Transform your wedding into an affair to remember with these fun-filled, quirky ideas for food, drinks, and entertainment. Your guests will cherish every moment of your special occasion! By Pallavi Mehra
1.THE “AAH” FACTOR
Set the mood for the special week ahead as soon as your guests arrive. Surprise them with foot massage counters for some indulgent relaxation. They’re sure to love the treat, especially if they’ve taken a long flight.
2. TASTING SESSION REVELRY
A lot can happen over drinks! Plan an outdoor cocktail hour with a laid-back picnic vibe. For a fun, interactive time at the bar, organise a wine-and- cheese pairing session or
a wine, whiskey, or liqueur tasting with a sommelier. Or just let the creative juices flow at the make-your-own margarita bar!
3. UNCONVENTIONAL PORTRAITS
Organise the usual, but with a twist. Hire a silhouette artist or a caricaturist for personalised portraits of your guests, which they can take home as wedding mementos.
4. HOSPITALITY LOUNGE
Wedding planner Nida Abed suggests, “Set up an easily accessible area that can
be used as a 24-hour lounge serving high tea, as well as a comfortable space to sit back and unwind with much-needed sweet and savoury bites to satiate those after-party hunger pangs.”
5. GET SPORTY
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Take advantage of sunny afternoons with a burst of sporting energy. Vikram Mehta of Mpire Weddings says, “Organise cricket or volleyball games for a great bonding experience. Kids and adults alike will also enjoy garden games such as giant Jenga or life-size snakes and ladders.”
6. SILENT DISCO PARTY
Take a page out of Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and invite everyone to a silent disco party at your mehendi. Your guests will have a great time dancing to the beats of their favourite songs as part of this unique experience!
7. THE PERSONAL TOUCH
Personalise your welcome hampers and hangover kits with handwritten notes. This small gesture will go a long way with your guests.
8. FUN AT THE FAIR
Wedding planner Karishma Manwani says, “Once, we planned a funfair with merry- go-rounds, game stalls, and candy floss. Fairs are very popular and are trending at Indian weddings in the UK!”
9. 3D PROJECTIONS
“Every wedding should have that ‘wow factor’,” says Abed. “3D projections of music videos or a short film on the couple are great ways to go.”
10. TRENDSETTING WEDDING
“Keep those updates coming and your wedding trending by opting for social media- friendly options such as Instagram Boomerangs, Flipbooks, or slow-motion videos uploaded live from every function.” Neha Ahuja, The Doli Diary.
11. GO THEMATIC
Popular wedding themes include ‘going green’ and favourite movies or TV shows. Themes based on thecouple’s personality, such as bohemian or glamorous, are popular too.
12. DIY MERRIMENT
“Stalls with DIY oil and fragrance counters, block- printing and art stations, and cupcake-making stands are perfect for keeping guests entertained,” says Neha Ahuja of The Doli Diary.
13. INNOVATIVE BARS
Set up a coffee bar and have baristas prepare cappuccinos with yummy toppings, such as chocolate shavings and cinnamon. Or, even a dessert bar, with a chocolatier serving handmade truffles.
14. WHAT WAS THAT?
Turn your guests’ heads by adding revolving sculptures, human statues, and unusual installations to the décor.
15. ENTERTAINING ELDERS
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Housie, dumb charades, or antakshari are always a big hit with elders during a mehendi or sangeet. You can also have a photograph of the couple blown up and made into a jigsaw puzzle. Put its pieces on the table for the guests to assemble.
16. RAPID-FIRE QUESTIONS
Host a bridesmaids versus groomsmen rapid-fire contest. Ask them a series of questions about the couple to determine which side knows the couple better.
17. EATING COMPETITIONS
Create teams with members from both sides for eating competitions at your mehendi. This delicious exercise is a brilliant icebreaker for the two families.
18. WHAT THE GUESTS SAY
Prepare unconventional message corners at the venue with a video box; guests can record short video messages for the couple. They can even sing songs or share funny anecdotes.
19. KEEP THE CHILDREN HAPPY
Hire kids’ entertainers and wedding nannies to keep the children occupied. Think crayons, balloons, and candies. “Separate activities for kids keep the parents happy too!” says Abed.
20. INTERACTIVE SESSIONS
Hire palm and tarot card readers, illusionists, and magicians to keep guests thoroughly amused.
21. WEDDING VIDEOS
Play an edited video of the same day’s festivities at your sangeet or cocktail later that night—it’ll be a delightful surprise for the guests.
22. FUNNY T-SHIRTS
“Gift customised T-shirts with funny Bollywood quotes to wear in the baraat or for the haldi. They are a big hit with guests!” says Mehta.
23. FLASH MOB TIME
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“Plan a flash mob involving as many guests as possible,” suggests wedding planner Sidhi Mitra. “They get the party started and bring everyone to the dance floor.”
24. HAPPY FEET
Arrange a shoe counter to offer guests flip-flops, flats, or comfortable shoes to wear at a beach wedding or at the after-party.
25. THE WEDDING IS IN…
Unusual venues are the call of the season. “This summer, we’re planning the first ever Indian wedding at Disney World in Orlando, United States!” says Mehta.
Request the couple to come on stage for a fun Q&A session about each other. This game is a surefire way to get everyone laughing.
27. A PET-FRIENDLY WEDDING
Arrange for dog sitters and pet entertainers, so that guests can bring their four-legged best friends to your wedding.
28. LIVE ART
Invite an artist to create a painting of the wedding ceremony as the event unfolds. “Sand-art artists are a popular choice for many couples,” says Avinaash Bodwaani of The Wedding Co.
29. ACCESSORIES GALORE
Arrange for fresh-flowers wrist and head bands, glitter booths, and bangles counters for your female guests during a mehendi.
30. WISH LANTERNS
For an outdoor night function, arrange for wish lanterns that your guests can release in the sky. This charming activity makes for a beautiful backdrop in photographs.
31. EXCITING EXCURSIONS
Destination wedding? Don’t forget to organise outings to the city’s famous sites, before or after the functions, for the guests. This will make the wedding more memorable.
32. RADIO SHOW
“While transporting guests from one venue to the next by car, play a pre-recorded radio show that includes details of the functions and your favourite songs,” says Bodwaani.
33. A FLEA MARKET
“Source products from local artisans and create your very own flea market. If your destination-wedding guests don’t have time to visit the town, bring the town to them!” says Manwani.
34. GLAMOROUS ACTS
“Add to your cocktail night’s glamour quotient with interactive entertainment acts by circus performers, stilt walkers, and costumed artists,” suggests Abed.
35. YOUTUBE SENSATIONS
Make an all-out, fun-filled music video featuring all your guests dancing on your sangeet and post it on social media. You never know, it may go viral!
36. PETTING ZOO
For an outdoor function during the day, organise a petting zoo with rabbits, ponies, miniature donkeys, and sheep—it’s certain to be a huge hit among children.
37. FUN TUTORIALS
Between wedding functions, plan beauty tutorials with a makeup artist or hire a mixologist for some cocktail- making sessions. Get some dance instructors on board before your sangeet to teach your guests how to sway and shake their way on to the dance floor with some bhangra, salsa, or garba!
38. UNUSUAL MEMENTOS
Rent a 3D-printing machine so that your guests can customise their wedding mementos. It’s one way to ensure they’ll remember these gifts and your ‘oh-so- cool-wedding’ for months to come!
39. LIVE MUSIC
“Have a saxophonist, violinist, or percussionist play along with the DJ. This season, international drummers with LED drums are quite popular.” Sidhi Mitra, Wedding Planner.