Your wedding day is a magical occasion. It’s an event you’ve dreamed about your whole life, and now that it’s finally here, the pressure to make it perfect can be overwhelming.
But don’t worry! Planning the perfect reception is a huge step on your wedding day checklist. And we’re here to give you some unique wedding reception ideas to make sure it’s both magical and memorable!
8 Magical Wedding Reception Ideas
Ready to take your celebration to the next level? Here are eight wedding reception ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Unique Table Numbers
The wedding table numbers are a great opportunity for you to showcase your wedding theme. You can find them online or have someone make them from scratch with scrapbook paper and markers! We also love flags and stands, address numbers painted in your colour of choice, and table numbers etched on acrylic.
How about edible or drinkable table numbers? Yep! You can have a label printed with the table numbers on wine bottles or beer growlers. Consider your wedding theme and colour scheme, and let your imagination run wild!
Creative Photo Booth
One thing that you’ll find at most weddings these days are photo booths, but there are ways to elevate even this commonplace wedding reception idea.
A photo booth is a perfect way to ensure that your guests are taking fun photos at your event for you to look back on! Make sure to create your wedding hashtag ahead of time so that you can add it onto the props and photo reel for your guests to easily use when posting. This makes it easier than ever to view all the photos after your big day!
The Classic Car
A wedding photo booth is an excellent idea for any wedding. It’ll provide guests with memories they’ll treasure forever of the happiest day in their lives and make them feel like a part of it all.
That’s where that old classic car comes into play! You can rent out an old-fashioned car from your local rental company or borrow one from a friend to create a unique photo backdrop. You can pose inside or outside of it and bring in other decorative elements, such as hay bales or candles, to bring the space to life. Whatever your theme, there may be a way to work a classic car into the mix!
This wedding photo backdrop idea will give your guests a magical experience with the perfect décor. All you need is some balloons, ribbon and scissors to create this beautiful centrepiece for your reception table.
Not interested in a DIY project? No problem. You can get a professional service to create your balloon photo booth backdrop. These aren’t a kid’s birthday party-level balloon creation. We’re talking about the artful decoration that will bring an added level of whimsy to your wedding day!
Say It With Neon
Neon signs are a fun, modern addition to wedding receptions. They can be used in various ways, such as signage for your wedding exit or simply lining the walls of your reception hall and filling any space that may otherwise feel empty. But we LOVE them for a wedding photo backdrop.
The diffused light against a uniform backdrop creates a beautiful aesthetic. Plus, you can use the neon to say anything you want: from your wedding hashtag to your initials. Whatever you want to say, say it with neon!
Have A Live Wedding Painter
A live wedding painter is a great way to make your wedding reception a little more unique. This service is trending these days, too, because you get to go home with a personalized keepsake after your wedding.
If you find a live wedding painter within your budget, this is something that will be remembered forever by all of your guests and can also double as entertainment for the younger wedding attendees!
Wedding painters watch the wedding as it’s happening and paint scenes from the event. They can paint on canvas, paper or wood.
Share Your Memories On A Photo Display
Have an area where you can display photos of yourself as a couple or from your childhood. This is fun for your guests to look at and help tell your story! This is a great way to share wedding memories with the people who care most about you.
Photo displays are usually composed of large prints mounted on boards and displayed in frames. Photos can be printed out or enlarged from digital files. You could also create an exciting photo display by showing your wedding invitation, engagement photos, and more!
Have Your Guests Leave Their Mark
At the entrance of your reception, have some sort of guest book or object for your guests to sign or write a thoughtful message for you. This is a great way to create wedding memories that will last for years and show your guests how much they meant to you!
There are plenty of alternatives to having guests sign a book. You could ask your wedding party members to sign a large print of the wedding ceremony program or have them do calligraphy on pieces of paper.
Another fun idea is to have guests take Polaroid selfies and leave them for you. That way, you get the expressions, outfits, and love to experience over and over.
Get Creative With Your Dessert Display
Instead of your basic cake, re-think dessert. There are so many options to consider. Here’re some ideas:
- A doughnut wall: Your wedding cake can be replaced by a doughnut wall with different flavours and toppings.
- A popsicle bar: Create popsicle stations around your venue so that guests can grab one on the way out of the wedding reception.
- A dessert bar: Offer various types of desserts in small portions for all to enjoy. This is great because it allows people to customize dessert to their taste.
- A cupcake display: Many wedding reception venues offer cupcake displays to showcase your dessert menu. They can be arranged beautifully to impress your guests!
- Use vintage plates: Vintage wedding reception plates can be used to serve guests to create a unique look and feel. This is a great idea, depending on your theme.
