This week I want to tell you about the entertainment. This post contains affiliate links for those people who don’t know about certain games I’m referring to.
Minimalists are often portrayed as serious, quiet, dull (dare I say brooding), innovative if a little bland, so it’s no wonder that keeping guests entertained is often cited as the biggest worry for brides who want a minimalist wedding. The Swedish Design Collective Sven from How I Met Your Mother are minimalists. If you don’t know who they are, here’s a clip (sorry it’s the only one I could find on YouTube): Sven.
Of course, anyone who really understands what minimalism is all about would laugh at the idea that a minimalist wedding has to be boring. Our wedding was a far cry from the dull, short, grown-up affair that everyone was expecting when they heard our budget was £500. Here’s what we did:
1. We had bubbles for people to blow instead of confetti. A multipack of small tubs of bubbles costs surprisingly little, and keeps adults entertained through all those boring photo times after the actual legal bit. Anyone who’s ever got married in the UK in a registry office (I guess US courthouse weddings are the same), you know what I’m talking about. I was unbelievably bored with all the photography and it was my wedding!
2. We had our picnic at a public park. While we weren’t near the apparatus, it was only a short walk away should anyone have wished to play on the swings. Nobody did, which was a little disappointing but hey, apparently grown ups can be entertained without impersonating a pendulum.
3. We had an outdoor game called Kubb, which is a Viking game where you throw bits of wood at other bits of wood (as far as I could make out). This kept guests entertained. In addition, there was a re-enactment of the wedding ceremony for those people who could not come to our actual legal bit due to distance. This was originally going to be for us to get all slushy and say our real vows etc but when we tried to write some we ended up with something resembling the wedding at the end of Spaceballs. So we did that instead.
4. After the outdoor bit was done, we invited everyone back to our house, and loaded up Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U. After a couple of hours of this, after my husband’s family had left, we moved onto Wii Spin The Bottle (ambiguously titled “Bumpy’s Party” for some reason, and doesn’t resemble the teenage house party game and no kissing or other ickyness is involved; I don’t know if this is available in the US), which is also highly entertaining for participants and observers.
And that is how we sorted out entertainment using things that we already had. Total expenditure: £0.00.
You obviously won’t have the same games and console as us, but if you’re looking for ideas, here’s some other games and things that could provide entertainment, you may even have these already:
Twister Who doesn’t love Twister? This game is fun for children and adults, your gran might just amaze you (she also might refuse to participate, I don’t know, I’ve never met her).
Ticket To Ride Okay, so Ticket To Ride is a board game, but it’s really easy to understand.
Playing cards There are loads of possibilities with playing cards. There are loads of card games you can play with guests, the best idea is to get a few packs of cards because one pack won’t go very far even with the smallest wedding (unless it’s just you two and the witnesses). Games you can play include any that you know the rules for, or are able to explain to someone else. Beware: Don’t try to play a game that needs more explaining than it takes to play, because as soon as someone is bored of hearing the rules, they’re going to tune out and be bored of the actual game.
Lawn bowls, Aka Bocce in the US. An outdoor game that you can often find at a reduced price at Aldi or Lidl type supermarkets, you roll a ball at some other balls a bit like a giant sized game of marbles.
Volleyball, all you really need for this is a big Inflatable Beach Ball (or an actual volleyball) and possibly a net such as a volleyball net or a badminton net, if you have one, but plenty of people play without a net if you’re not playing super-competitively.
Hide and seek (especially if you’ve got a big outdoor space to play with),
Sardines (variation on hide and seek – where the seeker who finds the one person who hides shares their hiding place),
Guitar/musical singing times (we considered an open mic but decided against it as we couldn’t find a park with a pavilion).
Treasure hunt (if you have exclusive use of the outdoor space, you could hide some items around the grounds, give people a list of them and even a map of the area, and get them to find the items. A prize for the winner??)
Scavenger hunt (if you don’t have exclusive use of the outdoor space, you could make a random list of things for people to find, then they need to go around the area and find items to satisfy the list, a list for this would include things such as “a leaf” “an empty coke can” “take a photo of a person with blue hair” and if everyone gets the items, you could give out points based on how closely the items resemble the things on the list, so for example, for the empty coke can, if someone got a red and white empty Coca Cola can, they would get more points than someone who got a Diet Coke can, and the person with the Diet Coke can would get more points than someone who brought a Fanta can.
One thing worth remembering is that your guests don’t need to be entertained at all times. They’re not at a holiday camp, they’re (for the most part) independent adults who like to have time to talk and wander off and check their phones. There is a danger in over-entertaining your wedding guests because entertainment can get in the way of social interaction. That said, nobody likes to be bored. And there is often a limit on the number of players of indoor games, meaning people could feel left out or people could take the opportunity to talk to each other. It’s entirely up to you where you strike the balance between the two, as you know your guests better than someone who has never met them, who writes wedding articles (I hope). You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money on entertainment or hire an expensive local band or get someone to release 1000 doves to have a great time on your wedding day.