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How to Make Your Wedding Reception Stand Out

make your wedding reception stand out

Written by Stephanie

July 31, 2020

At A Daydream Wedding, our favorite month of the year is July, where we honor weddings that stand out from the crowd.   And all month, I’ve been sharing tips and ideas on the blog to help you create a fun, unique, and memorable wedding that stands out from the crowd.    In 4 Tips to Make Your Wedding Stand Out, I shared how you can create a standout experience for your wedding guests.   In 6 Ideas for a Wedding Ceremony that Stands Out, I offered ideas for creating a standout wedding ceremony.  Last week, in 5 Ways To Personalize Your Wedding, I talked about using personalization to make your wedding stand out.   And this week, I’m sharing 7 ideas to make your wedding reception stand out.

I’d like you to take a moment and think about what you want your wedding reception to be like.  And what are the most important things for your reception?   If you are like a lot of brides, you want your guests to have a great time.  You want the food to be amazing.     And you want your guests to have a memorable experience.   An experience that stands out so much they rave about your wedding for years to come.   If that sounds like you, then you’ll be happy to hear that it is not difficult to make your wedding reception out.

The key to a standout wedding reception is taking a step away from the traditional entertainment and food you normally see at weddings.  By offering different entertainment and food options at your reception, you will create a more unique and authentic experience for your guests.  Which will make your wedding reception stand out.   So here are 7 creative and unexpected ideas for entertainment and food for your wedding reception.

Bring in Some Surprise Entertainment Vendors

As far as wedding entertainment goes, most couples hire a band or DJ to play music for dancing.   And while music and dancing are important elements of the reception, you could bring in some additional entertainment vendors to surprise your guests and liven things up.   Some options to consider:

  • An acapella group to sing a song
  • Ballroom dancers to create a fun and energetic atmosphere on the dance floor
  • An artist to draw caricatures of your guests or paint watercolor portraits of your guests
  • A tarot card reader or palm reader

Your guests won’t be expecting these surprise entertainment vendors which will make your wedding reception stand out to them.

make your wedding reception stand out

Give Your Guests Some Props

Want to get more guests out on the dance floor?   Give them some props!   Just like guests like props to play with for the photobooth, they like props to play with on the dance floor.   Small props like glow sticks, funny hats, and even sunglasses, can get people out of their seats and onto the dance floor.    Guests don’t see dance floor props at weddings very often, so this unexpected detail will stand out.

dance floor props

Incorporate Cultural Dances

If a lot of your guests are of a certain ethnicity or culture, why not incorporate some cultural dances into your reception?   Almost every culture has a special dance, or set of dances, they enjoy doing at celebratory events like weddings.   And if you want to get your older guests out of their seats and on to the dances floor, incorporating cultural dances are the way to go!    And a packed dance floor is definitely something that will stand out to your guests.

money dance

XSight Photography

Serve Creative Food

Grilled chicken, fish, and beef are served at so many weddings and have gotten a little boring.  So why not take it up a notch and serve your guests something else?  Foods that are unexpected and have a personal connection to the bride and groom are great options.   Not sure what you could serve?  Here are some creative ideas:

  • Foods that your home towns are known for
  • Foods from the place you met
  • Your favorite dishes from when you were growing up
  • Secret family recipes
  • Dishes honoring your heritage

These food options are authentic, creative, and will make your wedding reception stand out.

make your wedding reception stand out

Consider Alternatives to The Wedding Cake

A wedding cake is a traditional wedding item that your guests will be expecting to see.   However, not everyone likes wedding cake.  So why not offer some alternative dessert options?  Either in addition to, or instead of, the wedding cake?    And in my experience as a wedding planner, guests get excited when they see a dessert table or station at a wedding.  They are always a huge hit.  And rarely are there any leftovers.   Not sure of what desserts to serve at your dessert table?   Some yummy options include:

  • Cookies
  • Mini cupcakes
  • Cake pops
  • Rice Krispy treats
  • Cheesecake bites
  • Strawberry shortcake shooters

And if your wedding venue has fire pits, a s’mores station will make your wedding reception stand out.

make your wedding reception stand out

Serve Food Inspired by the Weather

A good wedding host will make sure their guests are happy and comfortable no matter what the weather is.   And what better way to keep your guests happy and comfortable than to serve treats inspired by the weather conditions?   For example, if your wedding is on a cold day, you could offer a hot cocoa or hot apple cider station.   Or if your wedding is on a hot day, you could rent a snow cone machine or offer a popsicle or ice cream bar.   Your guests will not be expecting food beyond dinner and dessert, so offering a weather-based treat is a detail that will definitely make your wedding reception stand out.

hot cocoa bar

Have a Tasting Bar

Similar to offering a dessert bar, you could offer a tasting bar with different options of your favorite libations.   For example, you could offer a “Tequila Bar” or “Beer Bar”.   Or if you are a cigar connoisseur, you could have a “Cigar Bar”.   Guests will remember visiting your tasting bar much more than visiting a standard drink bar.

tequila bar

Q Weddings Photography
Photograph courtesy of snippetandink.com

Other Tips & Ideas

I hope you found these ideas helpful and valuable.  If you like the ideas I shared today and would like to hear more, there is a free Wedding Ideas Guide you can download from our website.  It’s called 36 Ways To Make Your Wedding Stand Out and it’s packed full of ideas to make your wedding stand out and be the wedding everyone raves about.   You can download your free copy here.

Make Your Wedding Stand Out

Wedding Planning Tips, Tricks, Hacks, and Advice

For more valuable wedding planning advice, ideas, and inspiration schedule a free Wedding Planning Consultation with  A Daydream Wedding today.  We’ll discuss your ideas, inspirations, preferences, and what makes you unique so we can create a wedding as awesome as you are!  If you are not quite ready to sign on with a wedding planner but would like tips, tricks, hacks, and advice delivered right to your email inbox instead, sign up for our email list below:

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