Top 10 Ideas for Creating a Fun Wedding Reception

By Raashka Mannie

What do the best wedding receptions include? Anything from heartfelt speeches, scrumptious food and a blazing dance floor! When planning a wedding, it can be difficult to ensure that each part of the reception receives equal attention and runs smoothly. There are endless questions about what to do and why. What kind of canapés should you pick? Who's the best person to give a speech? And, the toughest of all choices, what playlist are you going to put together? To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 wedding reception ideas, all with dashes of fun and originality to help give your wedding reception that extra shine.


Image by Inside Weddings

1/ DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY

All eyes will rest on you during the first dance, making this the perfect opportunity to have a bit of fun and do something unexpected. Imagine starting with a slow waltz and then suddenly switching to a fast, jazzy step.  Or what about incorporating the whole bridal party?  Begin with a romantic two-step, then, just as the music changes, your bridesmaids and groomsmen rush out and join you on the dance floor! It’ll surprise the guests and entertain everyone, setting the tone for a lively dance party.

2/ SHORT AND SWEET SPEECHES

Toasts are a very meaningful and necessary part of your wedding reception, but it’s important that they don’t drone on and on. It can put a lull in the evening and, quite frankly, bore the guests. When it comes to toasts and speeches, it's all about quality over quantity. Ensure that your emcee directs anyone who is speaking in advance to keep their speeches to a maximum of two minutes. Any long stories or words of advice can be given at a pre-wedding event, such as the engagement party or kitchen tea. Alternatively, ask your guests to write something down and include it with their gift.

3/ PARTY WITH THOSE FAVOURS

Your reception can be anything you want it to be. Let your guests know that it's okay to cut loose after a formal ceremony by passing out some creative and fun wedding favours. Funky masks, sparklers or even bottles of bubbly are perfect favours to bring the fun to your reception! They could accompany place names, or be handed out after toasts and speeches. Either way, quirky and fun-loving party favours are a must for every wedding.


Image by DHgate

4/ Plan an Interactive Food Station

Great food makes great celebrations, and special, custom-made food is even better! It’s hard to please everyone with a set canapé menu and so an interactive food station can be a fantastic alternative. A risotto station, pasta bar or burger station with various choices of toppings and sauces will leave your guests happy and well-fed, ready to have the time of their lives.

5/ Good Food with a Unique Touch

While we’re on the note of food, it’s important to consider what kind of food you want for your reception meal. If you're not the standard meat-and-potatoes type, consider choosing something more diverse, such as Spanish tapas, Mexican fajitas or a variety of seafood. If a sit-down meal is off the menu, consider opting for an hors d'oeuvres reception where platters of mini sliders, bite-size vegetable quiches or a range of cheeses are offered.  The options are endless!

6/ Have a Game Plan for the Kids

To keep the little ones entertained, whilst giving their parents an opportunity to hit the dance floor, consider setting up an area specifically for them. A babysitter could be arranged to set up movies in a separate room, or a table could be filled with colouring books, crayons, and toys for the children to have their own day in the sun.


Image by Metro

7/ Plan a Surprise

Sometimes the best parts of a reception are the things guests don't see coming. Have a little fun by surprising your guests with unexpected entertainment during the reception, like a belly dancer, a mariachi band or even a salsa dancer. A fireworks display is another alternative, perfect for an outdoor venue and an ideal moment for a dazzling photo opportunity to boot.

8/ Change into a Party Dress

You won't enjoy yourself on the dance floor if you can barely move. What about swapping your veil and train for a little white dress? Depending on the formality of the wedding, the groom can also change out of his restricting tux and into a more casual suit.  By feeling comfortable and relaxed, you’ll dance more, chat more and laugh more, making for a more easygoing and enjoyable wedding reception.

9/ BLAME IT ON THE BOOGIE

Whether you've hired a band or a DJ, we’re guessing you want to keep the dance floor packed.  Make sure you plan a playlist of songs that both you and your guests will enjoy. Indie rock might be your thing, but now isn't the time to show off your discerning taste in music. People love dancing to current pop songs and old favourites, so let them! A mix of music is totally acceptable, so make sure you have something for everyone.


Image by The Motley Fool

10/ Create a Variety of Spaces

The best parties encourage lots of dancing, but also provide options for those who want a break to mingle, snack or take a breather. Think about dividing your wedding reception into distinct areas for dancing, sipping drinks, chatting and eating. Arrange a few cocktail tables near the bar, provide an outdoor seating option, or set up a dessert table with bite-size snacks. Not everyone wants to dance, so try to offer a variety of spaces that will keep everyone happy and entertained.


Edited from an original article by Esther Dawson

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