How To Keep Your Wedding Guests Happy All Night Long

When you throw a party whether big or small, casual or fancy, you’re the host.  And as the host, you want to make sure your guests are having a good time.  That means tidying up your house, decorating, having enough seating and a variety of food and drinks.

Weddings are a slightly different type of party, but you’re still the host (or one of them at least).  And while your wedding is about you and your fiancé, you care about your wedding guests.

One of the most important things engaged couples want is for their wedding guests have a good time and feel taken care of.  I hear it from every couple I speak to.  Which is also why “fun” is probably the most used word when I ask couples what they imagine for their wedding.

You want your wedding to be fun.  And who doesn’t?  It should be fun.

Fun means people are smiling, laughing, and enjoying themselves.  And that equals a good time and a good wedding.

Newlyweds and guests dancing at destination wedding reception in Hawaii by Jamie Chang destination wedding planner of Mango Muse Events.

(Photo credit: What a Day! Photography)

So, it’s no surprise that one of the most common fears I hear from couples is that their guests will leave their wedding early.  I touched on this in a recent Facebook live session, but today I wanted to build on it and share the 4 must-haves to keep your wedding guests happy all night long.  Because happy guests stick around.

Now before we dive in, there is one thing I must mention.  And that is that there will always be people who leave early.  You can’t avoid it.

The older generation will get tired and want to go home.  The same goes for parents with kids.  And if you have a lot of guests who you don’t know or aren’t close to, they’ll probably not stick around either.  Don’t feel bad about this, it’s just inevitable.  But, for the rest of your guests, these are the 4 must-haves to keep them happy all night long.

4 must-haves to keep your wedding guests happy all night long

#1 – Alcohol 

Did you guess it?  This one shouldn’t be a surprise.  People love their drinks and alcohol loosens everybody up especially on a dance floor.  Even if you don’t drink, your wedding guests likely do and alcohol all night is a must-have.

An open bar is what you want to have so that everyone can order what they want.  But, at the very least, have some form of alcohol available all night.  Side note: Not having an open bar is also probably one of the biggest complaints you’d hear from wedding guests after the fact.

Groom and guests drinking celebratory shots at a Hawaii destination wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Christie Pham Photography)

#2 – Snacks

After drinks comes the food.  Now you’ve already served them dinner or a meal of some sort.  But, everyone gets munchy especially after drinking.  And if the meal wasn’t to their liking, snacks will alleviate the hangry guest.

You can have a dessert bar, a food truck, passed late night bites or even a snack bar.  Keep it open all night if you can so your wedding guests can help themselves when they’re ready.

Champagne jelly and macarons displayed on a dessert bar at a Hawaii destination wedding by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: What a Day! Photography)

#3 – Great music

Most weddings will have dancing, but even if you’re not having dancing, great music will keep your wedding guests happy and entertained and create your party atmosphere.  And come on, who doesn’t like listening to upbeat music?

Now, great music is different to different people, so I’m not going to tell you the type of music to play or whether you need a DJ or a band or an ipod.  But, the key is to play what you like and to the crowd.  If the majority of your guests are older, play some oldies.  If all your guests are in their 20’s play current top 40’s.

Wedding guests dancing and singing at a Vancouver destination wedding reception by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Tomasz Wagner Photo & Films)

#4 – Space to talk

Not everyone will be dancing the whole night (including you).  And some wedding guests won’t dance at all.  So, you need to make sure you have an area for them to hang out in.  They still want to feel a part of the festivities, so don’t put them in Siberia.  Make sure it’s a space right next to your dancing area where they can sit, chat and still enjoy the music.  And bonus points if you have some other entertainment in that area as well (an easy choice is a photo booth).

If you’re not into dancing and you’re not planning on having dancing at your wedding, you’ll want to create another non-dancing activity to keep guests entertained.  But, no matter what that activity is, you’ll still want a separate space for people to gather and talk and observe.

Take care of these 4 must-haves and you’ll have happy guests all night long.  And happy guests will not only stick around but have a great time.  Which means fun wedding?  Achieved!

Need some help figuring out how to plan your fun wedding?  Sign up for our email list here AND score a super helpful free guide. We’ve got a special Thanksgiving promo coming out next week that’s available only to our email subscribers and will make planning your wedding so much easier.

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Lounge space with sofas and chairs at a Calistoga Ranch wine cave wedding reception by Destination wedding planner, Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Kate Webber)

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