It will be the most memorable night of your life.
A gorgeous gown, perfect weather, and all your loved ones drinking and dancing the night away.
You’ve got all the little details sorted, from cake flavors to invite design. But, have you thought about how you’re going to wow your guests?
Weddings are becoming more personalized, offering unique experiences for their guests. 75% of weddings have at least one signature element to impress guests.
So get ready to throw the party of the year with these unique and fun reception ideas for your wedding.
1. An Out of the Box Photo Booth
Anybody can rent a photo booth. But what about making your own open-air photo booth with branded props?
It’s easy to get handy with a wall of wood plasterboard. Paint and decorate it like you would a regular wall. But cut out sections for guests to poke their heads through.
You can even hang picture frames up to make it more stylish. Incorporate your wedding theme by making the design rustic, modern, or traditional.
Traveling abroad for your honeymoon?
Use your honeymoon destination as the inspiration for the design of the booth and props. Make it beachy with palm trees and margaritas. Or Celtic with beers, sheep, and leprechauns.
Don’t forget to include a branded sign asking guests to grab a prop and strike a pose. Throw your wedding hashtag on there too.
2. A Signature Cocktail
Kick off cocktail hour with a signature welcome drink. Make it something that highlights the location and theme of the wedding.
If it’s a plantation or garden style wedding, include fresh rosemary or mint from a nearby herb garden. If it’s beachy, add key lime juice or fresh pineapple.
Pay attention to glassware and incorporate it into your theme. Use mason jars for a rustic vibe or chic tumblers for the beach.
You can also offer your signature drink pre-ceremony. Many guests start the wedding pre-gaming before the ceremony anyway.
Don’t forget signage to let guests know the name of the drink as well as the recipe.
3. Edible Escort Cards
Give guests a treat while they find their seat.
Here are a few food ideas that are delicious and easy to set up.
- Cake or pie pops
- Custom decorated cookies
- Rock candy
- Mini apples
- Little baskets of strawberries
This cute wedding reception idea will give guests something to snack on while they wait for cocktail hour.
4. A Musical Lounge Area
Give guests a beautiful and comfortable area to sip cocktails and have a casual conversation.
June and August are the most popular months to get married, which means beautiful weather. So, take advantage of the sunshine and fresh air. Provide cozy couches, armchairs, and pillows for guests.
If your reception occurs early in the day, provide shade with flowing curtains or large umbrellas. Arrange the seating around a firepit or use citronella candles to ward off mosquitos at night.
You’ll likely have a DJ or a band playing tunes for guests indoors. But offer something different for those in the lounge area. Hire a banjo picker or solo guitarist.
5. An Unusual Guest
Make things interesting by hiring a talented professional to join the party. Think a tarot card reader, magician, or spiritual healer. You could also hire a celebrity impersonator or caricature artist.
Are you a pet lover? Most people are, so why not have your dog be part of your special day. About 8% of weddings include a pet in the wedding party. So dress Spot up in a bow tie and have him walk down the aisle.
Other animals can also join the party too. You can rent snakes (with a snake tamer please), wild birds, horses, or zebras.
These unique wedding reception ideas will leave a lasting impression on your guests.
6. A Floating Wish
Light up the night sky at your reception with floating lanterns. Each guest can make a wish and watch their lantern float off into the night.
Pass out custom matches or lighters for each guest so everyone can send their lanterns off at the same time. This makes for an amazing wedding photo opportunity.
Be sure to check with your venue and wedding planner beforehand. You’ll want them to give you the green light and make sure there are no fire hazards.
Fireworks are other fun wedding reception ideas that create a memorable experience. But this can be quite an investment. You’ll also have to be more selective with wedding venues.
7. A Custom Toast
Champagne for everyone!
Rather than passing out the bubbly moments before the big speeches, set up a champagne bar.
Guests can pour their own drinks and mix with a juice of their choice. They can also add fruits and garnishes.
To avoid a mad rush, open the Champagne bar before the ceremony. That gives guests plenty of time to grab their glass (and refills) well before the speeches.
This also gives guests the option of foregoing the fizz, leaving less waste.
8. Something Special for the Groom
Guys don’t get much say in wedding planning. As the bride, show your appreciation and devotion with a sweet treat for your groom.
