S’mores anyone?

Creating an interactive experience

In the 1994 film Forrest Gump, the lead character Forrest Gump famously shared his mama’s advice that:  “… life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Weddings, however are more like S’mores. You create it from different pieces to make something wonderful, and you think you do know what you’ll get.

S’mores, you may know, are a classic American treat usually made over a campfire. They are created by melting a marshmallow which is then placed between two graham crackers with a piece of a chocolate bar, which melts delectably from the warmth. A fusion of flavors, warm and special.

S’mores are an activity that everyone must take an active role in order to eat one (yes, I know someone can make one for you and hand it to you – but go with me on this). And that is my theme today. Not only is your wedding celebration a coming together of different pieces, it is a coming together of people, participating in your big day.

So I ask: is there an interactive activity that could be incorporated into your wedding? An activity, like making S’mores, that brings people together?

I love the idea of providing guests with various ways to be a part of the big day, beyond attending, giving a gift and, of course, dancing the night away (which is definitely interactive).

Unusual guest books have been around for a while, and I do love them, but they are more solitary. You sign or place your thumb print or do whatever is asked on the tree, or in the book. Actual table activities go a step beyond. Games, questionnaires, and friendly competitions can really help make for a special evening. Not everyone likes to dance. And interactive activities give guests the chance to know each other and know more about the couple.

A wish jar is very easy to pull off, and one of my favorites for Baby Blessings and weddings alike. Have a place set up where people can write down their advice or wishes for you and place in a jar. Like the wish jar, a ‘date jar’ similarly asks everyone to suggest ideas for the couple to continue to fuel their relationship with romance. Try using post-cards, perhaps vintage ones, or just goofy postcards from the area, for your guests to write their wishes upon. Again, a bit solitary, but still adds a nice touch. You are asking for your guests’ thoughts or opinions, and that’s flattering. Instead of putting the cards on the table with the container – put them on the tables – it will encourage discussion.

For the ceremony itself, I have ideas for couples who are interested in this. I sometimes suggest a community, or support vow. This consists of having the guests respond with their own version of the ‘I do.’ I’m asking for their continued promise to help sustain the couple through whatever will come.  Like the power of group singing, it’s wonderful to hear your guests raise their voices together.

And speaking of singing, for the really adventurous, or musical, you could have a short group sing-a-long, either as part of the ceremony or celebration that follows. A call-and-response type song would work well, or hand out lyrics sheets for familiar melodies.  Be sure to have a leader for this who knows how to pull it off. Clearly, this isn’t for everyone, but hey, you never know. If you hire the right pianist for cocktail hour, perhaps he or she could lead this for you.

A ‘ring warming’ ritual is another interactive activity, and is especially good for a smaller wedding. This is where all the guests get to bless the rings as they are passed around. Done a bit differently, it’s a way to honor your attendants, by asking them to do the warming or blessing of the rings. They can even form a circle around the couple as they pass the rings, before the couple exchanges them.

The old-fashioned pin money on the bride dance is an example of an interactive activity and while not for everyone, there is deep tradition here and it can be super-fun! The same goes for bouquet toss. And for a Jewish wedding you simply can’t skip hoisting the couple up on chairs.

I’ve seen a quilt signing which was lovely. People were handed squares of material to write on to be sewn together later. This could also be done on an already made quilt.

If there’s a way to tie-in activities to the specifics of the venue, don’t miss that opportunity. Getting married at a ski resort – see if you can offer rides of the ski lift to anyone wanting one, especially when it’s NOT winter. Getting married by the water? Can you offer boat rides? There are always garden style games, such as horseshoes, for outdoor weddings.

Pins on a map from guests to show where they’ve come from is another classic, and easy to pull off.

Even an ice cream sundae bar (make your own) is interactive! Now, that I would really enjoy!

My point here is that any way you concoct to get your guests more involved will energize the party, and sure to be memorable. You have asked them there to share the day with you, now get them into it, with or without the s’mores.


     Thank you Lisa Rhinehart  photographer extraordinaire







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  • Blog Author

    Lois Heckman

    Lois Heckman is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: ... Read Full
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