30 Unique and Exciting Wedding Entertainment Ideas

From the ceremony through the end of the reception, these vendors will not disappoint.

Lauren Miolene

Contributor

While wedding season *officially* starts in late spring and goes until early fall, it’s never too early to start planning your big day. Make your wedding magical and memorable with the perfect entertainment for all guests to enjoy. 

Whether you’re planning a small backyard wedding, boho chic outdoor wedding, or a traditional large wedding post-COVID, we promise there’s the perfect wedding entertainment to enhance this special day. If you want your wedding to be classic, trendy, or over-the-top or anything in between—there are tons of wedding entertainment ideas to make your vision come to life. 

From the ceremony to cocktail hour to reception, unique wedding entertainment ideas will set your day apart.

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Here are 29 unique wedding entertainment ideas for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.

Wedding Ceremony Ideas

A wedding ceremony is sweet, loving, and one of the most special moments of your wedding day. With these wedding ceremony entertainment ideas, you can create the fairytale, whimsical, or classic experience you always dreamed of.

Harpist

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There is nothing more romantic than classical harp music. Walk down the aisle to a beautiful arrangement performed by a talented harpist. 

Find a Harpist

Acoustic Guitarist 

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Add the soft, ambient sound of an acoustic guitar to play throughout your ceremony. Whether they play the traditional wedding processional or the couple’s favorite song, this mellow music will be loved by all.

Find an Acoustic Guitarist

Bagpiper

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Every Irish wedding needs bagpipes! Even if you’re not Irish, bagpipes are a beautiful sounding instrument to incorporate into your ceremony. A bagpiper is a wedding ceremony idea you’re guests won’t soon forget.

Find a Bagpiper

Violinist

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For a more formal or traditional aesthetic at your wedding, book a violinist to play elegant music while you say your “I dos”.

Find a Violinist

Acoustic Duo

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The acoustic sound is one of the most romantic types of music. Book a duo to play along with one another, and serenade you and your guests during the ceremony.

Find an Acoustic Duo 

Dove Release 

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Turn your exit from the ceremony venue into a breathtaking scene from a movie. A dove release will complete your wedding and have guests in awe for hours.

Find a Dove Release

Wedding Cocktail Hour Ideas

Ceremonies tend to be more on the formal side, but cocktail hour is when the couple can incorporate their personality into the day. Depending on the vibe you envision, whether it is to maintain a sophisticated feeling or get guests ready to party, there are wedding cocktail hour ideas for everyone.

String Quartet

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Keep the romantic music of violins going from your ceremony to your cocktail hour. String quartets can include violins, violas, and the cello, creating a gorgeous sound arrangement.

Find a String Quartet

Strolling Magician

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Cocktail parties can either be completely boring or build the energy leading up to the reception. Hiring a strolling magician for your cocktail hour will be exciting and interactive.

Find a Magician

Mobile Bar

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Anyone can have a bar at their wedding, but a mobile bar will truly stand out. They create a fun and casual atmosphere while serving up your favorite cocktails and mocktails. Check with your wedding venue to see if this is allowed. Talk with the mobile bar directly to create your couple’s custom cocktail.

Pro Tip: Read these tips for hiring a wedding bartender.

Find a Mobile Bar

Food Truck

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From savory dishes to sweet treats, and everything in between, a specialty food truck is a unique and bold wedding cocktail hour idea. Some food trucks specialize in tacos, ice cream, or even donuts. If you can’t decide on what small plates to serve during cocktail hour, you can always book more than one.

Find a Food Truck

Steel Drummer

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If you are having a tropical or beach-themed wedding, a steel drummer will help complete the laid back vibe. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a destination wedding on a warm, sunny island with a steel drummer for a wedding cocktail idea.

Find a Steel Drummer

Mariachi Band

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Looking to *spice* things up at cocktail hour? Whether you book a mariachi duo, trio, or an entire band, they all know how to get a crowd excited and keep the fiesta going all night long.

Find a Mariachi Band

Fortune Teller

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Who doesn’t love getting their fortune read? If you and your partner want to show your fun side on your wedding day, book a fortune teller to share guests’ futures before the reception. 

