So you’re planning your wedding and already have a perfect budget that will get you what you want without throwing you into bankruptcy or leaving you to struggle with balancing student loan and marriage debt.
You’ve ordered the invitations, the tuxedos, and that beautiful bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses from Azazie. You’ve chosen color and theme, planned the ceremony, and purchased the wedding rings. And now you want to ensure that your wedding reception is something special- and not the ordinary chain of events that you’ve experienced time and time again. Here are some ideas to make your reception unique and memorable, an event that your wedding guests will be talking about years from now!
- Offer an interactive food table. Whether you choose to have a sit-down meal or a buffet, guests will have plenty of time to mingle and wander during the reception. Consider having a food table for hors-d’oeuvres, appetizers, after dinner snacks, or even desserts that allow your guests to customize their plates throughout the reception.
These might include a mac-and-cheese or baked potato station, a sushi-rolling bar, or even an ice cream sundae set up that will please even your pickiest guests and make them feel like an important part of the festivities.
- Plan some surprise entertainment. Maybe your best friend is a pianist, and she has prepared a song for the two of you. Or perhaps there is something that is unique to the heritage of one or both of you, like a particular style of dance.
Maybe you want to hire a celebrity impersonator to sing to your spouse or get granny out on the dance floor. Surprising your guests with an unanticipated bit of performance is one way to keep the party going and make certain no one forgets your nuptials!
- Hand out thoughtful favors. While we know this isn’t a birthday celebration, party favors are not out of the question for a wedding. Letting your guests know you appreciate their presence at your wedding by providing each with a small item is another way to make your reception memorable.
Small candle votives with your monogram, tins of mints or candies with a love quote on the lid, potted succulents in painted pots, or even a DIY mix of hot chocolate and mini-marshmallows for that winter wedding are examples of amazingly thoughtful favors that your guests can enjoy after they leave your wedding reception.
- Plan for a memorable first dance. Special first dances can showcase your dancing skills, but they can also become the very something that everyone remembers about your reception. Engaged couples may want to take dance lessons and get help choreographing that first show dance. Or maybe you and your betrothed want to shake things up by turning that first romantic twirl into a fast-paced frolic.
You may even want to consider something that allows you reception guests to get involved, like a square-dance or line-dance styled dance. The options are limitless!
- Play a wide range of music that everyone can enjoy. Most receptions include guests that range from the tiniest toddlers to octogenarians. In order to get the greatest number of guests out on the dance floor and keep them partying until the very last minute of your reception, plan for a wide range of music interspersed throughout the evening.
From the jazz and big band eras of the 30s and 40s to the disco music and hair bands of the 70s and 80s, you can choose a little bit of something that every one of your guests will recognize and enjoy.
- Small, special touches. Your day should be a true reflection of who you and your spouse are as individuals and as a couple. Think about that makes the two of you unique and incorporate that into your wedding reception. Maybe the two of you are Trekkies, and you want to translate the reception program into Klingon, or you decide to serve late-night reception lattes as a nod to how you met.
Your wedding cake topper might be specially made to incorporate your spouse’s love of fishing, or you have each guest complete a Mad Lib card to drop in a box at your reception for you two to read on your honeymoon! Find ways to be unique and unapologetically yourself while allowing your guests a glimpse into what makes the two of you special.
Have you been to an utterly memorable wedding lately? What do you remember most about the event? Do you have any suggestions for brides and grooms want to create that perfectly memorable wedding reception a reality? Share your thoughts here.