One of the biggest aspects of hosting a wedding is the reception, which is like a large party or gathering with the intent to celebrate the couple’s marriage. A wedding reception is where the newlyweds and their families gather with friends, colleagues and other people they know – guests eat, drink, dance and congratulate the bride and groom on their nuptials.
The traditional idea of a reception would follow a standard plan, with guests being greeted on their arrival at the venue by the family. They would then be offered snacks and drinks, meet the bride and groom, hitting the stage for a few dances and speeches, then dining and leaving soon after. Alcohol may or may not be included in this plan!
Ideas for a Unique and Memorable Wedding Reception
Instead of hosting the regular ‘meet and greet’, your wedding reception should be reflective of your style and preferences. The purpose of the event is to celebrate your union, as you and your partner have made a commitment to stay together for life. For a day that is so important, why should you have anything less than the most awesome bash?
Check out some of these unique ideas for hosting a reception that will never be forgotten:
#1 – Main Reception and After-Party
Instead of booking the same venue for a large reception that goes on for hours, break up the event into two parts. There are likely to be a lot of guests who will want to leave early (especially older relatives, colleagues, people with children, etc.) so host a separate after-party for close friends and guests who want to stay on a while longer. Reception halls can get pretty expensive, while a party hall or even your home can work for a smaller gathering after the main event.
#2 – Barbeque or Picnic-Style Menu
Buffet dining and live counters are great, but if you want to shake things up a bit, how about designing your reception menu as a picnic spread? You could get picnic tables instead of the standard banquet-style serving spaces, and offer live counters where food is grilled over barbeques. Picnic baskets can be used to hold plates and other cutlery, while others can be filled with fresh flowers for added effect. Of course, an outdoor garden venue and casual dress code works best for this style!
#3 – Photobooths and Unusual Backdrops
Here’s an awesome idea – instead of a photographer running around and trying to capture shots of all the guests, set up a few photobooths in different areas where people can take photos on their own (or ask a photographer to stand at each). Create a variety of settings, some cute, some romantic and others plain. Cardboard props with cut-outs for people to poke their faces out, large painted canvases with seascapes or fantasy backdrops and glittery drapes hung from an arch are some ideas you could incorporate.
#4 – DJ/Live Band and Dance Floor
These days, a lot of people prefer to hire a DJ instead of a wedding band to take care of music at their reception. Live music is still popular, but it is not restricted to wedding bands – local musicians who play rock, jazz and pop music are increasingly being picked for these events. In addition, fancy dance floors or open spaces set aside for dancing (instead of a raised stage) are becoming the most desirable choices for weddings.
#5 – The Celebration Table
Your celebration table should be the centre of attention!
This is one of the most important aspects of a wedding reception – the area where the bride and groom cut the wedding cake, their families raise a toast to them and bubbly champagne is popped open and passed around to all the guests. When you’re planning your reception, place the cake on a table in the centre, or at one side of the venue for this part of the celebration. Champagne can be poured into glasses and placed here too, so guests who like the drink can just pick up a glass each.
You need an incredible reception venue to form the perfect setting! Make sure you get a great wedding reception venue for your celebration, and consider having the wedding ceremony there earlier in the day. It will save you the trouble of transportation from one venue to the other, and you can get some great package deals too!