The JP Events Blog

The Latest Musings from Nashville's Premier Event Planning Company

10 Ways To Surprise Your Wedding Guests

By Aundrea Goodwin

July 29, 2020
The most important thing about your wedding is that it reflects and celebrates the love you and your fiancé(e) have for each other. But, it’s definitely a bonus when you can throw a party your guests will never forget.  Here are a few of our favorite ways you can surprise your wedding guests and make the day memorable for everyone involved:

1. Wardrobe change

Wardrobe changes may be one of the more common ways brides surprise their guests, and it’s for good reason. A lot of wedding conversation among guests is centered around the bride’s attire. So when you surprise guests with a new outfit, there’s even more for people to talk about. If spending money on two dresses isn’t your thing (we don’t blame you), wedding dresses that come with removable sleeves and skirts are a great option, and they’re even becoming more common and easier to find. Another way to surely surprise your guests is to get the groom involved with the outfit change. Typically, it’s only the bride who has a reception outfit, so having your groom change his outfit will certainly be a fun twist for your guests. 

2. Switch up the bouquet toss and garter toss 

How about adding a fun spin to one of the traditional parts of your wedding reception? When it comes to the bouquet toss and garter toss, don’t be afraid to get creative. Here are two ideas we love that can change things up a bit:
  • Are either of you athletes are or sports fans? Attach the garter to a football or baseball and throw it to the crowd – may the best athlete win!
  • Request a breakaway bouquet from your florist that’s made up of several smaller bouquets that are loosely held together, and let multiple people enjoy the excitement of catching the bouquet. 

3. Try this fun spin on table numbers

Putting a unique spin on table numbers isn’t something new. But, this one has to be one of the best we’ve seen so far – name tables after you and your fiancé(e)’s favorite songs. Ask your MC or DJ to instruct that when a table’s song starts playing, all guests sitting there must get up and dance. It can be tough to get the the first few people out on the dance floor, so not only is this a great surprise for your guests, it can also help break the ice and get the party started. Speaking of ice breakers…

4. Organize games for each table 

As you’re probably already aware, putting together seating arrangements can be a serious struggle. The reality is that no matter how much you rejig the arrangements, you’re going to have to sit some people together who may not know each other well (or, at all). But, you can help get the conversation started by organizing table games. Try including a conversation prompt with each seat number. Here are some conversation prompts we love:
  • Tell a funny story about the bride or groom.
  • What is a nickname you have for the bride or groom and why?
  • How did you meet the bride and groom?
  • Whats the best relationship and/or marriage advice you’ve ever received?

5. Set up a satellite bar

A satellite bar serving up a distinct selection of drinks compared to your regular bar is a fun way to surprise your wedding guests:
  • Serve your signature cocktail at a second bar so those that simply want a mixed drink or beer can avoid the line up.
  • Add a few taps for your favorite local craft beers
  • Nothing is quite as refreshing as sangria – ask your bartender to tweak the recipe to suit the season you’re getting married in. Or consider mulled win for a fall wedding – it’s the perfect drink to accompany a cool day.
  • Set up a hot chocolate bar with all the fixings – marshmallows, cinnamon, chocolate shavings and cream liqueurs.
  • Skip the drinks all together and elevate the vibe at your wedding with a cigar rolling station.

6. Book your favorite food truck

A simple yet delicious way to surprise your guests – book your favorite food truck to come and park at your wedding venue. A food truck makes a great alternative to a late night buffet. Or, arrange for an ice cream truck to come out instead of serving dessert.

7. Have a campfire 

This is a must if you’re having an outdoor rustic wedding. Set up some cozy seats so guests can relax and lounge around the campfire. It gives guests a nice break from the dance floor. Don’t forget to grab marshmallows and hot dogs for roasting!

8. Try a fun alternative to a photo booth

While photo booths offer a ton of fun, they’re almost expected at weddings nowadays. If you really want to surprise your wedding guests, try something a little different like having a caricaturist do drawings of couples and families. Or, set up a video booth for guests to share their well wishes to you as a couple. At the end of the night, you have a keepsake video from your wedding.

9. Create a cellphone charging station

Whether people have children at home they want to check in on, or people want to keep their phone charged to capture all the memories of your special day, a cellphone charging station is a great way to go the extra mile for your guests. 

10. Hand out taxi vouchers or organize transportation for guests

Help your guests get home safely and responsibly by handing out taxi vouchers or organizing shuttle services. It’s a small token of appreciation for your guests that won’t go unnoticed. 


Surprising your guests doesn’t have to involve extravagant planning or expensive add ons. Simple, well-thought out ideas are the key to making your wedding day one to never forget. Need a bit of help to make your wedding day extra memorable? We can help with all your wedding planning needs, including coming up with creative ways to surprise your wedding guests. Photo by Ãlvaro CvG on Unsplash

Our Latest Posts

When the need hits hard, you’ve got to give back

When the need hits hard, you’ve got to give back

One Saturday earlier this Spring, several members of the JP Events team cooked enough pasta bolognese to feed 200 people and headed to Tent City under Nashville’s Jefferson Street bridge.  It’s one of the homeless encampments that have cropped over the course of the...

Choose the Right Flowers for Your Nashville Wedding

Choose the Right Flowers for Your Nashville Wedding

Have you ever been at a wedding and stopped dead in your tracks just to admire the floralarrangements? Us too. Flowers have been a head-turner at the most memorable weddings for as long as anyone can remember. It’s almost impossible to envision a wedding without them....

Introducing a Refreshed JP Events

Introducing a Refreshed JP Events

As I told my team this week, in 2020, JP Events encountered challenges unlike any we’ve ever experienced — much like the rest of the world. We were challenged as mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, and as a business that thrives on the ability of people to come...

Planning a Nashville Wedding in 2021

Planning a Nashville Wedding in 2021

2020 is finally behind us, and 2021 is getting better by the day as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly being lifted across the country. Earlier this month in Nashville, Mayor John Cooper said wedding capacities can increase from 75 to 125 people, and Nashville bars and...

Fun Alternatives to Your Usual Valentine’s Day Dinner Out

Fun Alternatives to Your Usual Valentine’s Day Dinner Out

A Special Valentine's Dinner with a Personal Chef (well, almost!). This Valentine’s Day, forget the hassle of grabbing last-minute dinner reservations and toughing out the winter weather for a night on the town. We’ve come up with the perfect plan for making this Feb....

Pin It on Pinterest