5 Tips for Planning Wedding Entertainment on a Budget

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Next to the food, entertainment can be one of the biggest wedding expenses, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of ways to save money on entertainment and keep your expenses within your budget – here’s how.


  1. Save money in one area to get your ideal music  


The music you play at your wedding will be forever entwined in your memories, so it’s worth finding ways to make it perfect. If you think professional, live music is out of your budget, think again. When something seems out of your budget, you can make it work by saving money in other areas and diverting the saved money to what you want.


For example, you might be considering a digital playlist when you’d really like to have professional live musicians. You can increase your budget for a live band by saving money on simple things like decorations. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on decorations – with a good eye, you can find amazing decorations at the dollar store.


The more money you save, the larger budget you’ll have to hire the live music you really want. For instance, you might desire live jazz music because it’s classy, timeless, and makes people feel good. If you’ve always dreamed of hiring a jazz band for your wedding, but you’re not sure you have the funds, you can make it happen by saving money in other areas.


  1. Provide simple entertainment for the kids


If you’re allowing kids at your wedding, some of your wedding guests will have kids young enough to need some kind of entertainment. Kids are pretty easy to entertain with things like bouncy houses, bubbles, and lawn games like ring toss and croquet. The simpler your entertainment, the less you’ll pay.


Some of the simplest, most affordable wedding games are ones that you can probably find at a thrift store, dollar store, or even on Craigslist. For instance, croquet is a classic favorite. You can also find variations of ring toss with bean bags, frisbee-style discs, and water balloons.


If you want to entertain kids and adults, consider renting a classy bouncy house like these bouncy castles that have become a recent trend. If you’re going to rent a bouncy house, you may as well get one that everyone can enjoy.


  1. Scour the game and sports section at thrift stores


Thrift stores are an excellent place to find games, including light sports, for your wedding reception. It’s not uncommon to find games like badminton, wiffle ball, and bocce ball in the sports equipment section. You’ll also find fast-paced card and board games like Uno, Apples to Apples, Charades, Skip-Bo, and others.


The best games are ones that don’t take long to complete, or at least ones that have short rounds where you can stop in the middle at any time. Games where it’s not necessary to keep score are also great for weddings. Some people will feel that competitive impulse, but people will just want to have fun, which makes simple games the best option.


  1. Create a scavenger hunt – they’re free!


Scavenger hunts can be really fun when they’re created with intention and there’s a little humor involved. The thing about scavenger hunts is that they can be both involved and simple, and they don’t need to send people running all over town. You can create one for your wedding guests to complete without leaving the venue.


One type of scavenger hunt you can create is to have each guest capture memories on their smartphones. This can include things like taking a picture with two people they’ve never met, recording a short video of themselves sharing how they met you, and capturing a photo of something beautiful.


The fun thing about this type of scavenger hunt is that your guests can share what they’ve captured at the end of your reception. Not everyone will want to share, but it will be fun to have a few people share the memories they’ve captured.


  1. Eliminate what you don’t actually want


Planning a wedding comes with plenty of pressure, and it’s easy to end up paying for things you don’t actually want. For example, you might feel obligated to have your wedding at an expensive venue, when you’d really just like a casual ceremony in the park. Don’t give in to the pressure to spend money on things you don’t want. It’s your wedding, after all.


Great entertainment doesn’t have to be expensive


Your wedding entertainment ideas don’t need to cost a fortune. With a little planning and reallocation of funds, you can provide amazing, affordable entertainment for your wedding guests