1. Make your first dance memorable (put some spunk into it): One of the biggest parts of a wedding reception is the first dance you share as husband and wife. Why not make it a little different by starting with a slow song and then mid-way, break out into a fast, fun and jazzy song? It not only gets your guests attention, but it breaks up the solemn and serious nature of some receptions. Celebrate your new life together by making your guests laugh, cry, and smile.
2. Help the kids have a fun time too: While some wedding receptions are adults-only, many people enjoy having their nieces and nephews join in on the celebration. To help make it fun for both kids and parents, opt for a separate room with a few babysitters with a movie and snacks. If this isn’t possible, ensure there is a special kids only table with a babysitter so the parents can enjoy and relax without worrying about their children causing a fuss at the adults table.
3. Keep the toasts short and sweet: We all know of wedding receptions that have had long, drawn out toasts that put a damper on the evening. To prevent this, ensure the people giving the toasts keep it to two minutes max, and save the longer stories for a different time like the rehearsal dinner.
4. Break tradition and have a fun welcome dinner: With guests coming in from various locations, wouldn’t it be fun to gather them together for pre-wedding dinner? It’s the perfect opportunity for them to mix with the other guests, get their introductions out of the way and when it comes time for the wedding reception, you’ve already made the introductions and the day is focused on the bride and groom. It also gives the chance for you to show off your engagement ring before the big day.
5. Change up the food and make it fun: You can do this a hundred different ways, but the latest we’ve seen is to have a more “hands on” approach with different food stations. Instead of a formal diner or buffet, why not have stations set up with themed food and let people create their own signature dishes?
6. Keep the food coming. This is particularly important for wedding receptions that start around dinner time and then go on into the night. Arrange for munchies and finger food to come out a few hours after the dinner. An espresso or hot chocolate bar with gourmet syrups can be a fun option.
7. Bring in something unexpected: This is a sure-fire way for the guests to have fun and keep talking about your wedding reception for months (or years) to come. If you have surprise entertainment such as dancers from a different country, it adds spice and life to your evening
8. Think about your seating arrangements carefully. This can be a big deal for singles and also those with unique family circumstances or dynamics. If people are seated with other friends or guests they know, they are more likely to have an enjoyable time --- rather than an awkward evening seated with strangers.
9. Check out the music well in advance. Hiring a DJ or band? Make sure you’re on the same page about what you do and do not want played. Offer suggestions and provide a list of songs or genres you absolutely do not want played.
10. Create an area in your reception for a comfortable lounge. Think hotel lounge! People love cozy, laid back places to kick back, relax and visit. You can easily create this by gathering couches, soft chairs and tables to create a few warm and inviting nooks. Sometimes people get restless if they’re seated at a dinner table for hours on end. Change it up and make it enjoyable!
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