This is Part 3 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:
Order Good Food (That’s Not Stuffy)
Just ask yourself: What would you want to eat? If you’re not the meat-and-potatoes type, consider doing something more to your liking — maybe Spanish tapas, Mexican fajitas, or a big Italian dinner. Or skip the sit-down altogether and opt for a heavy hors d’oeuvres reception. Think mini sliders, bite-size vegetable quiches or a cheese table.
If You’ve Hired a Band, Make Sure There’s Good “Break” Music
We’ve all been to that wedding before: Just when the dance floor starts to get packed, the band takes a break and the party dies. Don’t let that happen to you. When you hire your band, ask specifically about how they plan to handle breaks. Some bands will take them in shifts and split off into a smaller 2- or 3-piece bands. Others will turn on filler music. If yours is planning to use filler music, ask whether you can provide the mix.
If You’ve Hired a DJ, Make Sure You Share the Same Tastes
Okay, this is an obvious one, but it made the list because music is a major fun factor at the reception and it has a lot to do with how long your guests will stay. The last thing you want to see is your dance floor clear out when the “chicken dance” comes on. So, make sure to talk to your DJ about your do-not-play list.
Play Danceable Music
Whether you’ve hired a band or a DJ, if you want to keep the dance floor packed (and we’re guessing you do), plan a playlist of songs that will please the crowd, not just you two. You may love obscure indie rock, but now isn’t the time to show off your discerning taste in music. People love dancing to Lady Gaga and Madonna — so let them!
Add a Lounge to Your Reception
If at all possible, create a lounge-like area in your reception space. Why? People can get antsy. Instead of having your guests sit around the same dinner tables all night, a change of environment will promote conversation and keep even your nondancing guests entertained. Look into renting or borrowing couches, chairs, and other pieces of furniture that you can then stage with pillows and votive candles in your wedding colors.