You don’t need me to tell you how important it is that your reception should be successful. Hopefully, the wedding ceremony will have been beautiful and memorable – and a good celebrant will ensure just that. The reception can be a different kettle of fish.
Of course, an article like this cannot hope to cover all kinds of receptions – budget and size may make all the difference. I’m also assuming that you’re not using a wedding planner, although I have often argued (for example, please see here) in favour of engaging one.
Anyway, here at least are a few ideas that might be helpful.
I have heard it suggested that you could have space on the RSVP cards for guests to choose their favourite song (or songs) for the reception. That way, everybody will be virtually guaranteed to get up and dance at some time or another. If you like that idea, it might be wise to check beforehand that nobody’s choice is inappropriate!
The Personal touch
If there’s a seating-pan, a slightly time-consuming but lovely idea would be to place a sincere, hand-written note at each guest’s place. You may not get a chance later, but this way you can at least ensure you have thanked your guests for attending. They’ll surely appreciate the gesture.
Extras, such as magicians, chocolate fountains, photo booths, can add something unexpected and exciting to the event (and most of your guests, who, unlike you, won’t have been studying wedding entertainment videos and magazines, will love the unexpected bonus).
You don’t need to give any gifts at all, but if you decide to, these could be something that ties in with the theme of your wedding. They needn’t be more than a packet of seeds for the garden.
If you’re inviting little children, they could be asked to bring a favourite cuddly toy. Then if you provide a special table for these toys, the children can enjoy creating their own special party.
Depending on space, you might be able to organize a few party games. (This could actually be a possibility for some of the adults too!)
Maybe teenagers (who won’t want to be with the kiddies and certainly not with Mum and Dad!) could have a room to themselves set up with an Xbox or an area where they can sit and text comfortably during the speeches.
At least try and ensure that everyone’s first drink is free (and make sure they realise that too!). It’s nice to offer an alternative for non-drinkers such as a non-alcoholic cocktail (with the ingredients listed on a sign by the bar).
There should be enough food and drink for guests – especially if they’ve come quite a distance. Nibbles and drinks could be available for between the ceremony and reception. Jugs of water should (as it were!) be on tap.
Apart from making a wonderful souvenir for the couple, people enjoy signing a guest-book and thus making their own contribution.
Some of these ideas will fit the bill, and, if you make the necessary preparations, you can relax, safe in the knowledge that you will be offering something a little different that will make your reception stand out (for the right reasons!)!