A wedding brings together two sets of families and friends—which usually means a big group of people who don’t necessarily know each other spending an entire day together. And when they’re not attempting awkward small talk, they may become bored. The last thing you want is to see guests yawning or glued to their phones throughout your big day. Caroline Fuller, owner and lead planner at Simply Grace Events, says keeping wedding guests entertained isn’t as hard as it may seem. With Jacksonville being a city of transplant residents, not many couples have family in town. Having a gathering for guests coming from out of town not only gives them something to do, but also makes room for them to get familiar with other wedding guests. “Meeting before the wedding allows guests to form relationships with the familiar faces that they see throughout the weekend,” says Fuller. She suggests hosting a backyard barbecue or gathering at the designated wedding guest hotel. When it comes to keeping guests entertained at the ceremony, Fuller is a strong advocate for seating charts. “Seating charts take the pressure off the guests,” she says. “When the bride and groom can come up with an idea of groups of people they think they would work well together and assign seats, it gives guests the confidence of knowing where they can sit.” If having an outdoor reception, she suggests yard games such as corn hole and oversized checkers. “Wedding entertainment wasn’t a big deal in the past, but it’s definitely a growing trend,” she says. If none of this advice seems fitting for your group of family and friends, there’s always the open bar.
By Courtnee James • Christina Karst Photography