A creative display will add lots of pizzaz to your day and is a good idea if you’re short on wedding reception decorations. These ideas can be added to your cake display if you choose to make a cake. These days, some couples are opting for a small cake to share and a delicious dessert buffet for guests.
Handwritten Letters For Each Guest
If you’re having a smaller wedding, this wedding reception idea is a great way to make each guest feel special and show your appreciation. You can place these at their seat for them to read while waiting for their food.
This is a perfect way to make each guest feel special and show your appreciation for a smaller wedding. You can place these at their seat for them to read while waiting for their food. These notes don’t replace your thank you cards, but they are lovely tokens for your attendees.
Even in small weddings, it’s hard to get to each of your attendees and express how you feel that they came to see you get married. This is one way to say what you want to say and enjoy the festivities along with everyone else!
Go Big On The Exit
Your exit is the last thing people will remember from your wedding, so make it count!
A wedding is a big event, and it can take on many meanings. The wedding itself might be just one part of an entire weekend party or celebration for some people. This means the culmination–your wedding exit–needs to be exciting!
Traditionally, wedding exits consisted of guests throwing rice or birdseed, which has continued as a wedding tradition. However, there are many more options to explore with wedding exits. Here are some ideas to help you create that final wedding memory you and your guests will never forget.
If you have an outdoor wedding, give your guests a final “wow” with a fireworks wedding display! We suggest displaying wedding colours or a wedding theme here. Highlight your wedding’s colour palette with dramatic fireworks that match it, or display the wedding theme in symbolic shapes, showing what you love together as newlyweds.
For an LGBTQ+ wedding, we recommend using rainbow colours and geometric shapes to make your wedding extra prideful.
A wedding exit with smoke bombs is a great way to surprise your wedding guests! The effect can be created by using fireworks, or we recommend buying small, handheld smoke bombs from any party supply store.
This wedding reception idea is more affordable than fireworks and safer to use. Plus, you can customize the colour pallet for a rainbow effect or tailor it to your wedding colours.
A Vintage Ticker Tape Moment
Do you love all things vintage? Create an unforgettable photo op with a vintage ticker-tape wedding exit.
To achieve this wedding exit, you will need to purchase a roll of ticker tape from any party supply store. Wrap it around the railing and have your wedding guests waiting at the bottom for when you walk down the stairs.
This idea is budget-friendly because the materials are all easy to find online or in stores near home. Plus, it’s easy to clean up!
How To Add An LGBTQ+ Flare To Your Reception
For LGBTQ+ weddings, you may want to celebrate your marriage pridefully! Here are some wedding reception ideas that will help you do just that:
Colourful Wedding Favors
Bring the colour with colourful wedding favours! You can find colour anywhere, depending on your theme. Colourful snacking boxes for the ride home, colourful plants, or colourful keepsakes are all great wedding favours. We suggest making them useful like all party favours to ensure they don’t end up in the trash.
Go Bright With Your Flower Decor
Lighten up your wedding with flowers in bright colours.
Flowers can be placed around reception tables, centrepieces and even the bouquet/boutonniere to create a vibrant wedding day. You don’t have to go overboard on this one because it will stand out without you needing too many decorations!
We love creative arches and ceremony spaces that use colourful flowers. They are statement pieces that will look amazing in photographs and your memories.
Use A Rainbow Backdrop For The Photo Booth
Another wedding reception idea that’ll make your wedding stand out is to use a rainbow backdrop for the photo booth. This way, no matter who’s taking photos, they’re going to have an awesome background!
If you want it even more colourful, get bright coloured clothes and props for your guests as well!
Rainbow Dessert Ideas
Bring a pop of colour to the mouths of your guests with rainbow desserts. These don’t have to be elaborate (unless you want them to be), but it’s a fun way to infuse colour into your wedding reception.
However, the individual dessert doesn’t need to be ALL colours of the rainbow. You can also give out dessert in individual servings and make it look like a rainbow! This way, you don’t need to worry about guests not getting the colour they want because there will be all of them represented on one tray of goodies.
Here are some dessert ideas fit for a rainbow theme:
- Cake Pops
If you’re thinking of doing a dessert display, the rainbow will be impressive. Remember to ask your wedding photographer to snap some photos of your colourful desserts.
Wedding Reception Ideas To Get You One Step Closer To Your Dream Wedding
We hope these wedding reception ideas give you some inspiration to get you where you want to go! Wedding ideas are where it all begins.
Whether you’re using Instagram or Pinterest to organize your ideas or creating a vision board to visualize your dream wedding, you’re starting a fantastic journey that’ll change your life. Enjoy the process!