Reception Ideas

Wedding reception ideas other than photobooths?

Hi, all --

I know photobooths are kind of a big thing but I was wondering what were some other things that people have at receptions? I'm just considering before I move on to the next phases of planning and the like.  We are having our reception indoors, in a hotel ballroom, open bar, with a DJ, on a Saturday night (just for context).  Just thought I'd ask!  :)

«1

Re: Wedding reception ideas other than photobooths?

  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    vulpiepop said:
    I think the food, bar, DJ and dancing would be enough. :)
    Agreed. I've only been to one wedding with a photobooth, and while it was fun, it didn't make the wedding MORE fun than any other.

  •  LOL!  No offense to those who are doing the extras, though.  I think I just needed someone to confirm what I was thinking already.  :)
  • Is there a balcony?  I've seen people do Smores in a fire pit... Maybe a cigar bar outdoors? But again, that's only if the hotel allows smoking outdoors, and even if you have outdoor access..

    One thing I thought that was really cool was those Wedding Lib Games.. Where you fill in the blanks, and it spells out funny things.  I was planning on doing that during the cocktail hour while we are taking pictures. 

    Best of luck to you!
  • dolewhipperdolewhipper [wh]orlando
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    futuremrshp ! Thought about hiring a few caricature artists, but with all my guests and the fact that each will take more than just a couple minutes, that may get old, fast. 

    We're having a Hora Loca (popular in hispanic cultures) so we're just putting more money towards that. Think about the 1 thing your guests love and run with it. (are they big drinkers? maybe a shot luge sculpture.)


    imageimage



  • Great food and drink, with different food at different times, would make me a lot happier than a photo booth.  If you already have appetizers, then dinner, put the photobooth money towards a late night snack.  I did passed mini breakfast items for guests at the end of the reception--little mini chicken and waffles, country ham and biscuits, mini root beer floats, mini eggs benedict.  It went over very well.

    If your crowd would be more into late night pizza, you could do something with that.  Or a late night dessert bar.  I've seen people do cute movie-theme late night foods--mini popcorn cartons, corn dogs, candy, and icees.  It's a know your crowd thing, but late night food takes the edge off hunger and helps soak up the open bar.
  • Put the money toward upgrading the food, drinks or entertainment and people will have a great time without the photobooth. We did dueling pianos rather than a standard DJ and the dance floor was full the whole night. People who weren't dancing were often singing along at their tables. 

    (Premium open bar and late night turkey burger sliders/pretzels with cheese sauce helped too.)

    image
    image
  • We had a little lounge area at our reception--a place where people could sit and talk but not be sitting at their tables. It was also a nice break from the dance floor. I think it really helped encourage people to stay and mingle. I know I like getting up and talking to people when I'm not dancing, and not feeling "trapped" at my table like some weddings (especially those weddings without a lot of space between the tables to move around). 
    [Deleted User]Jen4948
  • We are doing a photobooth, but I just like them and want one. 

    If we can swing it, in terms of having enough bartenders and budget, I think we will try to do a regular bar (beer, wine, liquor) and then also a bourbon tasting station stocked with three of our favorites bourbons and some little nibbles that complement them. Or, maybe a bourbon cocktail station where we have three bourbon cocktails that the bartender can make and demonstrate complete with little recipe cards. Or, maybe a combo of those ideas. Not everyone will be interested of course but FI and I love bourbon and it would be cool to share that love with our guests. 
    image
    jenijoykjenniferjoy37
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member

    MandyMost said:
    We had a little lounge area at our reception--a place where people could sit and talk but not be sitting at their tables. It was also a nice break from the dance floor. I think it really helped encourage people to stay and mingle. I know I like getting up and talking to people when I'm not dancing, and not feeling "trapped" at my table like some weddings (especially those weddings without a lot of space between the tables to move around). 
    I like this idea a lot!
    jopulove
  • MandyMost said:
    We had a little lounge area at our reception--a place where people could sit and talk but not be sitting at their tables. It was also a nice break from the dance floor. I think it really helped encourage people to stay and mingle. I know I like getting up and talking to people when I'm not dancing, and not feeling "trapped" at my table like some weddings (especially those weddings without a lot of space between the tables to move around). 
    We so almost set up something like this! A few weeks before the wedding we found an antique/vintage furniture rental company with a warehouse just a few miles from our venue. We almost pulled the trigger on renting a couple vintage couches and/or church pews and having them set up in one of the alcoves of our outdoor courtyard reception area. But we'd already used up our budget. However, if I were to do it all over again I probably would have swapped something else out for this because it would have been super cute, a good backdrop for photos, and a fun area for people to hang out in throughout the reception.
  • lovegood90lovegood90 Ontario
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    People remember the food, drinks and entertainment at a wedding the most, so I agree with the PPs who said to put that money towards those three things instead :)  

    Formerly martha1818

    image


    hpubride
  • We're having a somewhat casual wedding and opted to skip having a DJ as neither of us think many our of guests will dance, instead we'll be spending about half the price on a caricature artist :) It's not for everyone but we love the idea.
    jenijoyk
  • But I feel like a wedding with great food can still be boring??? In the, say 20 weddings I've attended in my adult life, I can remember a couple with really great food, but they don't stand out as my favorite weddings. I don't remember anything about the food at the other weddings - whether it was good, bad or average. This includes not being able to remember the food at the weddings that were super fun and my favorites.

  • Those extras are nice, but not necessary. Good food, a flowing bar, a DJ, and a dance floor are all you need. Surrounded by friends and family, guests don't need any more entertainment than that.

