Here are some ideas to make Your Wedding Reception a little different.
Not everything on this list will be right up your street, but hopefully it will get you thinking about what you really want your wedding to feel and look like and how to plan so that it will be exactly that.
Make it your mission to make everything about your wedding personal to you. These days the only limit to what you can do at a wedding is your imagination.. and your budget!
What did you love and what did you hate about other weddings you've been to, seen in magazines & on TV etc – write down your thoughts and make sure your wedding has everything you love and nothing you hate.
Name all your reception tables after something personal to you – maybe your favourite bands or albums, perhaps places you’ve been on holiday.
Have a trivia quiz sheet about you for your guests to complete at each table during the Wedding Breakfast. This should get everyone on each table talking to each other. Have a prize for the top scoring table.
It's said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so displaying photos is a great way of telling your story. You can include your childhood photographs, your parents’ and grandparents’ wedding photos, shots from your hen and stag events, pictures of your pets ~ in fact anything you want! You can also add snaps from the day as you go along so that evening guests can get a real flavour of the whole day.
Choose personal centrepieces – obviously flowers are traditional but you may want to consider an alternative, for example a decoration constructed from sweets and novelties.
Pay special tribute to the friend(s) who introduced you.
Dothe silly line dance you and your friends learned in college or bring some of the repeatable memories from the hen or stag night
Start a FaceBook group for “Our Wedding Music” and invite all your friends to post requests. Include your DJ so they can see what your friends like and start to build relationships with them
Do you have a talented guest who could sing or play as part of your entertainment?
Giving your guests “table tasks” to do throughout the reception. Play the Mr & Mrs game - get somebody you trust to write questions about you both & surprise your guests for a little light-hearted fun.
A special thank you dance with all your hen and stag weekend friends Play or dedicate a song to a friend as an inside joke.
Wear an item of clothing or jewelry from a beloved family member and share this with your guests. If you’ve chosen “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” it’s great to let everyone know!
Choose your favourite poems or song lyrics as non-traditional ceremony readings.
How about treating each other to his and hers digital cameras and take photos of all your guests inbetween courses during your wedding breakfast.
Leave a funny gift, like a clown nose or fake moustache, at each place setting and photograph all your guests wearing them.
Announce birthdays, anniversaries or engagements.
Plan and rehearse a unique first dance – we can put you in touch with a brilliant instructor if you want to have some fun and learn a few special moves.
Hold a “ring warming” during the ceremony where you pass your rings to each guest before you exchange vows.
Write your own vows that unite your family and friends
Include special ethnic traditions and dances – if you don’t know them you’ve got time to learn
Play a song or make a speech together.
Make a donation to, and/or arrange a collection for your favourite charity.
Treat your guests to your favourite wine or dessert and tell them about it.
Find out what were the first dances at your parents weddings and include them as a surprise thank you.
Have a first dance competition where your guests are invited to guess what your first dance will be – draw one correct answer to win a prize.
Include your favourite animal, sports team, hobby or activity in your wedding theme.
Have your guests write thoughts and wishes for a “time capsule” you’ll open on your 10th wedding anniversary.
Cook or bake something for your guests to eat at the reception or to take away as favours, perhaps homemade cookies or sweets and give them your recipe.
Surprise your guests by sharing your secret talent or skill.
The father/daughter dance and mother/son dance – this is very popular in America and is another great way of saying thank you. You can do this in many ways – just ask for more information. You can even record a special message to be played over the instrumental in the centre of the song.
You can introduce fun props like inflatable guitars and glow sticks to kick-start the party.
How about a conga line ending up with a quick limbo competition.
Plan a bouquet toss during the evening – or even a garter toss? If you have younger guests we can include a “treats toss” just for them with sweets and goodies – a great photo opportunity – and setting them to music makes them much more memorable for all involved.
“Pearls of Wisdom” cards are another great ice-breaker. Asking your family and friends to complete a card with their thoughts on what makes a great marriage, the best of which can be read out and then collected in a folder or frame to keep.
How about a Photo/Video Booth or an Event Photographer for the evening? Harry can liaise with your own photographer or recommend trustworthy providers. It’s quite common for new guests to arrive for the evening reception who will have missed out on the ‘official’ photos, so why not have Harry co-ordinate additional group and individual shots at an appropriate point during the evening?
Show video footage of family or friends who couldn’t make the wedding but would like to send a message, or perhaps even pre-recorded footage of you telling your own love story? The possibilities are endless . . .
A Centrepiece Giveaway – if you have flowers, balloons or anything that will be left over at the end of the day (or even cleared away in between the meal and the party) we can give them away as prizes in a dance competition or just allocate them to people. By planning this in advance you can add something extra to the evening which might otherwise have been wasted.
The “After Party” – if yours has been a long wedding day, or if you have lots of guests who are travelling or with children, why not end the “formal” reception at, say, 10:30pm with a “last dance” and a big cheer or an archway, pop out and change, then come back for the “after party” where you can let your hair down for an hour or two with friends and colleagues?
If you are having a civil-ceremony you can choose your own musical soundtrack and have it played in a way that will create a special atmosphere just as if it was in a movie!
You can include music throughout your day. You can include favourites that aren’t necessarily dance music, there is plenty of time to play all kinds of things as background music creating your own original soundtrack to your special day. You can have music after your ceremony during the drinks reception, during your wedding breakfast, and of course at your evening party.
Co-ordinate your venue lighting with your wedding colours
Hire a special dance floor – maybe a white twinkling one!
How about a Sweet kart with a selection of sweets – just like pick-n-mix, with paper bags for your guests to fill with their favourites.
Finally ... a staged “Last Dance/Grand Exit”. If you want the end of the party to be as memorable as the first dance, then with a bit of planning I can arrange for you to be in a big circle of guests, or for you to exit via an archway of guests. Would you like to say a final “thank you” on the microphone? I'll help you plan a grand exit and make sure it all happens in an orderly fashion!