10 Tips to a Fun Wedding Reception

10 Tips to a Fun Wedding Reception

Whether you’re in the beginning stages of planning the details for your reception or adding the finishing touches, here are some more fun and fresh ideas to make your upcoming wedding a little more unique and personal:

1. A signature first dance: A couple’s first dance is popularly known as the introduction to guests as a newly married couple, but there’s a new take on the normal song-and-dance variety. A skilled DJ can record audio clips from the bride and groom talking about how they met, the proposal, and other personal anecdotes and splice the clips into their first dance song. In this manner, guests get a more personal spin on this tradition.

2. Props as centerpieces: Take a different approach to your centerpieces and incorporate items and accessories you would normally use to dress up a coffee table, bookshelf, or patio area. For example, candlelabras, decorative glass pieces, or lanterns can add that special touch your centerpieces may have been lacking.

3. Unexpected entertainment: Guests are used to seeing the traditional money dance and other wedding favorites, but why not surprise your guests with some unique entertainment? One couple I worked with asked their friend to sing their first dance song while playing acoustic guitar, while another wedding had a live rock band karaoke at their reception.

4. Unique venue: Finding the perfect venue can be a long and arduous task, especially for those that want something different than a hotel or simple ballroom. Think outside of the box and consider spaces like old nightclubs and warehouses, private rooftops, hip restaurants, and even art galleries. If your venue has distinct rooms, consider creating a different ambiance in each space. For example, one room can feature white paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling while another room can be transformed with uplights and accents in any single color.

5. Themed attire: Everyone can look sharp in a crisp suit or evening dress, but why not add a little funk to your reception by creating a theme and asking guests to dress in accordance? If you’re having your reception in a garden setting, encourage guests to come in afternoon tea attire or classy picnic fashion.

6. Flow reception: As an alternative to the normal sit down dinner, arrange your reception area to have a mixture of tables, lounge furniture, and cocktail tables so guests are encouraged to walk around and mingle and not be stuck in the same seat all night long.

7. Regional or local flavors: Many regions and cities are known for their unique characteristics, like culture and cuisine. Why not feature some of these distinct qualities in your reception? For example, San Diego is well known for its beer culture, being the home of nearly 140 breweries, so offer a small selection of your favorite local brews at the bar.

8. Latte factor: Everyone likes some coffee with their cake, so pamper your guests with a professionally- catered cappuccino bar that offers a unique alternative to the typical beverages served at most events. A delicious vanilla bean latte is a delightful accompaniment to a meal or dessert and an attractive alternative to alcoholic beverages.

9. The art of cigar: We always think about the ladies, so something the gents often enjoy at any social event is a cigar roller station, professionally manned by an authentic and trained Cuban cigar roller. This can be a nice compliment to a reception or great wedding favor for guests to take home. Also consider pairing the cigar roller station with a rum, whiskey, or brandy bar to up the class factor to your event.

10. Ornamental place cards: There are many creative ways to display a seating chart or place cards at a reception. One method is to write table assignments on a chalkboard, then use props or ornaments as a place card holder at the table. For instance, Christmas ornaments can be used to hold the card at a winter-inspired reception, where the ornament can then be used as a wedding favor.

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