12 Fun Wedding Reception Ideas That Get People Moving
When it comes to your wedding day, the most important event of the day is the ceremony. After all, it's the beautiful connection of two souls for eternity in the name of love. Smiles will be on every face and many happy tears will be shed. There's nothing quite like a wedding ceremony, and it will be something that you and your guests will never forget. However, the part that many people look forward to the most is the reception. It makes sense when you think about it. Who doesn't love a big party? Every reception is different and the very best executed reception ideas reflect the personalities of the bride and groom. Receptions are loads of fun and in many cases, they end up being far more memorable than the ceremony itself.
Read on for some exciting reception ideas for the perfect reception. They may not all be right for you and your love, but a few of these might be right up your alley.
When planning a reception, there are so many options to consider. First and foremost, you want to make sure that everyone has a good time. Since wedding guests range dramatically in age, background, and interests, it's crucial that you do your best to include a variety of things so that there are different aspects of it that every person in attendance will love.
No one wants to spend several hours just sitting around. Incorporating active reception ideas into your plans will help you to keep people moving and having a good time. Sitting and chatting is fun for a while, but it can get old fast; your wedding guests will have a better time if they have things to keep them occupied all afternoon and night.
1. Change Into Something Comfortable
Receptions can feel very long if everyone is wearing uncomfortable clothing. In recent years, it's become common for the bride and groom to change into more comfortable outfits between the wedding and the reception. They still look great, of course, but a less restrictive dress for the bride and a loose or absent tie for the groom can make all the difference when it comes to the couple's enjoyment of the festivities.
It certainly doesn't hurt to encourage this change-over for the guests as well. Although many will opt to remain in the outfit they wore to the ceremony, some will likely welcome the opportunity to change into something comfier. You can let them know this is an option in your invitations. Some couples might also consider offering a basket of free flip-flops at the reception so people can take off their uncomfortable dress shoes and dance all night.
2. Plan Activities for Kids
If you're including children in your wedding and reception, they want to have fun, too, but kids can get bored easily if nothing is planned for them. If you will have several kids in attendance, hire a babysitter or other caregiver to provide them with entertainment while the adults do their thing. A few active games and crafts will make a world of difference.
3. Try a Tasting Station
Everyone loves getting drinks from the bar and waitstaff, but for something a little different and extra special, you might want to try a beverage tasting station. If you and your love are big fans of a specific spirit such as whiskey or scotch, your guests will probably enjoy sampling a few. The same goes for special local microbrews or wine from a specific region.
Depending on your personal taste and wedding theme, a hand-rolled cigar station could work well here too. When you think about what you like that you'd like to share with your guests, the possibilities are endless.
4. Include Interactive Food Stations
Tastes vary, and that's why an interactive food station could be a big hit. Allow and encourage your guests to create their own grilled cheese sandwiches, build their own nacho plate, or design their own flavored popcorn. Mac and cheese stations, pretzel bars, and french fry stations will also be quite popular. Here, too, the possibilities go on and on. The inclusion of these types of stations can really add a lot to your overall wedding menu.
5. Lawn Games Will Be a Hit
Games of all kinds can get your guests up and moving around. If your reception will be outdoors, lawn games can add a lot to the event. Giant Connect Four, Jenga, giant chess or checkers, cornhole, bocce, or ring toss can be fun for small groups, and if you put a croquet set out, you may find people diving into the competition.
6. Table Games Can Be Fun, Too
Table games can be a great addition as well. Although these types of games may not get people moving, they're great for breaks. Wedding Mad Libs, bridge and groom trivia, picture scavenger hunts, and Cards Against Humanity can be fun for people who would like to relax at their table with friends for a bit.
7. Everybody Loves a Photo Booth
Over the last decade or so, photo booths have become a very popular part of weddings. There are so many options when it comes to renting one of these. Standard portraits are always nice, but people also tend to enjoy photo booths that incorporate hilarious backgrounds or costumes and props. You can send your guests home with their own photos, but you and your new spouse will also get to enjoy the entire collection of photos afterward and for years to come.
8. Provide Selfie Sticks
Another way to encourage people to take photos is by providing selfie sticks on every table. The resulting photos will be far different from those taken by the professional photographer that you hire, but chances are that you will end up loving them just as much. As the night goes on, these photos will likely become more and more comical, and your guests should be encouraged to upload them to your wedding website during the wedding or after they get home.
9. Welcome Pets (Or Invite a Llama)
Most people love animals, and if your pet is a big part of your life and relationship, you should include him or her in the festivities. If you hang out with a lot of people who also love pets, you can encourage them to bring them, too. This idea works best with dogs, of course, but if you're brave, you can invite other types of creatures as well. The kids will love playing with these special guests - and the adults will, too.
If you don't have a pet but love animals, one new trend in wedding planning is hiring a llama or alpaca to entertain guests. Everyone loves these friendly, furry pals, and they help to provide tons of wonderful photo opportunities that will keep people up and about all night.
10. Consider Extra Special, Unique Entertainment
There are some entertainers that everyone expects at a wedding like a band, DJ, or string quartet. These are all wonderful ideas and they can set a great tone for your reception. However, surprising your guests is a lot of fun. Consider hiring a celebrity impersonator, a mariachi band, a magician, or even acrobats to add a little excitement and special flavor to your event.
11. Music Matters
Music can make or break a reception. You want to include music that you enjoy, but you will also want to make sure that there is a little something for everyone, too. Find a DJ who understands you and your event and make sure they have provided music for weddings before. If you hire a band, ask about their breaks and make sure they don't end up taking a break just as things are starting to heat up. The best weddings include a lot of dancing, and if you plan things right, you'll end up with people of all ages dancing the night away.
12. Facilitate and Encourage a Group Art Project
A group art project can be a lot of fun for participants of all ages and you will leave with a tangible memory of your wedding that you can and will enjoy for years to come. Prop up a large canvas and provide paint and let people get creative. Ask people to use markers to color cork coasters and later on string them together to create a giant mobile. Use ink to put guests' handprints on pieces of fabric and sew them together to make a wedding quilt. There are so many options when it comes to collaborative art projects. Let your imagination run wild.
Keeping your guest active and entertained will help you to have the reception of your dreams. These are just a few reception ideas to help you accomplish those goals. When you plan ahead, you can create the ultimate reception that will go down in history and that will be talked about for years to come. Your reception should be memorable for you and for your guests as well.
If you're looking for great options for the save the dates, wedding invitations, RSVP cards, programs, table cards, stationery, and more, please check out the many sustainable and unique design options Paper Culture has to offer.