Reception Ideas

Creative ideas to get guests to mingle and socialize

My family is from Ohio, and his is from Florida, and we will have friends from all around the country coming to our wedding. What are some ways we can encourage our guests to get to know each other? 
PolarBearFitz

Re: Creative ideas to get guests to mingle and socialize

  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    There really isn't a way to encourage people to get to know one another.  Often, each side of the family is happy enough to mingle among their own, because for many, weddings become a mini family reunion.  Many people don't want to "waste" that time getting to know people they may never see again.

    Those guests interested in getting to know new people will do so on their own.  
  • The last thing I want to do at wedding is mingle with strangers. I don't have any interest in getting to know people I won't see again or have a relationship with when there are plenty of friends and family in the room to catch up with. Let them mingle on their own. Forced mingling and mixing families for.dinner creates awkward tension and silence.
    katieg520
  • If you have lots of out of towners, presumably staying for the wedding weekend, I enjoy when the B & G plan one or two activities to give their guests a chance to mingle before the wedding. For example, maybe you could give guests the option of stopping by a certain bar or meeting up for a game of Frisbee.

    Or, if we're just talking about the actual wedding, don't force anything. I always hate being seated with a bunch of strangers. Those who want to mingle will.

    image
    PolarBearFitz
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    The last thing I want to do at wedding is mingle with strangers. I don't have any interest in getting to know people I won't see again or have a relationship with when there are plenty of friends and family in the room to catch up with. Let them mingle on their own. Forced mingling and mixing families for.dinner creates awkward tension and silence.
    This. Your guests will want to talk with people that they know and like. Forcing people to mingle so that they can get to know one another is not a good idea. I don't care to get to know someone that I most likely will not see again.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Leave it alone.  If your guests want to mingle with each other and make new acquaintances among those they don't know, they will.  Don't try to force it on them through icebreaker activities, contrived seating arrangements, or any other "active" means.
  • Well... I appreciate your honesty. I wasn't expecting such harsh responses. 
  • amyfpm11 said:
    Well... I appreciate your honesty. I wasn't expecting such harsh responses. 

    No one was harsh - they were just honest. "Activities" at weddings usually aren't that great. Just have good food, music, and drink and you have the makings for a great reception. 
    image
    erinlin25
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Well... I appreciate your honesty. I wasn't expecting such harsh responses. 
    @amyfpm11 - I would like for you to quote exactly what was harsh in the responses you received, because nothing was anywhere near being harsh.

  • PolarBearFitzPolarBearFitz member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    edited October 2013
    amyfpm11 said:
    Well... I appreciate your honesty. I wasn't expecting such harsh responses. 
    amyfpm11 My apologies for any harshness, it seems sometimes the direct approach from people via internet can seem a bit cold. Sometimes the tone read online is not the tone the user intended to have but alas it can come across that way.

    And to respond to your original post: It is actually really great that you would like to have your guests mingle with each other. We all want our family and friends to like each other and get along at gatherings. Unfortunately forcing this kind of thing is a little awkward and uncomfortable. Let your guests do what's natural for them and enjoy the party! You may be surprised as to who gets to know who naturally.

  • The last thing I want to do at wedding is mingle with strangers. I don't have any interest in getting to know people I won't see again or have a relationship with when there are plenty of friends and family in the room to catch up with. Let them mingle on their own. Forced mingling and mixing families for.dinner creates awkward tension and silence.
    This. Your guests will want to talk with people that they know and like. Forcing people to mingle so that they can get to know one another is not a good idea. I don't care to get to know someone that I most likely will not see again.
    Same here!!! If I were forced to participate in something that made me feel uncomfortable, I'd likely leave.

  • At our wedding it seemed like family used it as a time to catch up with other family members that they haven't seen in a while. Our two families didn't mix too much except out on the dance floors. In regards to friends, we tried to sit groups of friends that would have something in common or know someone else at the same table. People will chat at the bar, you'll see women making friends out on the dance floor, it will all work out ok.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Most of your family and friends will want to catch up with other family and friends that they already know, and that's ok.  You want people to have fun, not feel obligated to network like some sort of corporate event.

    That said, be sure that your parents and siblings are properly introduced at the RD if it's their first meeting.  Use the old trick where you share things that they may have in common to give them something to chat politely about.  Otherwise, just let it go.  It's unlikely that your aunt and his cousin will have any interest in getting to know each other.  
  • 1. Have at least one pre-wedding event (perhaps a very all-inclusive rehearsal dinner, or a large engagement party)
    2. Have plenty of booze, and otherwise host your guest very well so everyone is in a good mood and not complaining (not to your face, of course) about how horrible of a human being you are for having a gap, or not enough chairs.
    3. Talk to your closest, most social, most outgoing friends, as well as your VIPs (i.e. parents, etc.) about how important it is to you that everyone mingles at the wedding. 
    4. Plan a layout than encourages mingling. This could mean some extra seating so people are encouraged to get up from their tables, plenty of space to move around in the venue, plenty of bartenders so people aren't spending the night waiting in line, etc. 
    5. Get a good DJ, that will get people up and dancing. This will help people moving around and dancing. 
    6. Make sure you host your guests well (again), so the event is enjoyable for them. They shouldn't be stuck listening to long speeches or watching endless dances. Think about THEM, not you, when planning the timeline for the day. 
  • great tips! thanks! 
  • I'm not so much concerned about the families mingling, since like most of you said, it will be like a family reunion for them. My main concern is friends that we are inviting that may not know anyone else at the wedding (since we are in military, we will be inviting military friends we have served with in the past), and I don't want them to be bored or feel left out. 
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards