Times change and you no longer need to stick to the traditional wedding reception ideas. In fact, the world really is your oyster, you can choose practically any type of wedding reception that you want.

The great thing about wedding reception ideas is that they can be considered in the gap between booking all the venues and the mad rush that occurs just before the wedding day. This means you have plenty of time to decide the idea that you like the most and plan the decor to fit your wedding.

The secret with this part of the wedding is to make it an experience for everyone. Not only will this make the day more fun, but it will also ensure your wedding day is remembered for all the right reasons. This really is your chance to bring your own personality into your wedding reception.

Of course, it’s a lot to take in and you may be wondering where to start, after all, you only need one wedding reception idea, there are hundreds of possibilities. All you need to do is take a look at the ideas listed below and then either use them or adapt them to suit your needs, make your wedding day about you!

Get The Right Wedding Reception Idea

Light It Up

Why rely on normal lights when you can transform your reception with some carefully placed lighting arrangements. 

The trick here is to create a dark ceiling, you can use cloths to create the right effect, then add lots of small lights. The feeling will be intimate and magical, almost like looking at a starlit sky.

It’s worth noting that this will not work during the daytime part of your wedding reception, but it is a great evening effect when you don’t need or want the lights too bright.


Your wedding day is a romantic time, as you declare your love for each other forever, what better way to express this than with a romantic reception idea?

Flowers make great centrepieces for your tables, simply make sure that these are in pink and other pale tones, with corresponding tablecloths. To really finish this effect add in some tall skinny candles, set at different heights across the table.

Think Of The Children

 It’s very common for children to attend the wedding ceremony and reception. Unfortunately, as much as it is lovely to have the children share your special day, it can be hard for them to stay focused through the reception, especially when the speeches are in progress.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution. Create a kids activity table or corner, where the children have an array of quiet activities they can participate in. This will help the parents to relax and the reception to go smoothly.

If they are being seated with parents you can also include coloring activities as this will help them to stay busy and enjoy your reception without causing disruption. 

Plan Your Getaway

One of the last things that happen at a wedding is the bride and groom leave! If you intend to finish the reception by disappearing into the sunset then consider doing this in a fun way.

You can opt for a motorcycle, fire truck, or even a donkey, whatever appeals to you and will leave you and your guests smiling! This approach can also be applied if you need to get from the wedding ceremony to the reception.

Grow Something

If you have green fingers or simply want to combine your reception decor with a permanent reminder of your wedding, then consider putting herbs on the table.

This unusual centerpiece can look fun and should smell fantastic. The fact that every wedding guest gets to take one home will be appreciated.

Take A Picture

You’ll want as many memories of your special day as possible. It’s a good idea to add a photo booth to your reception, this will allow your wedding guests to take fun pictures and leave them for you.

While disposable cameras are no longer as popular as they were, you can create a website that allows people to share the photos they take, giving you access to plenty of actions that you would otherwise miss.

This is a great way for everyone to appreciate the wedding a little more. But, you can take this a step further! Simply create a projector screen and link it to a slideshow of the images from your wedding website, you’ll need to ensure it refreshes regularly. People will actually be able to see themselves on the big screen shortly after they’ve taken a photo. It’s guaranteed to make your reception more fun!


Just because most people have the exquisitely laid out table and decorations doesn’t mean that you have to adopt the same options for your reception. 

Remember, this is your wedding day, it’s what you want that counts. With this in mind, you could move the reception outside, weather permitting, and use natural wood products to help create a rustic feel. To really finish this idea you should add in carved wood effects, such as carved heart placemats.

Book It

Create something unique for book-lovers by adding books to your reception venue. You can use them to display the wine, have them next to a comfortable reading couch, or simply leave them scattered around the venue. Using vintage books will really add to the effect.

They will certainly create a unique theme and you’ll be surprised at how many of the wedding guests start to read them!

Wine Crates

Wine used to be delivered in crates. In fact, the most expensive brands often still are. Add a little allure to your reception by using wooden creates as part of your features. You can place lamps on the top of them and then garnish around them with greenery to create a rustic corner for connoisseurs. You can also store wine in them if you want! 

The Fairground

Why have a traditional reception? If you and your groom love the fair or the circus, then you should consider making this part of your wedding.

