This is Part 2 of our series entitled “Secrets to a Fun Wedding Reception”.
Well, they’re not really secrets — just really solid ideas.
We all know about the traditional wedding reception – a party held after the completion of your wedding ceremony. It is held usually as hospitality for those who have attended the wedding, hence the name reception: the couple receives society, in the form of family and friends, for the first time as a married couple.
Before receptions became popular, weddings were more typically celebrated with wedding breakfasts (for those whose religious traditions encouraged morning weddings) and wedding balls (for those who were married in the evening). The popularity of receptions, rather than breakfasts, dinners, and balls, during the 20th century led to the name reception being applied to any social event after a wedding, whether it is brunch, tea, dinner, or a dance.
Here are a few ideas to liven up your wedding reception to make it a truly fun event:
Plan an Interactive Food Station
Great food makes great celebrations, but customizable food (so that everyone gets exactly what they like) is even better. A risotto station, pasta bar or grilled cheese station where people can choose their own toppings and sauces will leave you with happy, well-fed guests ready to have a good time.
Photo: The Reason
Keep Your Guests Fueled
If you want to ensure an all-night crowd, arrange for your catering staff to bring out trays of late-night munchies like French fries or even a pickle bar. If you stick with low-key, comfort foods like those, they’ll wish the party would never end. Another great idea: Offer a coffee bar complete with special syrups and toppings to keep them caffeinated.
Photo: Justin & Mary Photography
Tell Your Guests About an End-of-the-Night Treat
Nothing stops a party in its tracks faster than guests heading for the door early. Take out an insurance policy against a skimpy crowd and plan a treat for the end of the night that people will look forward to: You and your new spouse can perform a song with the band for the last dance, or you can plan a reception getaway that’ll gets guests excited, like a fireworks show or an exit with sparklers.
Photo: Nadia D. Photography
Plan a Surprise
Sometimes the best parts of a reception are the things guests don’t see coming. Surprise your guests with unexpected entertainment during the cocktail hour or reception, like a belly dancer, a mariachi band, or even a salsa dancer.
Photo: Liga Photography
Arrange Seating Assignments Thoughtfully
It sounds obvious, but it belongs on the list: Seat guests with people they’ll know and get along with. A well-thought-out seating chart leads to great conversation, which leads to a great dance party, which leads to…well, you get the idea! So seat your high school track teammates near your college running buddies, and put your tween cousins with other kids their age rather than their parents (and keep track of it all with our seating chart tool).