While we all want the wedding ceremony to go off without a hitch, it’s the reception your guests care about.
Planning a great reception takes careful thought and planning (and some great food!). If you’re at a loss for how to make your wedding one for the books, here are 10 ways to ensure your wedding is anything but boring!
1. Make Sure Guests Are Comfortable
No one will want to dance the night away if they’re sweating to death. If you plan to have your wedding during the summer months, think of all the ways you can keep your guests cool. Provide fans and ice cold drinks all night long to keep guests running for the cool solace of their car AC. Having your wedding during the colder months? Provide blankets and heat lamps if you're hosting the reception outside.
2. Give Guests Something To Do During Pictures
If you’ve ever been a guest at a wedding, you know how time can drag on until the couple comes back from taking portraits. One bride fixed this problem by having her wedding at an Amusement Park. While the bridal party took photos, the guests could get on rides, visit the zoo, and get concessions. Wherever you plan to get married, having activities for your guests while you take pictures will keep them occupied and make the time fly by. Some fun ideas: set up corn hole, giant Jenga, and other group activities your guests can pass the time with!
3. Rent a PhotoBooth
Who doesn’t love photos? In line with the above idea, a photo booth gives guests a way to commemorate the event with fun photos they can take home. If you choose to have a photo wall, guests can sign their names on photos and leave a small message for the new couple. Bonus: some photobooths allow your guests to upload their photos to their social media and have a digital copy emailed to them as well. It's a nice touch!
4. Let Friends & Family Give Speeches
Speeches are a great way to keep things interesting at any wedding. Whether they make you laugh or cry, they’re bound to captivate the attention of your guests. If you choose to go this route, remind all your speech givers to keep them around 2 minutes. If they have longer stories to share, they can do so at the rehearsal dinner.
5. Open Up The Dance Floor
Don’t wait until the end of the night to get people on the dance floor. Open it up the moment you finish your first dance by playing a hit your guests can’t resist. Everyone will want to join the happy couple on the dance floor, paving the way for a lively reception. A great way to entice people to dance is to have a prize for best dance moves of the night!
6. Offer A Late Night Snack
For your guests who stick around, offering a late-night snack is nothing short of a godsend. Save them from stopping by the 24-hour diner on the way home by offering something simple like chips and dip, desserts, or even pizza! You can also send guests home with to-go snacks that they can eat on the ride home. This is a great substitution for wedding favors that usually get left behind anyway!
7. Use The Element of Surprise
Make your reception unforgettable by surprising your guests with an unexpected performance or dance. Some brides do this by performing a song or dance for the groom and vice versa. Others bring in a mariachi band or aerialists to blow their guests away! Whatever you choose to do, keep it hush-hush so everyone is caught off guard. It'll make your wedding one for the books!
8. Get Creative With Food
Traditional wedding food is a thing of the past. Make your food interactive by opting for a built it yourself burger bar or a sushi rolling bar. Instead of a cake, provide individual burners for your guests to make s'mores. It’ll take them back to their campfire days and your wedding will be one they won’t soon forget.
9. Hire a Great DJ
Your DJ has the power to make or break your reception, so take your time to find the right one. Do everyone a favor and give your DJ a list of songs to play, and those he shouldn’t. The last thing you want to see is an empty dance floor on your big day. If a DJ isn't your style, consider hiring live music. A lively band will get everyone groovin' and movin'!
10. Plan Outfit Changes
You won’t have any fun at your wedding if you can’t dance without stepping all over your train. So technically this one is for you! When you feel comfortable, you’ll be able to move around freely, eat, drink, and dance with your guests. Once they see how relaxed you are, your guests are more likely to join in the fun too. It also gives you an excuse for another beautiful dress, and hey – who can argue with that?