We absolutely love modern wedding receptions! One of the best things about wedding receptions today is that there truly are no limits when it comes to fun and creativity.
Today, anything goes! Modern couples are looking for ways to inject personality into their big day and are creating receptions that are fun, exciting, and truly memorable.
Wedding receptions are becoming more and more unique and elaborate –and guests are loving every minute of it! Turning your favorite foods into hors d’oeuvre and serving them up as midnight delicacies?
No problem! Adding a modern and unexpected twist to the traditional “first dance?” Great idea! Want to hire a donut cart and serve freshly baked goods at the end of your big day? This one will certainly be well received by your guests!
If you’re looking for inspiration for your upcoming wedding reception, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite ideas for creating a reception that’s exciting, memorable, and unique.
Wedding Reception Ideas
Have some fun planning your reception, and make it a day (or night!) that everyone will be sure to remember. Here are ten tips for a fun wedding reception:
1. Create a Unique Guestbook
Your guestbook should be as unique as you are! Oh and guess what? Your guestbook doesn’t even have to be a book. Your guestbook will essentially be a special keepsake from your big day, so choose an idea that’s special to you. Guests can sign blank puzzle pieces, jenga pieces, or even a favorite book from childhood.
Or, put your guests to work creating a piece of art for your home. Guests can make fingerprint designs, or add their names to a piece of art that can later be framed. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests, you could even have them sign a map, or globe, next to their hometown.
Another idea could be a “scrapbook” guestbook – where your guests take Polaroid photos of themselves and then create a scrapbook page, or write a simple note to you. Not only is this fun for guests, but it will give you a truly special souvenir to enjoy.
Most wedding receptions include dancing. If you are looking to take things to a new level, consider sprucing up the dance floor by holding dance-off competitions. If your dance floor is quieter than you hoped, consider having your DJ call up guests for group photos –and then playing a song for them to dance to.
This will help lighten the mood, and get others excited to join in. If you’re a fun-loving couple, you may also want to add a fun twist to the “first dance.” This could be anything from dancing a choreographed dance with your bridal party, to learning the tango and dancing together as a couple. This will help your guests to relax, have fun, and get into the dancing mood!
3. Consider a Live Band
Ok, we all know that music can make or break an event. This is especially true at a wedding reception. Having a live band is one way to spruce up the mood. If a live band is not in your plans, then consider hiring a DJ to make sure the music never fizzles out.
Make sure you include some classic favorites and songs that everyone loves dancing to. You know your friends and family better than anyone, so if you know a song that will get your guests dancing, be sure to let the DJ know!
4. Have a DIY Treat Bar
We love DIY snack Bars! These do-it-yourself food or drink stations really bring out the kid in all of us. Your guests will love being able to create their own treats for the evening. We’ve seen DIY sandwich bars, taco bars, dessert bars, even ice cream bars that allow guests to make their own fun desert creations.
Why not design a snack bar that incorporates some of your favorite foods? Or go with foods that your local area is famous for. This will give your out-of-town guests a chance to sample flavors from your state, or help them to get to know you better by enjoying a selection of some of your favorite treats.
5. The Photo Booth
Photo booths are becoming an ultra-popular addition to wedding receptions –and what’s not to love about them? They can be designed in-theme with your wedding –think vintage, romantic, modern, or whimsical; and they give guests a fun opportunity to get involved and wish you their best.
Plus, a photo booth will provide you with a great selection of special –and sometimes hilarious– photos from your big day. Include fun props such as moustaches, elegant hats, feather boas, and silly glasses. Don’t forget chalkboards and chalk to allow your guests to write you fun notes. This will give you something completely unique and special to look back on.
6. Table Games
For guests, sitting around a table with complete strangers can get a bit dull after a while. Consider breaking the ice by having an assortment of your favorite board games on the tables. Or you could offer interactive games for your guests to play –such as guessing games about the bride and groom.
This will provide a memorable experience for your guests, and you will end up with some great memories. Another way to get your guests involved is by having “date cans” on each table, where guests can come up with fun date ideas for you and put them in the can. Wedding table mad libs are another way to involve guests -and create laughs!
7. Late Night Nibbles
Guests who choose to stay and party with you into the late hours will appreciate having some food and drinks available. This will be just the thing to help keep your party going longer. Some of our favorite snack ideas are fun presentations of the bride’s favorite snacks –served in a stylish way.
Mini milkshakes, crudités, or bite-sized burgers are a great way to give guests (and yourself) some much-needed energy to keep dancing into the night! Snacks can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. Soup and grilled cheese or even crackers and a cheese selection will be appreciated by the late-nighters.
8. A Live Photo Wall
A live photo wall is a must-have for a modern wedding. This feature is a great way to get your guests involved –and as a bonus, you will end up with a whole bunch of behind-the-scenes photos from your big day. For a live photo wall, all you need is a projector or a big screen, a laptop, and an account with Sharypic (it’s free to sign up.)
With your account, you will receive your very own hashtag that you can give to your guests. When guests upload photos that they snap on their iPhones, and tag them with your hashtag, and all of your photos will be curated to one place online –and streamed live onto your live photo wall.
You’ll also be able to look back through the photos later on, since they will all be saved for you in one location. This is a great way to get your guests involved, and will give you tons of “extra footage” to browse through after the honeymoon –a fun and special way to relive your day.
9. Add a Lounge Area
Adding a comfortable (and cute!) lounge area to your reception venue will be a welcome addition that your guests will love. Perfect for those who need a reprieve from partying the night away, or for some of your older guests who might appreciate an area of comfortable seating where they can enjoy the excitement without being excluded.
A few nice couches or comfortable chairs should do the trick. Plus, a lounge area will also present a great photo opportunity, and allow your photographer a chance to get some great close-up photos of guests.
10. A Truly Memorable Sendoff
Don’t underestimate the amazingness of a dramatic sendoff! A memorable sendoff is a great way to make your big exit, and is a perfect way to say goodbye to your guests in dramatic fashion.
Your sendoff should be as unique as you are, and there’s no shortage of great ideas when it comes to exits. Some couples choose traditional flower petals, or bubbles –while others go all out with sparklers, confetti, or fire lanterns that guests release as they exit.
One idea that we love is setting up a “flower petal buffet station” that gives guests the chance to put together a custom bouquet of petals for your big exit. Fun! For reception venues that don’t allow messy items, you could consider having glowsticks, ribbon wands, or even a balloon sendoff –the sky’s the limit!
Look for meaningful ways to incorporate personality into your reception, and choose ideas that are truly fun and special to you as a couple. Remember, it’s your big day –so own it!
Choose some fun things that you and your guests will enjoy, and have fun dazzling your guests, and creating memories that will last a lifetime.