We’ve all been to a wedding which goes on and on, and, quite frankly, leaves you feeling a little bored and counting down the hours. So, to help you avoid this at your wedding, here are my top five ways I think you can prevent wedding guest boredom…

Keep Your Wedding Day Short and Sweet

This is the vital one. Naturally you want to savour every moment, and your wedding day will fly by whether it’s two hours or 18, but try to strike a balance for the sake of your guests.

Think about the best parties you go to. I image they are usually four to five hours long and end on a high, where guests don’t want to leave rather than rush to get their coats. I’d usually advise a start no earlier than 2pm and a midnight finish for most weddings. This gives plenty of time for the ceremony, transport, drinks reception, dinner, speeches and dancing, without too many lulls.

Sleeping Wedding Guest

Think ‘Per Hour’

As an extension of point one (but this point is important so I think it deserves its own slot), think of your wedding on a per hour basis, specifically your budget. If you have less time to spread your budget over, the more money you can put into entertainment for your guests.

Whilst you, the couple, are the main reason for the celebration, a good investment in entertainment during key points of the day is highly recommended.

Drinks Reception Entertainment

The drinks reception is usually a key time in the day when there might be a lull and guests could get bored. It is usually around an hour and a half long, and it’s your time to have your photos taken. So far so good – for you – but many guests might appreciate some drinks reception entertainment after 30 minutes of taking in the surroundings.

Light live music is always a crowd-pleaser and sets a nice mood for natural conversation. But how about garden games such as croquet, giant Jenga and perhaps some country pursuits like duck herding to surprise even the most event-weary guest with something new?

Also think about some visual treats, whether it’s a quirky seating plan that guests have to get the hang of to find their seat, or an interesting guest book experience they need to be part of.

Dinner Table Games

Whilst the focus is on fine food and conversation, and this tends to be enough for many wedding parties, it is sometimes the case that guests need to break the ice with people they don’t know or need a bit of a hand with topics of conversation.

Think about creating a simple quiz on the Mr and Mrs for the table to complete, or ‘facts about the bride and groom you didn’t know’. This can make for interesting discussion.

Think about lulls between courses, and an investment in a close-up magician, silhouette artist or caricaturist at this point can be really worthwhile as they keep the convivial spirit going.

An organised sweepstake can be a nice addition too, and whatever you do keep those speeches down to 10 minutes maximum each. Long speeches are the number one wedding ‘no-no’ that so many people want to avoid.

Keep Guests Informed

However you plan your wedding day, try to keep your guests informed of key activities and timings. You can do this in advance with the invite, but perhaps also on the day in the order of service or in some other nicely designed visual way.

Whilst you might want to keep some surprises to yourself, the best behaved guest is the one who knows and can work out their own agenda. Let people know when you are going to sit for dinner, when speeches are starting and when the evening starts and ends. Not only will your guests possibly want to arrange taxis, transport and childcare, they are much more likely to get into the flow if they know what’s happening.

Happy planning

Guest post by Kelly Chandler of The Bespoke Wedding Company

Image from Flickr by James Blann (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 License)