Here are a few cute wedding reception ideas for the groom:
- A creative groom’s cake (decorate with his favorite superhero or sports team)
- A candy bar with all his favorites
- An ice cream bar with sweet toppings
- A build-your-own mini donut station
Hubby not much of a dessert man? Impress him with a vintage whiskey bar or craft beer station. Stock it with all his favorites and local microbrews.
9. A Late Night Snack
Guests have devoured your delicious buffet or plated dinner. They have savored every last morsel of your wedding cake.
But then they spent the rest of the night drinking and dancing. So no surprise that hunger starts to strike again.
Send out a late night snack.
Keep it simple and salty. Go for pizza with fun toppings. Or a french fry bar with different kinds of crispy potatoes (shoestring, waffle, sweet potato). Don’t forget to add tons of dipping sauces.
Or you can hire a local food truck to stop by during the last hour of your reception. Fun wedding reception ideas should end with tacos, hot dogs, and grilled cheeses.
Ask the food truck vendor if they will let you brand their truck for your wedding. Guests will love taking pictures in front of the truck and posting on social media.
Other late night bites include a station of S’mores. This is a great idea to offer if you have a firepit located on your reception site.
10. A Guest Book with a Twist
Let guests say how they feel about you with a video booth confessional. They can be as sentimental or sassy as they wish, but they only have 30 seconds.
This is a great alternative to the traditional wedding book. You can even upload your favorite clips on social media.
Their digital messages will leave you laughing for years to come.
11. Go Local with Gifts
Are a lot of your guests traveling in from out of town? Gift them a local favorite as a thank you for attending.
These ideas make for cute wedding reception ideas as giveaways:
- Maple syrup
- Craft beer from a local brewery
- A mini bottle of wine from a local vineyard
- Small jars of honey, BBQ sauce, or homemade pickles
- Handmade soaps
- Small bags of coffee beans from a local shop
Out-of-town guests will appreciate the gesture. It also helps support local businesses. You can also get creative with these tips on how to design your own packaging.
12. Get Your Bride vs. Groom Game On
Yes, weddings are all about love and commitment. But if you’re looking for fun wedding reception ideas, start a competition.
Get your bride vs. groom competition on with these lawn game ideas:
- Beer pong
- Larger than life Jenga
- Giant Dice
Consider adding a custom design to your games. You can place your wedding date and names on tables, cups, or cornhole bean bags.
13. A Hangover Cure
The morning after the wedding always comes too soon. And with it…a headache, extreme thirst, and bloodshot eyes.
Show guests you care with a hangover cure kit. Include things like:
- A bottle of distilled water for a natural detox
- A satin sleep mark
- Protein-packed snacks
Or be creative (and appreciated) with the hair of the dog. Give them a small bottle of vodka and homemade bloody mary mix.
14. A Grand Exit
You’ll want to leave your wedding in a memorable fashion.
Drive off in style with a classic car. Or have guests spray you with confetti as you exit the reception.
Guests can also create a glowing arch with sparklers. You and your groom can walk through it as you make your grand exit.
Looking for a unique photo op idea? Grab your perfectly dressed bridesmaids and have them each pose with a sparkler. Read more for the best way to make sparklers pop as part of your reception ideas for your wedding.
Another great photo op idea is to have your wedding party spell out “LOVE” with sparklers.
15. After the Party, It’s the… After Party
Weddings are always the exception when it comes to staying up all night. All your friends and family together in one place. Nobody wants the party to end…
The average cost of a wedding is $35,329. So, if you happen to have any dollars left over, throw a casual after party for your guests.
Have everyone meet up after the reception has ended. It can be at a hotel bar or have a bonfire on the beach. A karaoke club can also make it a memorable and humorous night.
The after party doesn’t need to be fancy. Invite guests to change into more comfortable clothing.
Make sure that people aren’t drinking and driving. Keep the party on-site or close by. Or you can rent a bus or old-fashioned trolly to transport guests.
Unforgettable Reception Ideas for Your Wedding
Give your guests something to remember with these unique reception ideas for your wedding. Unforgettable moments and memories are in the details. So make your event fun and personalized.
The big day will pass by in a blur. So soak up every moment, then follow these great tips for a happy marriage.