Get Inspired: Wedding Reception Ideas for an Unforgettable Celebration

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Most modern couples are looking for a little something extra’ when planning their wedding ceremonies and receptions. They want unique wedding reception ideas that their guests will talk about for years to come, and something that makes their big day feel like the event is something that can’t be duplicated – it’s uniquely theirs.


This could be something as simple as a signature drink or something as bizarre as swapping the getaway car for a pair of saddled ostriches. We wouldn’t suggest the latter for your big day, but we do have this year’s top 10 recommended original wedding ideas to help you get inspired.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who gets announced first at the wedding reception?

Traditionally, the bride and groom are announced first at a wedding reception as they make their grand entrance into the venue. However, some couples choose to have their wedding party announced before them. Ultimately, the order of announcements is up to the couple’s personal preference and the structure of their reception program.

How long is a wedding reception?

The length of a wedding reception can vary depending on the couple’s preferences, the venue, and the reception program. In general, wedding receptions usually last between three to five hours. However, some receptions may be shorter or longer depending on the couple’s plans and preferences. It is essential to consider factors such as the time of day, the availability of the venue, and the comfort of guests when planning the length of a wedding reception.


Wedding Reception Ideas

Feel free to take these photo-worthy ideas for your own, or use them as inspiration to come up with something completely different.

High-End Lounge

Create an out-of-the-way space where your guests can step away from the hustle and bustle of the reception. This can be either inside or outside of the venue. Either way, make sure to include enough classy rental furniture for a small group to sit on, a few surfaces to place their drinks on, and enough decor to make any angle interesting. Lighting is also very important in this space.

You’ll want it to feel like a refuge from the party, so low lighting is appropriate. You’ll also want to try to make sure the music is a soft background sound so that conversation comes easy. The real key is to focus on comfort and glamor so that guests feel like true VIPs.


Out Of This World Activity

At a wedding reception, showgirls’ entertainment can be a unique addition to the evening’s entertainment. Whether it’s a surprise performance during dinner or a full-scale show with multiple performers, showgirls can create an unforgettable experience that guests will be talking about for years to come.

Furthermore, showgirls can also interact with guests, pose for photos, and even teach some dance moves, creating a fun and engaging atmosphere that everyone can enjoy.


Signature Cocktail

Spice up your interesting dinner ideas with unique signature cocktails. If you give yourself enough time, you’ll be able to find a combination of alcohol that perfectly compliments you as a couple, create a label that goes with your wedding theme, and bottle enough to send a bottle home with your guests as a wedding favor.

The best signature cocktails not only taste great; they look great too! Put some extra consideration on the color of the beverage, and the glass it’s served in, and replace the umbrella with something unique like a sprig of thyme or a (carefully cleaned) peacock feather.

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DIY Centerpieces

The best wedding ideas and memorable moments aren’t something you do, it’s something you experience. Create a craft corner where guests can congregate as they arrive. It’s normal for early birds to have to sit and wait while as the seats fill up. Instead of letting them fend for themselves give them something fun to do.

Provide an abundance of flowers and other centerpiece items, along with a clear example of what the result should look like, and let them have at it. If you feel like you don’t want to risk the centerpiece to your guests, you can always provide the same style of entertainment with a DYI corsage and boutonniere station. Either way, they’ll walk away feeling like they participated in your big day.

Unique Babysitter

For an A+ evening, you’re going to have to come up with a few creative wedding ideas to occupy the kids. The easiest way to do this is to keep them in transition throughout the night so that they don’t have the chance to get restless and cranky.

Provide lots of snacks, a few activities they can wander to at their own pace, and some structured entertainment. A coloring station will do nicely, but keep in mind that they want to participate in the big day too.

You can have them create a small portion of the wedding favors or – if budget and space permit – hire a choreographer to teach them some basic dance moves. Bring the kids out after the First Dance to put on an adorable wedding reception dancing show for the grown-ups.

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Memorable Guest Book

Signing the guestbook is a standard thing to plan and a good keepsake, but it’s not one of those wedding ideas worth bragging about or including in your wedding photo album. Shake things up by swapping out the book for something creative.

The concept involves using a classic rotary phone as the guest book, with guests leaving their messages by speaking into the phone’s receiver. The messages can be recorded and saved, creating a unique keepsake that the couple can listen to and enjoy for years to come. The vintage phone guest book adds a touch of nostalgia and retro charm to any event, making it a memorable and unique addition to the celebration.


Stellar Seating Chart

The first thing your guests experience at the wedding reception is usually the seating chart at the entrance. Start things off on the right foot with an entrance that shines with your wedding reception themes.

Not only should the chart be unique and memorable, but each table should also be identified and unmistakable. Some couples are evening assigning a sub-theme to each table so that there’s no confusion.

Use flowers, ice, glass, fire, or anything else that will draw attention. But, also make sure that names are large and legibly enough for guests of all ages to read with ease.

Fun First Dance

The first dance is always a romantic moment that makes everybody swoon. Since you already have everyone’s attention, make their jaws drop with a confetti drop when the big moment happens.

This – one of our favorite ideas for weddings – is versatile. If you don’t want to dirty up the dance floor reserve your confetti for the getaway. People are being advised to steer clear of throwing rice as an environmental concern. So, giving your guests a handful of confetti to toss is a breath of fresh air and fun for everyone.


Lavish Lighting

Nothing brightens up a wedding reception like over-the-top lighting. No matter what your vision is, throw in some candles, a chandelier, or some artistic rope LEDs and we guarantee a more beautiful result.

Looking for even more wow?

Invest in a Hollywood-premier-style set of spotlights to mark the entrance of your venue. Or, move the entertainment indoors and set light projectors to mimic falling water or dancing stars. Not only will this look gorgeous, but you’ll also be surprised at how much energy it injects into the party.

Musical Exit

Last on our list of unique wedding reception ideas is a grand exit. Set yourself up with a mini Mardi Gras complete with a brass band and enough beads and confetti for your guests to cover the walkway.

With all of this fanfare, make sure that your getaway car is parked a little further away than usual so that your band can get through a song or two. If you’re not a fan of brass, swap the trumpets for some classy violin, or get a rock band to play your favorite song. If you’re hosting an outdoor event, beach balls, and some tin drums will do.

Regardless of the music you choose and the items your guests toss, live music is a surefire way to enhance the moment when you’re happily ever after begins and create some brag-worthy memories.

You don’t have to break the bank to create a unique wedding reception that your guests will talk about for years to come, you just need a standout feature and a little creativity. Take our advice and inspiration, and get to work on your one-of-a-kind entertainment.