There are plenty of operators who will rent you some, or all of the fair rides for the day, or even the weekend. Of course, you’ll need enough space to put all the rides up and the permission of the venue to do so.

But, it will make for a cool and original reception. Just remember to create some covered seating, in case the weather turns bad and to allow your wedding guests to sit down!

Personalized Details

You may be surprised at how long you hang onto your wedding creations. Although many items end up in a storage box, they will be looked at regularly and bring a smile to your face.

What better way to emphasize this than to make some of the objects personalized? The table runners can have a picture of you and your groom kissing, obviously prior to the wedding. It’s a good idea to use different pictures on different tables.

You can also engrave simple messages into glasses, knives, or even the placemats, ensuring that all the wedding guests have a personalized souvenir. 


The wedding day can be tiring for you and your wedding guests. It’s a good idea to create a chill-out area where people can take a few minutes out.

You’ll need comfortable chairs and pillows to ensure guests can relax, chat, and recuperate. You can even personalize the pillows to remind the guests that they’re at your reception.

Seating Treats

Add your own personality and help your wedding guests to find their seat with this clever idea. Simply place a few sweets in a jar and then put a name tag on each jar. Under the name put the table number and seat position.

Every wedding guest will need to take their sweet favour in order to find their seat, it’s fun, a great way to give each wedding guest a little something, and useful!

Activity Pouches

It’s not always just the children that need to be kept amused at a wedding! You can create activity pouches with a little piece of material. The best idea is to have two pockets, allowing you to slide the cutlery in one pocket and some pencil crayons in the other. 

Of course, you’ll also need to add some activities, such as a coloring image or some game suggestions. This won’t just help to keep the adults amused at your reception, it will also act as a great ice-breaker!

Save The World

If you’re concerned about saving the planet you may want to opt for a more minimalistic approach to your reception decor.

You can either skip the centerpieces or create some that are environmentally friendly, such as sculptures made out of old plastic bottles of metal cans.

These sculptures can look fantastic as well as remind everyone at your wedding that you want to look after the planet.

Bring The Farm

This idea for your reception will depend on where you’re having it. Baby animals are always a big hit, if you have the space and the permission from the venue, then consider adding a small petting corner. This will allow adults and children to meet their favorite baby animals.

Just remember to provide adequate washing facilities for your wedding guests. And, don’t place the baby animals too close to where people are eating, it may put them off their food!

Remember The Drinks

It can be thirsty work waiting for the wedding to start and then hanging around for the pictures before waiting for the food and speeches.

In short, your guests won’t be expecting a drink until the reception but they will definitely appreciate one before. Create a light alcoholic cocktail which guests can have before they enter the wedding ceremony, it will help everyone to relax and enjoy it.

Just don’t make the drinks too strong and include a non-alcoholic version for those that want it.

Go The Extra Mile To Welcome Them

Your wedding day is supposed to be all about you but it won’t be much fun without the guests. Show your appreciation early by giving them all a welcome bag.

This will take a little effort as each bag should have a personalized note, along with a selection of gifts. It will make them feel like VIP’s as this is the sort of treatment celebrities get at big events.

In the same vein, you can also provide going home kits. An eye mask, a bottle of water, and some aspirin should get the message across! Anyone who takes one of these gifts has probably had a good night!

Confetti Drop

Why not see if you can get a few ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the guests by arranging for a confetti or balloon drop to happen as you indulge in your first dance. It will create a fantastic picture for the future and is sure to make you feel like a fairytale princess.

The Entrance

 It’s traditional for the bride and groom to enter the room after everyone has arrived and settled themselves. This is your chance to make a grand entrance. 

Consider some jazz music, dancing your way in, or even coming in with fancy dress on. You could even get all your guests involved by doing a parade around the room, it tells everyone that this is supposed to be a fun day.

Final Thoughts

Certain elements of the reception should be adhered to, for example, the speeches are an important part of any reception. But, that doesn’t mean you have to stick to tradition for every part of your special day.

Grab inspiration from the wedding reception ideas above and place your own mark on one of the most important days of your life. When people are still talking about it at the next wedding you’ll know you got it right.

But, most importantly, you and your partner will always have the best memories of your wedding day.

Also, check out these tips on how to create a perfect wedding seating plan.

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