Nowadays your wedding reception is the first impression your guests will get of the party, so make sure you bring the “WOW” factor! While including a few traditions at your wedding is important, why not make sure your wedding stands out as one your guests will remember long? Take a look at these awesome, out-of-the-box wedding ideas for inspiration. Here’s how to make a lasting impression at the reception of your wedding night.
A Luxe Reception Lounge
Give guests a place to mingle between dance breaks by creating a lounge area at your reception. Fill the space with couches or chairs and plenty of pillows to sink into. It’s the perfect way to keep everyone in on the party even when they’re resting. Really want to wow them? Close off the area with curtains to create a VIP vibe.
You may already be planning to have your ushers escort guests to their ceremony seats but consider having reception ushers. These “live escort cards” walk guests to their tables for an upscale restaurant experience. Ask your reception venue or caterer if its wait staff can do this double duty or assign a few ushers to the job.
Standout Escort Cards
Instead of a paper card that’ll get lost or thrown away, upgrade your escort cards to something worth keeping (or eating!). Try personalized cake pops with guests’ names and table numbers written on them in icing (or on a cute tag), or engraved martini glasses that double as favours.
Make your guests feel like VIPs with welcome bags that go beyond a map and a few snacks. Stuff personalized tote bags with mini bottles of bubbly or a six-pack of a local microbrew, a gift certificate to your favourite local coffee shop and an individual “Welcome!” note from you.
Thoughtful (and Useful) Favours
Keep your guests comfortable all day by thinking ahead. Out of town guests will appreciate a custom scented soap so they don’t have to rely on the standard hotel samples. Planning on dancing until the next morning? Put out baskets of flip-flops (in your wedding colours, of course) so guests can take their shoes off. Having an outdoor reception that might get breezy? Make sure guests keep warm by offering up some cosy pashminas. And for a summer outdoor ceremony in the afternoon, provide a station with spray-on sunscreen and a stack of inexpensive sunglasses.
A DIY Flower Station
Let guests know that it’s not just the wedding party that’s special to you (it’s everyone!) by letting each one stands out with their own corsage or boutonniere. Ask your florist about setting up a make-your-own-flower station: Put out some sturdy blooms like spray roses, supply lots of colorful ribbons and pins, and add labels with easy-to-follow instructions.
A Bubbly Bar
Make toast time delicious by letting guests customize their champagne. Dishes full of fruit purees, lavender sprigs, citrus twists and flavoured ice cubes that can be spooned into glasses of bubbly will make the toast that much more fun.
A Memorable Guest Book
Think beyond the typical guest book. One creative idea we love: Create a jigsaw puzzle of your photo and let guests sign each piece. Or put out silver trays with engraving pens so guests can carve a lasting message on a useful keepsake for you.
A Decked-Out Entryway
We’re not saying you should spend a gazillion dollars on a 20-foot-tall floral arrangement, but first impressions are important, so take time to think out the entrance to your reception. Add a couple flower arrangements to the escort card table or have your stationer create a stylish seating chart display. A table topped with your engagement photos, your parents’ wedding albums, and any other from-the-family artefacts would make meaningful additions.
A Photo Booth
Having a photo booth is a sure-fire way to capture memories a photographer might miss. For an extra-special touch, outfit your booth with themed props (snorkel gear and an under-the-sea backdrop for a summer wedding, opera masks and monocles for a formal affair, etc.) to get your guests in the mood; then be sure to send them a copy of their photo in thank-you note.