you let the stressors get to you, your guests will see that and become worried too. They feed off your energy, so you set the mood! It is a celebration of your love. If you’re showing the joy that’s in your love, at the end of the day, that’s exactly what your guests want to see.

One of the best ways to make sure you’re stress free on the day of the wedding is to let yourself off the hook the entire day of. From the moment you wake up on your wedding day, let go of that to-do list. If you’ve hired a day-of coordinator (we hope!), hand the list off to them. You’ve done all the preparation you can, so if something goes wrong on the day of, that’s just how it was supposed to be. There’s nothing you can do about it by that point, so have fun and embrace all that comes with your wedding day! It’s supposed to be part of your story.

2) Food, and enough of it.

You’ll be starving by the end of the ceremony, and so will your guests. They might not be the center of attention for the day, but they’ve been traveling and sitting in the sun (or cold) for a bit and have worked up an appetite. Making sure there’s enough food for your guests is the best way to keep them engaged during your first dance and speeches and leave them with enough energy to crush the dance floor all night.

Nancy Parragué, Director of Sales at the famed Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events in Emeryville, CA has shared that “You are inviting people to the most special dinner party you’ll ever throw.” The format doesn’t matter—you can do plated dinners, serve the food family style, have a buffet, or do a cocktail-style dinner—but the food will be an important element of the celebration.

Think about the timeline of your day and if there might be long breaks before dinner. If you're doing a ceremony and then a cocktail hour before the reception, your guests will be without food for hours. We highly recommend serving some appetizers during that cocktail hour. If you're having an early dinner but have the reception space until late at night, it also might be worth coordinating a late night snack to keep your guests around.

3) A moving timeline

Have you ever been in a meeting with no agenda? The meeting starts, maybe there’s someone in charge, but everyone just seems lost. You'll have some small talk, and then once you’re finally getting to the purpose of the meeting, the time’s up. You might have tried to speak up, but the meeting didn’t get to the subject area you were most prepared to contribute to. You likely left feeling frustrated or unproductive.

Weddings need an agenda just as much as a meeting. Without a set timeline or with a timeline with too many breaks, guests might get confused about where they’re supposed to be, preoccupying them with wondering what’s happening rather than with spending time with the other guests and enjoying themselves. If there’s too much space between events, guests might even leave or be late for the next part of the wedding.

Just like you like a meeting that sticks to time, guests will be fully engaged with a timeline that keeps them occupied.

4) Good music

Wedding music comes in all shapes and sizes, but no matter whether it’s a string quartet as you walk down the aisle or a DJ getting guests on the dance floor, your music marks key points of the wedding. It alerts guests to bring their attention to certain moments such as sitting down before the ceremony starts, the wedding party entrance to the ceremony, the wedding party entrance to the reception, and, of course, the start of a night of dancing.

It also sets the mood. Even soft background music helps a cocktail hour with guests who might not know each other feel more comfortable. If it’s quiet, they might feel loud speaking up, but if there are some classic hits, it could give them something to talk about or at least create a more inviting atmosphere. Depending on the wedding format, you might not need a full DJ, and some venues even prohibit amplified music at certain times of the day. But having music at key transitions will help the wedding flow.

5) Good communication

You want to make sure your guests have no problem knowing where they’re supposed to be and at what time. This not only helps ensure there are no interruptions as you’re walking down the aisle, but it also helps alleviate any stress your guests might face if they’re running late or show up to the wrong venue.

This is where printed invitations or wedding websites are most useful. Yes, they looked pretty, but they also serve a purpose! If you have printed invitations, your guests can bring them in their purse or pocket. If your website is clear, your guests can easily reference it as they’re getting ready.

We also love websites like Zola that have features that allow you to mass email or text your guests. If there’s a last-minute change in weather or how to arrive at the ceremony, these features make it seamless to communicate the update to everyone. Over-communicating is better than miscommunicating when it comes to your big day, and your guests will appreciate the effort you put in to make it clear for them.

6) OPTIONAL: Alcohol!

If you and your partner are drinkers and like celebrating with a boozy beverage, providing alcohol for your guests can be a fun way to help them share in the celebration. You don’t have to provide an elaborate bar; even cases of wine, a simple champagne toast, or kegs of cider or beer can be a great addition to your evening.

If you’re not big drinkers or don’t drink, however, this doesn’t have to hinder the night at all. Your guests will understand where you’re coming from and will simply be happy to join in on your love and the great vibes you’ll provide. From dancing to good food and company, guests will have plenty of reason to celebrate you.

If it’s not on the list, we give you permission to let it off your chest and not let it preoccupy your thoughts. Photo booths (our favorite “extra” element), extravagant flowers, glow up sticks, or a cotton candy machine are a blast. Your guests will love any extra or personalized element you bring into your big day, but they’re not the singular reason your guests will have fun. The most important thing is that you are stress free and enjoying yourself, and the rest will follow.

Is there something we missed? Let us know!