8 Unconventional Wedding Reception Ideas

The hard part is over – you’ve said your “I dos” and now it’s time to celebrate! So now the next question becomes, will your reception be one to remember? A show-stopping reception can keep attendees raving about your wedding for years, so with wedding season in full swing, here are some fun tips and tricks to have an unforgettable, trendy, and out-of-the box wedding reception.

Food Truck
Happily Ever After – photo via Jodi Miller Photography

Have an early ceremony…on a Sunday
While for some it’s not necessarily ideal, daytime weddings on “off days” can save money. Venues usually charge less on Sundays and week days and you can even save money on the d.j., food and decorations. Also, with day weddings and receptions come great lighting, so photos look great and there’s no need for a flash! Even better, daytime receptions can carry on into the night and you’ll have more time to have an after party that’s not too late.

It’s never too early for cocktails
Surprise your guests with a light cocktail before the ceremony! Simply setting out a table of mimosas sets the tone for your guests to relax and enjoy the show or have a Bubbly Bar, which are all the rage this wedding season. They’re fun, interactive, and everyone is pleased….and drinking. Set out a station for guests to customize champagne with fruit puree, rosemary leaves, flavored ice cubs, grapefruit twists, and lavender sprigs.

Bubbly Bar
Bubbly Bar – photo via After Yes Weddings

Dish out food differently
After sitting though a ceremony, people are sure to be impatient and famished. Unfortunately, preparing and setting up catering fit to feed 100s of people can take a long time. Rather than making your guests wait to eat, opt for a food truck instead. Trendy and memorable, when the truck rolls into a venue, it’s a sign the party is starting immediately. Rather than sitting for two hours at the same table, food trucks allow guests to mingle in line while waiting for tacos, sliders, lobster, or even a sushirito.

If your reception is bound to get rambunctious, make sure there’s extra fuel to keep you and your guests going all night long. After hours of drinking and dancing, nothing could make guests happier than a waffle truck rolling up at midnight.

Food Truck Reception
Reception Fit for a Foodie – photo via Freckled & Blue

Photos, photos, and more photos
Don’t make your guests stick out their arms (or sticks) for a sub-par, duck face picture at your celebration. For photos they’ll want to remember, get a photo booth, create a hand-painted face-in-hole board for an alternative photo op, or give guests disposable cameras.

You can even take it to the next level with a “Guest Box” instead of “Guest Book”: a place where guests can leave short video messages and confessions that can be inserted into the wedding video.

Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake
Cake is a wedding tradition, but one that can be improved if you ask us. A professional wedding cake can cost over $1,000. The frosting may be beautiful, but no guest is going to be overwhelmed by vanilla sponge cake with cherry filling. Do something different instead. Cover the table with stacks and stacks of donuts; make a 10-foot-long banana split, or even sculpt the bride and groom out of Rice Krispy treats.

Donut Bar
Donut Bar – via Green Wedding Shoes


Don’t let guests leave empty handed
Have the valet place “sleep well” kits in cars of guests heading home from the party or depending on the crowd, have “anti-hangover” kits in baskets at the exit. Either way, give your guests something they’ll be sure to use (and in some cases need).

Are you looking for more of a DIY type wedding? Check out our post about how to create the rustic do-it-yourself wedding of your dreams here.