    When you think about it, a photo booth/mad libs/etc only "entertain" for a couple of minutes out of the entire reception ... is it worth it?
    hpubride
  • MandyMost said:

    We had a little lounge area at our reception--a place where people could sit and talk but not be sitting at their tables. It was also a nice break from the dance floor. I think it really helped encourage people to stay and mingle. I know I like getting up and talking to people when I'm not dancing, and not feeling "trapped" at my table like some weddings (especially those weddings without a lot of space between the tables to move around). 

    Yes--love lounges! We did four clusters of lounge furniture--a leather sofa, chairs, end table, coffee table. One in each corner to sides of dance floor. People were sitting there all evening drinking and socializing. And they looked cute. BUT, I swear, I'm starting a furniture rental business. For what Cort charged, I could go to Ashley Furniture/Value City and buy the furniture. :( But, it comes down to convenience. The truck came, placed the lounges, and came back to remove it.

    Love lounge areas. And can personally attest to them being a hit.
    jenijoyk
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I think the lounge areas are a cool idea too. 

    futuremrshp
  • We are planning on doing a lounge type of area.

    Nether we nor our guests are big into dancing. We are looking at a big lodge at a state park, so we are going to do some lawn games (and there is a horseshoe  pit there) giant jenga, corn hole, bocce ball, etc. There is a nice firepit and patio where the guys can smoke cigars, there are good lounge areas for whoever, and enough room for people to dance and there to be music if the music moves them. 

    There is a local guy I know who does a pop up coffee shop, stand type of thing (pour overs with really good coffee) so, we may see if he can come and set up shop for a couple hours. 


    jenijoyk
  •  happilyeverthacker said:

    We are planning on doing a lounge type of area.

    Nether we nor our guests are big into dancing. We are looking at a big lodge at a state park, so we are going to do some lawn games (and there is a horseshoe  pit there) giant jenga, corn hole, bocce ball, etc. There is a nice firepit and patio where the guys can smoke cigars, there are good lounge areas for whoever, and enough room for people to dance and there to be music if the music moves them. 

    There is a local guy I know who does a pop up coffee shop, stand type of thing (pour overs with really good coffee) so, we may see if he can come and set up shop for a couple hours. 


    This sounds so fun! I love the pop up coffee shop idea!
  • We will have a lounge area and cigar bar.

    Coffee shop idea is fabulous!!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I am doing a s'more bar and fire pit after my DJ's contract time. 
  • If your group is into dancing, try hiring an instructor/performer/leader such as country line dancing, urban hustles, latin dancing, etc.


  • MadHops21MadHops21 Buried in blankets
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    member
    Me and my fiance and family don't remember how the food was at weddings, it's just food to us. Me and FI had a freaking blast at one wedding with a photobooth, though. I spent so much time there and it was so much fun. Dancing is just eh, but a good DJ can make it fun.

    I'm all about the extras at weddings, but that's just a personal preference. This is your wedding, and all you and your FI's preference! 
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
    Funny Awkward animated GIF
    jenijoyk
  • For my hor d'oeuvres I'm doing an olive oil tasting bar with lots of unique types of olive oil. Keeps the guests happy because it's food and is kind of fun to try the different oils. Maybe it'll help be a conversation starter among the guests while we are taking photos.
    jenijoykDaniBites
  • For my hor d'oeuvres I'm doing an olive oil tasting bar with lots of unique types of olive oil. Keeps the guests happy because it's food and is kind of fun to try the different oils. Maybe it'll help be a conversation starter among the guests while we are taking photos.
    I'm jealous! If I went to a wedding with an olive oil tasting bar I would be PUMPED!
    esstee33
  • okay, we booked our wedding right before peak season so we got a great deal on our venue.
    We have arranged a few extras including lawn games and a Frisbee golf basket with a few personalized putters (we are avid players) outside for the cocktail hour. Then we have a bonfire scheduled to follow the reception.
  • FI's brother had an event painter at their wedding and I thought it was the coolest thing. Guests loved it.  I 'stole" this idea for our wedding and found a guy local to us.  He will arrive 3 hours before the wedding to paint the venue then he will paint our first dance.  Guests can talk to him while he's painting and we get a beautiful piece of art to remember our special day.  It wasn't a neccessary extra but something we'll love and have forever.

     

    We're also doing pizza as an end of the night snack for guests.

  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    disaiak said:

    FI's brother had an event painter at their wedding and I thought it was the coolest thing. Guests loved it.  I 'stole" this idea for our wedding and found a guy local to us.  He will arrive 3 hours before the wedding to paint the venue then he will paint our first dance.  Guests can talk to him while he's painting and we get a beautiful piece of art to remember our special day.  It wasn't a necessary extra but something we'll love and have forever.

    The painting thing sounds really cool. I've never heard of that.

  • Those extras are nice, but not necessary. Good food, a flowing bar, a DJ, and a dance floor are all you need. Surrounded by friends and family, guests don't need any more entertainment than that.

    When you think about it, a photo booth/mad libs/etc only "entertain" for a couple of minutes out of the entire reception ... is it worth it?

    Teaching high schoolers 2 days before Christmas has lead me to read "flowing bar" as FLOWER bar. As someone who barely cares at all for flowers (sams club baby!) I was like omg is this the new, more expensive candy buffet?

    Now that I can read I totally agree :)



  • I LOVED having my photobooth at my weddding. It is something the guest remember! Plus, if you do not have favors, in a way they take that with them. I also had hora loca and mini shakes and mini hamburgers, with hats we gave out. I did not base it on what other people may or may not like at the wedding, I thought, if I were a guest at my wedding, what would I like...and went with that. It is your wedding, there are certain aspects that may be more important to you but people may not like something, but that is their opinion, they are getting a free meal, dancing and having fun...so at the end of the day it is your wedding. You decide what is important for you to celebrate your special day :) good luck!! and enjoy :)   
«1
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards