One of our biggest pieces of advice when planning a wedding... create and plan a wedding that's unique to you. Once you're married (swapped vows, and sealed it with a kiss), the reception is when you can finally click back, relax, and join your family and friends for some fun.
Sure, there's a 'standard' and a tradition to be withheld, but you have the freedom... there are no rules when it comes to creating a reception to personalized to you, your groom, and your relationship. While creating new traditions, you can remove outdated ones that feel impersonal. Instead of doing a bouquet toss, setup a photo booth for guests to enjoy and have a keepsake to take home with them. Whatever you choose, make sure it feels meaningful to you, and your fiancé/spouse (at this point).
For more inspiration, here are 20 Ways to Personalize Your Reception that will make it stand out among the other 10 weddings you will attend within the next year or two.
1. HOME SWEET HOME: there's truly no place like home. whether it's your childhood home, or the house you and your partner live in, or a summer vacation home, you'll be flooded with some of your fondest moments while exchanging your vows on the front porch, and dancing in the backyard. at-home wedding are ideal for intimate/micro weddings with immediate family and closer friends.
2. TELL A STORY WITH YOUR SEATING CHART: we've seen it, your guests' names on a seating chart, but why not think outside of the box and use the seating chart as a statement piece and/or or an opportunity to tell your love story.
3. SWITCH UP YOUR GUEST BOOK: standard guest books collect dust, couples rarely read them. for a unique and modern spin on the classic guest book, consider setting up an old telephone for guests to dial and leave an audio message. another fun option is a calendar (no year) filling with engagement pictures for guests to sign on their birthday, so now you have that as you go into marriage to send birthday cards/plan birthday parties.
4. OUTFIT CHANGE: for a day as special as your wedding, why wear just one outfit? the reception is an excuse to sport a second look that's fun, fashionable, and comfortable for dancing. a fun cocktail dress, feathers, or all white matching custom sweatsuits (for bride/groom) are some of our favorite looks we've seen.
5. CREATE A MONOGRAM: there's no better way, or an easier way to personalize your reception than with a monogram. a joint monogram which combines your first initial with your groom's first initial is a great way to symbolize two individuals becoming a joint entity. to create your own monogram stay consistent - choose a font, style, color and pattern that resonates with you. then take that monogram and put it on EVERYTHING! literally, from your save the dates to your invitations, to your seating chart, place card, menu cards, and cocktail napkins... anything and everything you can.
6. INCLUDE A NOD TO YOUR PETS: let's face it, not all our pets are behaved enough to actually attend and be apart of the wedding day itself, so making them a part of your decor is a great alternative. name your signature cocktails after your four-legged friends, custom koozies, or even a dog biscuit bar for guests to grab a treat for their furry-pet at home.
7. EDIBLE COCKTAIL TOPPERS: back to the monogram, search on Etsy 'Edible Cocktail Toppers' and thank us later. such a unique, and affordable way to elevate your cocktails, but also talk about a wow moment for your guests.
8. SERVE YOUR FAVORITE FOOD: we can't tell you how many times we've had chicken... it all tastes the same, it's dry! take a trip down memory lane and create a menu based on a favorite dish you've shared as a couple, have fun with it. maybe you and your fiancé have a Sunday night ritual where you make pasta together, so you settle on Italian for dinner/your menu.
9. HIRE A LIVE PAINTER: the artist can either capture your ceremony or first dance, but it's a unique perspective and something you will cherish and can display in your home. a painting tells a story, much different than a framed photo.
10. MONOGRAMED DANCE FLOOR: you can see the trend, monogram everything!
11. HANDWRITTEN LETTERS: swap place cards for handwritten letters to each guest, for a special and thoughtful touch.