Find a Fortune Teller

Virtual Tarot Card Reading

Astrologer Kate Wind has created the Cosmic Coaster—a disposable coaster with a unique QR code that links to a Tarot reading. The Cosmic Coaster prompts the guest to think of a question and scan the code to receive unique insights. Insight is shared with the guest through a digital Tarot Card accompanied by 3-4 paragraphs.

Wedding Reception Entertainment Ideas

When it comes to wedding reception entertainment ideas, the key is to find exciting ways to provide guest entertainment. You may not be able to have a ferris wheel or a fireworks display, but these wedding reception entertainment ideas will do the trick:

Live Band

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Live wedding bands allow guests to request songs, play unique renditions of your favorite tunes, and even play their own original music. Check with them in advance to make sure they can play your wedding song for your first dance!

Jazz Band

From background dinner music to dance sets, a classy performance by a jazz band can set the right tone for all your reception moments. Between the horns and the bass, your guests will be groovin’ all night long.

Pro Tip: A jazz band makes a great addition if having a roaring 20s theme wedding!

Decades Band

Kick it old school by booking a decades band for your wedding reception. Whether you want classic rock from the 60s, alternative 90s hits, or throwbacks from the early millennium, a decades band is the way to go. You can guarantee your guests will be performing dance routines to decades hits.

Dance Band

Get the party going with a dance band to celebrate your marriage. These musicians know what to play that will get guests on their feet and dancing the night away.

Cover Band

If you and your spouse are fans of a certain band, book a cover band that specialize in recreating the sounds of your favorite artists.

Top 40 Band

Having a top 40 band play during your reception is always a safe bet. They know what is up to date on the charts and can play songs everyone will enjoy.

Find a Wedding Band

DJ

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The debate between having live music or a DJ at a wedding reception will never end. You can’t go wrong with either, but a professional DJ knows how to get guests on the dance floor while acting as the emcee for the night. 

Karaoke DJ

A fun way to end the night is always karaoke. Perform your favorite songs with your loved ones to create even more special memories on your big day when you book a karaoke DJ

Find a DJ

Photo Booth

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A photo booth might just be one of the best wedding ideas and a way to keep guests entertained with silly props and costumes. Find the perfect photo booth for your wedding—whether open air or enclosed—and coordinate with the vendor to have the perfect props. 

Bonus: The photos also double as a souvenir for guests to take home and can create a memory book for the couple.

Find a Photo Booth

Caricaturist 

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Caricatures are not just for birthday parties or fairs anymore! Try incorporating one as a creative wedding reception entertainment idea. Caricaturists capture your personality into one drawing, and is also a memory for guests to bring home. 

Find a Caricaturist

Silhouette Artist

If caricatures don’t fit the theme of your wedding, a classic silhouette artist may better fit the bill. This type of artist uses your profile to create an elegant and personalized silhouette and is another option as a wedding favor.

Dueling Pianos

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To get the crowd absolutely wild, dueling pianos are the way to go. These talented musicians will battle in front of your guests to get them on their feet, singing, and dancing. Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?

Find Dueling Pianos

Elvis Impersonator

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Invite a surprise guest, Elivis Presley, to your wedding reception to walk around and mingle with guests! How many people can say they celebrated with The King?!

Find an Elvis Impersonator

Party Robot

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Calling all sci-fi lovers, this ones for you! Invite a party robot to your reception for a completely unique and one-of-a-kind wedding entertainment idea.

Find a Party Robot

Lip Print Reading

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Anyone can have a palm reader share the future at their event, but have you ever heard of a lip print reader at a wedding? Make your reception stand out with special services provided by a lip print reader. This wedding entertainment idea is perfect for guests wearing their favorite shades of lipstick.

Questions About Wedding Entertainment Booking?

That’s where we come in. At The Bash we’re here to help you find the perfect wedding entertainment and easily book it too! From the start of your search through online payments, the entire booking process can be done right here.

Find more wedding inspiration here on The Bash.

Published on 3/23/2021