Sometimes the simplest of interactive ideas can create the biggest impact upon your guests. Last night, the couple I had the honor to MC & DJ for, Jessica & Matthew, asked me to include one of my suggested presentation ideas, Future Anniversary Notes, as a part of their wedding reception. It was well-received and for the next ten years, Matthew and Jessica will have something to look forward to: reading messages from their closest family and friends – both young and old! – who were in attendance at one of life’s most memorable occasions.
As a Wedding Master of Ceremonies and DJ, I’m always thinking about how I will introduce a person, formality, and/or interaction to the group. For last night’s Future Anniversary Notes, I developed the following:
- Print – not handwrite! – an envelope for each table, plus one extra for your vendors. Unless your calligraphy is exceptional, use a word processor and make the envelope look good. You will need one envelope per guest table, plus as a nice touch, provide one for your vendors. You can create an envelope for each sequential year, or you can create one in increments of five years. It’s totally up to you.
- Before guests seat themselves, provide blank note cards for each person at the center of the table, as well as a pen for the table. Here’s something I’ve learned over the course of doing weddings for the past decade: often times, nobody at the table has a pen on them. One more thing to note: as a courtesy, place the note cards and pen AFTER the photographer has completed his/her room and table details shots.
- After guests have taken their seats, make guests aware of the note cards and set expectations. As a Master of Ceremonies, I’m always “setting expectations” for the guests. In other words, to create the action or reaction my couple desires, I’m setting my guests up to do just that with my Jedi mind tricks. Because I know people can be unpredictable, before the Grand Entrance and dinner service began last night, I informed guests that at the center of the table there were blank note cards and a pen and to please leave them there until I provided them further instructions at their table. This worked remarkably well.
- Deliver the envelopes to each table. Make this fun and guests will happily participate! As I made my way around the room, inviting tables to the buffet, I asked for a volunteer at each table to pick a random envelope (just like a magician would!). Once the envelope was picked, I instructed each guest at the table to obtain a note card and write a message for our newlyweds that wouldn’t be read by the couple until their anniversary date for the year written on the envelope.
- Create a “mailbox” to drop the envelopes off in for future delivery. Because accidents can happen, create a “mailbox” for guests to drop the completed envelopes into rather than let them leave the envelopes at their table for collection. Just make sure guests know where the “mailbox” is for the Future Anniversary notes; whether it’s near the gift table, the newlywed’s table, the cake table, or another defined area.
The most common reaction as I presented the Future Anniversary Notes envelopes and instructions to each table: “What an awesome idea!” Feel free to use this idea at your wedding reception, and as always, be interactive and creative with how you introduce and present it to your guests. There’s a multitude of ways to do it; if it makes logical sense, go for it!
Happy wedding planning!