If you are at the age where you feel like all of your friends have started to get married and you’re spending all of your vacation days going to friends’ weddings, you probably want to make sure your own wedding stands out from the crowd…when you have it! With so much creativity and so many dollars going into wedding planning these days, it can certainly be difficult to do something totally unique, but with enough advanced planning and attention to detail, you will be able to put together a truly special event that will have people talking for months.
Your wedding is of course your big day where you get to celebrate your love for your new spouse. You will be the center of attention! But, if you’re not crazy about lots of long-winded speeches or if you’re nervous about your first dance, there are lots of alternative ways you can feel celebrated without feeling too much pressure.
Additionally, while your guests obviously want to celebrate you and show their love, they are also hoping for a really fun party! Because your wedding party is also your chance to thank your friends and family for their love and support, you’ll want to show them a really fun time by paying attention to all the little details and the big ones. Keep things simple and fun with some of the following ideas.
Unforgettable Wedding Reception Ideas
1. Ask in advance who actually wants to give a speech. Keep the speeches to a minimum–maybe just the best man and maid of honor or just the parents of the bride and groom.
2. Keep the processional short and sweet with just some words from your officiant and your vows.
3. Keep things interactive. You won’t have time to talk to all of your guests, but they will all want to wish you well so give them a few ways to do that. If you are doing a photo booth, set it up so that each guest gets to keep a copy of their photos and pastes the other copy in your guest book. Or print up a jigsaw puzzle of your engagement photo and have each guest sign the back of a piece.
4. Celebrate your family and friends with a nice photo wall or family tree at the door. Include photos from all of your friends and family at different stages of their life, including those who couldn’t be there or who have passed away. You can also include a tree explaining not only who your relatives are but also who your friends are and how you know each other. Guests will have a good time reading the chart and getting sentimental.
5. Address transportation to the ceremony location. If you will be transporting people from the hotel, make the trip fun by booking a party bus, a train car followed by a stagecoach, or something else really noteworthy.
6. Provide food and drinks before the ceremony. People are likely to show up to the event thirsty and peckish, so offer a table of light snacks and drinks before the ceremony.
7. Be sure to ask about food restrictions with RSVPs! Make sure guests know what items might be problematic or serve special plates to those with allergies.
8. Pick a good DJ and a good photographer. You’ll want music that is crowd pleasing, so go with someone that’s known to play some fun classics. Alternatively, you can pick a really unique band like a salsa band or a jazz band for something really unique. Choose a photographer who will also take pictures of guests and the party for some keepsakes for them as well.
9. Plan something special for the end of the event like fireworks or a special performance to keep guests entertained throughout the night and to keep them from drifting off early. Give out some bonus item at the end of the night like mini champagne wedding favors to keep the party rolling.
10. Offer transportation in shifts so that the grandparents and those with little kids can head to bed early if they want to, while others can stay later and continue to enjoy the party.
11. Set up something to keep the kids busy and entertained! Consider hiring a professional babysitter or two to attend the kids (you may want to have a separate room for this so you won’t have kids interrupting the dinner or ceremony and so kids can take naps as they need to). Hiring a professional babysitter will take the pressure off of friends and family who want to be able to enjoy the party. Make sure to leave a tip jar for the babysitter!
12. Serve some late night snacks. As people start to get tipsy and hungry a few hours after the meal, bring out a selection of late night snacks like a make your own grilled cheese table or French fries to keep the crowd happy.
Throwing a really memorable wedding reception is all about attending to the little details. Make sure everyone is having a good time during a night that will have everyone overflowing with compliments. For more unforgettable wedding reception ideas, be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter in the sidebar above.