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
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.
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.
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.