What do you do when your wedding guests aren't the dancing type? Don't typically mingle? Lack the party animal spirit? If introverts make up your wedding guest list planning your reception might seem tricky.
However, that doesn't mean there aren't options for great entertainment at your wedding! Introverted guests can be just as fun as gregarious ones. You just have to know how to entertain them a little differently. Traditional wedding reception events – dancing, drinking & letting everyone chat together – may not appeal to shyer types. But, if you set up activities to allow guests to seek out fun on their own, and with their dates, they'll thrive. Additionally, creating separate spaces indoor and outdoor will allow introverted guests to roam about and find their comfort place.
Take this Joshua Tree wedding, for example. Christie and Ryan invited guests to a desert campout wedding under the stars. The couple truly made an “introvert-friendly” space as they dubbed it, showing off their beloved Indian Cove Campground. “We wanted something relaxed, outdoors, and introvert-friendly,” says bride Christie.
“We had large carpets set-up as a dance floor and several tents with different activities in each one. The idea was to provide small spaces that people could hang out in and feel comfortable.” Entertainment and activities in various tents included Tarot card readings and board games. Plus, there were multiple campfires where guests mingled with close friends in attendance.
Below are twelve ideas to entertain your shyest wedding guests, whether they make up the entire wedding party or are just a beloved few…
1. Include games.
“Lawn games are the perfect addition to any wedding with an outdoor space. From cornhole and bocce ball to giant Jenga and tic-tac-toe, there are so many ways to encourage play at your party! But, games aren't just relegated to outdoor weddings. Why not set out a bunch of board games at your indoor event? Or set up some rented arcade games! Let guests show off their skills with Golden Tee or Hoop Shoot, get some old-school pinball machines, or get nostalgic playing Pac-Man. All kids—young and old—will have a blast.” – Jenna Miller, Creative Director of Here Comes The Guide
2. Hire live entertainment.
“If your introverted guests would rather observe the reception than participate, consider entertaining them with a live wedding performance! The sky's the limit here: dueling pianos, a drag performance, ethnic dance groups, caricature artists, and even flash mobs will WOW your guests and keep them talking about your big day for years to come.” – Jenna Miller, Creative Director of Here Comes The Guide
3. Provide a photo booth (or two!)
“A photo booth is a great way to keep guests entertained during the reception, and each guest can be as creative as they’d like! Extroverted guests will love jumping in front of the camera with friends and family and using props, while introverted guests may choose to take a few casual candids and skip the props. Either way, everyone can join in in their own way and at their own pace during the evening!” – AJ Williams, Founder & Creative Director of AJ Events
4. Fade your first dance song & invite friends to join.
“More introverted couples can save their sanity two ways: request that your DJ fade your first dance out after 1:30, or ask that your friends join you on the dance floor. Once the open dance floor begins, your party doesn't need to be a “rager”. Keep music upbeat, but maybe place “Shots” by Lil' Jon on the ‘do not play' list to keep the vibe in the sweet spot.” – Ashley Lachney, Owner of Alston Mayger Events
5. Consider ending at an early time.
“Another way to ensure you don't leave your own wedding feeling physically drained? Consider ending earlier. Couples underestimate ending an event at or around 9:00 pm. There's plenty of time for folks to get home safely, reminisce about the evening, and it might prevent that one Uncle you had to invite from getting too ‘messy’.” – Ashley Lachney, Owner of Alston Mayger Events
6. Interactive food & dessert stations.
“You can also provide interaction food station for desserts such as a make-your-own sundae bar or bananas foster station! The options are endless so be creative, have fun and coordinate an event that is authentic to you.” – Nora Sheils, Founder of Bridal Bliss, Co-Founder of Rock Paper Coin
7. Set up a stargazing area.
“Less talkative folk tend to be great observers. Why not plan a lunar-themed party or area. Setup a plush lounge area with Moroccan poufs, blankets, a controlled bonfire and a telescope. If you choose a wedding date of lunar significance you may have excellent views of meteor showers or planet alignments. We saw the Milky Way on our wedding night and I can still remember how wonderful it was to sit in the sand eating churros watching the stars past midnight.” – Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
8. Make the dinner the entertainment.
“I once had an introverted couple who held their wedding at a swanky test kitchen in Lower Manhattan. The entire reception was a 12-course meal with an open kitchen just feet away from the dinner tables. Guests could sit comfortably with their dates while they watched the talented chefs in action. The tasting menu was so extensive that the meal took over three hours, and was every bit as tasty as it was fun!” Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
9. Choose a boat as your wedding venue.
“River cruises, yachts & other large boats can serve not only as your wedding venue but also as the entertainment itself! Imagine cruising down the Seine in Paris while you slow dance with your new spouse. Your introverted guests will enjoy watching the city lights & sites pass by the deck. The wedding party will indulge in fine foods and no doubt enjoy the classy and sophisticated mood that a wedding-at-sea evokes.” Claire Eliza, Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Musings
10. Cornhole, S’mores Station, and Mad Libs.
“Yes, the dance floor is going to be amazing for some of your guests, but we also love corn hole games set up around the edges of the reception or a s'mores station for a little interactive dessert time. And, one of our favorites: themed mad libs sheets and pens placed at tables for guests to have a little fun with and break the ice if they don't know fellow guests. Be creative, have fun with it!” – Melissa Wilmot, Founder & CEO of WedBrilliant
11. Style a comfortable lounge.
“For those introverted guests at your wedding, create spaces where they can hang out and still be a part of everything but also allows those guests to have their own space. I recommend creating cozy lounge spaces and a coffee and tea or hot chocolate bar so they can grab something warm to drink and relax for a bit. If you have the means, add a lounge close to the dance floor so they can still see the action happening and another lounge that is in a quieter space so they can take a moment to themselves.” – Kari Dirksen, CEO + Lead Planner of Feathered Arrow Events
12. Hire a sketch artist.
“For a unique guest experience and wedding favor, consider having a live sketch artist at your cocktail hour or reception! The artists draw your guests in real-time and give them a beautiful sketch they are bound to hold onto for years to come. Plus, it also serves as a fun talking point and ice breaker among guests!” – Stephanie Sadowski, SRS Events
Find more expert tips & tricks in our Planning section.
These tips were gathered with help from Be Inspired PR, a PR + Social Media Agency for wedding, wellness & lifestyle clients. With over 10+ years of experience, we’re here to take our clients to the next level! Find oodles of stylish wedding inspiration on their Instagram & Pinterest.