Navigating wedding etiquette is difficult enough as it is, but when you throw technology and social media...
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By Maria Yeonhee Ji
After all the happy tears of the wedding ceremony, the wedding reception follows, where everyone can let their hair down, have fun, and celebrate together this milestone of your life. As with other parts of the wedding, an amazing reception requires a considerable amount of planning but there is a method to the magic. For a reception that’ll have people mingling, munching, and moving all the way through, here are five creative ideas to consider.
Image sourced via The Decor Lab
Everybody has gathered on your wedding day to celebrate the union of you and your partner, so sharing the stories of your lives through speeches and photo displays will be anticipated by all. However, the evening will absolutely be more fun if you also highlight your guests and the important roles they’ve had on your lives. Make sure you include an abundance of group photos in the photo displays so that guests can see the amazing journeys you’ve been on together. The more varied the photos, the better - it’ll give everyone so much more to talk about throughout the evening.
Image by Barefoot & Bearded Photo
All eyes will be on you during your first dance as a couple and during the father-daughter dance (if you decide to have one). Making your choreography creative and a little bit wild is a perfect way of getting the night’s dancing started and setting the tone for the rest of the evening (a confetti/flower petal drop and coloured smoke also help!). Use your wedding as an excuse/opportunity to take some dance classes with your partner so that you can impress your friends and family with some moves they’ve never seen before - moves inspired by genres like tango, salsa, or hip-hop can bring refreshing twists to the traditional ballroom dance. Not only will upskilling by taking lessons for your big day help make your performance a spectacle to remember but in the process, you may come across a new hobby that you can pursue together in the years ahead.
Image from The Gringlish Co. team.
The most important thing to remember, if you want a fun reception, is that everything should be as interactive as possible. When their full attention isn’t occupied with the bigger moments of the night (like the first dance and speeches), what are the things that will keep your guests engaged and grinning? Cards with amusing facts about you and your partner on each reception tables, DIY dessert/grazing tables, an alcohol tasting with information about the wine profiles, a table for guests to leave advice or predictions about your future as newlyweds... there are numerous possibilities when it comes ways of instilling your guests with a sense of excitement.
Image by Big Bouquet Photography
A video booth or video recording area is a fun alternative (or addition) to the photobooth. Providing guests with the opportunity to record a message means the shyer members of your friends and family who would have been mortified making a speech publicly can still share their thoughts and feelings with you. It also means that all the hilarious (but inappropriate or cringe-worthy) anecdotes about you and your partners’ antics have the space to get aired, celebrated, and remembered, without having to be announced in front of your entire social circle (it also helps keeps the toasts short and sweet which is always a good thing). If you’re going with a professional video booth service or videographer, ask the vendor if they can edit these messages either into the wedding video itself or a separate recording of just messages, so that you have a fantastic memento of your wedding night that you can watch in later years.
Image by Nina Claire Photographer
Just because most of your guests are adults, doesn’t mean things have changed all that much from when you were kids. One of the more exciting aspects about going to a party is the party bag (this is doubly true for the plus ones who don’t know the newlyweds very well). There is a whole slew of wedding favour suggestions that you’ll find online about various goods that might make your guests’ wedding and post-wedding experiences better (e.g. sunglasses for a summer wedding, or high quality scented soaps for the out-of-towners). While these may be pragmatic and considerate, nobody is going to keep a cheap pair of sunglasses in the long term (meaning more waste), and few will be thrilled by a bar of soap. As a rule of thumb, opt for meaningful, quality favours that guests will want to take home and enjoy, whether it’s a jar of locally-made honey, a bespoke scented wedding candle, or a printed collection of you and your partner’s favourite love poems.