15 Fun Wedding Reception Ideas

Forget stuffy. Be sure your guests let loose and truly enjoy your wedding with these entertaining ideas — straight from the pros!

11. Personalize Your Guest Book
Photo booths have been done at many weddings. If you'd like to try something new, Karen Bussen of Simple Stunning, an event planning company in New York City, suggests: Give guests dry-erase boards and markers and set up a colorful curtain as a backdrop. They write messages to the happy couple, and are photographed with them in front of the curtain. It's interactive, inexpensive — you can even appoint a friend with an iPhone to take the pictures — and when you put the photos in an album, it makes a one-of-a-kind guest book.

wedding photo booth
Photo Credit: Katrina Louise on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

12. Make a Special Toast
Instead of a pricey tasting bar, make one toast with a favorite liquor. "We've done tequila toasts, when it's special to the couple," says Souza. "Then you can limit the amount everyone drinks, which allows you to serve better quality liquor."

13. Create a Campfire Feel
If you're having an outdoor wedding, create a lounge area where guest can hang out and talk. "We've had a lounge with a coffee station serving lattes and hot toddies," says Joannie Liss of Joannie Liss Events in Los Angeles. "We've had acoustics guitarists play, so guests could sing along as we served mini sliders, grilled cheese and mini s'mores.

outdoor lounge at wedding
Photo Credit: Steve Steinhardt on Inspired By This via Lover.ly

14. Choose a Sweet Treat
In lieu of a traditional favor, you might send guest off on their merry way with a midnight snack. "Give them milk and mini donuts served in takeaway boxes," suggests Amy Atlas of Amy Atlas Events. Or hand out packages of cookies iced with your monogram or beribboned boxes holding two artisanal chocolates or even small tins of a speciality tea.

wedding initial cookies
Photo Credit: Craig Paulson Photography on Craig Paulson Photography via Lover.ly

15. Have an Informal After-Party
Some brides plan an after-party that's almost as complex as the reception. But what most guest really want is just to let loose. Save yourself some planning time by renting a bus or van to drop guests off at a local nightclub. You can go with them if you like, or just have some alone time with your groom rather than party late at night. "Usually the bride and groom don't go," says Souza. A wedding is all about the experience that you and your guests share, Souza adds. "When guests leave feeling that they had a wonderful time, you'll know that day was a huge success.  



Great tips! We featured this article in our own article, here: http://www.pittsburghweddingsupergroup.com/2014/12/08/8-ways-to-make-your-pittsburgh-wedding-uniquely-pittsburgh-without-being-tacky/ Hope that's okay! Collin

Is it wrong for me, being a guy, have planned most my wedding anyway? I know that sounds funny and it's really up to the bride, but it doesn't help that I'm a helpless romantic and an artist at the same time. These are great tips that I want to try out though, a stroll down memory lane is a big one for sure. I was also thinking of having everyone be barefoot. I know some people won't be able to because of their condition, but it would give a nice homely magical feel to everything. Yep, I'm excited for my wedding. http://www.manorhouseohio.com/weddingreceptions.htm

If you truly want a unique experience, I am an improvisational poet who can be brought to weddings to perform a personalized poem for the bride and groom (during the toast) and to entertain guests during the reception. Dressed in a Victorian Era costume (special costumes may be requested), children and adults are drawn into a world of poetic creativity. Based on word(s) and phrase(s) provided by them, right before their very eyes (and ears), a unique, unexpected, improvised poetry performance will appear. "You are amazing. You captured our history and the moment in a very unique and special way. Thank you!" More info at ImprovPoet.com

I love the idea of the campfire with guitarist and lattes! Such a nice chilled contrast to the party element. That's definitely going on my list. Some serious inspiration here, thanks! I've got so many ideas though that it's hard to know where you'd start. I think I'd want a chilled mellow, guitarist/singer and then a huge party band. I found this blog post that's got tips on how to avoid pitfalls and how to get it RIGHT, particularly when it comes to booking bands http://www.functioncentral.co.uk/blog/2015/03/wedding_reception_party_success/ hope this gives you all some more ideas! x

These are great ideas and that sounds fab having a percussionist alongside a DJ - I've also seen the option to have a saxophonist alongside this as well, which can make for a really chilled out vibe. If you are looking for some unique and unusual, but still great fun, ideas for entertainment then I enjoyed reading this article: http://www.warble-entertainment.com/wordpress/unusual-and-unique-wedding-entertainment-ideas/ I particularly liked the look of the walkabout acts :D Thanks again for this great piece though, Dx

Awesome tips. l quite like this ideas. <a href="http://www.scenarioweddings.com/">Cochin weddings planner</a>