5 Easy Ways To Up The "Fun Factor" At Your Reception

Posted on: 14 October 2016

If you're the kind of bride or groom who wants your wedding reception to be more fun than formal, there are a plethora of ways to get the job done. Here are a few ideas for any size wedding and any budget.

Keep it Short. The longer that traditional events take during the reception, they more boring they risk becoming for your guests. For this reason, keep a few things to a strict time limit -- especially the toasts (try a 2 minute maximum) and the first dances (keep it to 1 or 2 special dances) before the general party begins. In addition, if you can take some of your professional pictures before the ceremony or simply during the transition of the venue, you can cut down on the wait time for your guests.

Plan for Kids. If you're going to have children at the wedding and reception, plan for something they can do and enjoy -- such as while waiting for dinner or during toasts. This can include simple things like having coloring books available at the tables or designating a small play area at the venue. If your budget allows, can you hire a babysitter to help entertain kids in an adjoining room so their parents can get their groove on?

Make it Interactive. Rather than serving a traditional plated meal, try a more fun, interactive food experience. Food stations can help guests build their own meal at places like a potato bar, pasta bar, grilled cheese station, or sundae bar. Provide a variety of options, including gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and/or kosher so that everyone can enjoy making a meal they will individually love. A tasting station manned by a professional can also liven things up, so why not try a wine, beer, or margarita tasting bar? 

Surprise Them. In between some of the more traditional wedding elements, throw guests for a curve by giving them a surprise event. Hire a Mariachi band to come in during cocktail hour. Bring in a specialty dancer -- a hula, salsa, or belly dancer, for example -- to entertain briefly during dinner. Have a sparkler-filled exit at the end of the evening. Or put together a little group dance to surprise and refresh everyone when the dancing gets a little fatigued.

Create Zones. Not every guest will want to do the same things, so keep them all in mind by creating separate places for different activities. Place a comfy lounge for conversation away from the dancing area. Plan food and drink stations for late night snacking. If possible, throw some tables outside so guests can enjoy an evening cocktail or cigar under the stars. If there will be new parents at the reception, design a dark, quiet getaway to help keep the little ones asleep. Work with your event location to find ways to add specialty spaces in your reception. 

Putting a few of these ideas into place during your wedding reception, you can plan an event that everyone will remember fondly... including you and your partner.