SET THE AT­MOS­PHERE ON ANY BUD­GET

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, the two of you are, nat­u­rally, the head­line act. But af­ter­wards, at the drinks re­cep­tion? Any­thing goes! Think about what you love most, as a cou­ple and in­di­vid­u­als, and use this to guide how you keep your friends and fam­ily en­ter­tain

You and Your Wedding - - You & Your Wedding -

Purse-friendly

Travel ex­tras

If you’re lay­ing on trans­port to take your guests from cer­e­mony to re­cep­tion, add some fun touches to make the jour­ney ex­tra spe­cial. We’re think­ing snack packs and self-printed pro­grammes – these could in­clude the day’s run­ning or­der and a who’s who of the wed­ding party.

Tem­po­rary tat­too sta­tion

The kit from Doris Loves (£55) con­tains ev­ery­thing you need to set up your own fun dec­o­rate-your­self stand, in­clud­ing 100 tem­po­rary tat­too de­signs and a dis­play tray.

Per­sonal gallery

Put to­gether a themed photo in­stal­la­tion, along with printed captions ex­plain­ing the story. These could be pic­tures from your hen and stag par­ties, fam­ily snaps from both sides, or shots taken at dif­fer­ent stages of your re­la­tion­ship. Want to make guests feel ex­tra-in­volved? Dis­play a shot of each per­son in at­ten­dance with an ex­pla­na­tion of how you know them. Time-con­sum­ing? Yes. Guar­an­teed to please? Also yes.

Lawn games

You can eas­ily pick up some in­ex­pen­sive out­door di­ver­sions such as croquet, swing ball, boules and quoits, as well as su­per-sized favourites like Jenga, Con­nect 4, domi­noes and chess; try ebay for bril­liant bar­gains. Just re­mem­ber to scout out suit­able ar­eas at your venue, as you’ll need rel­a­tively even ground. Want some­thing a lit­tle more en­er­getic? We’re rather fond of the limbo set from Big Game Hun­ters.

Home­made photo booth

If bud­get won’t al­low you to spring for a pro­fes­sional booth, it’s not too tricky to set up your own. You’ll need a means for guests to get snappy (a tablet will do if you don’t have a cam­era), a back­drop and some props. Un­like with a pro­fes­sional booth that’ll have built-in light­ing, we’d rec­om­mend di­rect­ing peo­ple to use a DIY booth dur­ing the day, as you’ll be re­ly­ing on nat­u­ral light.

DIY flower stall

If you (or a par­tic­u­larly kind mem­ber of the wed­ding party) have the en­ergy and in­cli­na­tion for an early start, head to your ORFDO!ÁRZHU!PDUNHW!RU!ZKROHVDOH!IDUP!WR!SLFN!XS!DUPIXOV!RI! beau­ti­ful blooms the day be­fore. (Pro tip: go sea­sonal for lower cost.) You can then use these to cre­ate a DIY sta­tion where guests can cre­ate their own but­ton­holes, cor­sages and/ RU!ÁRZHU!FURZQV"!<RX·OO!DOVR!QHHG!VRPH!ÁRULVW!VXSSOLHV#!VXFK! DV!ÁRUDO!IRDP#!ZLUH#!SLQV!DQG!WDSH#!DV!ZHOO!DV!YHVVHOV!IRU! KROGLQJ!WKH!ÁRZHUV"!3ULQW!RXW!VRPH!VWHS$E\$VWHS!JXLGHV#! and voilà! A bloom­ing marvel­lous DIY stall.

Friends and fam­ily

The clever folk at Patch­work of­fer a ser­vice where in­stead of ask­ing for tra­di­tional gifts, you can re­quest that your guests do­nate their time and skills to help you re­alise your w-day dreams. So why not see if any of your loved ones can help out with some drinks re­cep­tion en­ter­tain­ment? You never know, Great Un­cle Philip may be a se­cret jug­gler, or Cousin Tim may be hid­ing a ta­lent for the gui­tar.

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