The recipe for the perfect party seems simple enough. Make sure everyone is fed, got a drink in hand and that the music is pumping. But we have all been to those events where things don’t really get going. Having photographed some incredible wedding receptions we know what it takes to make it amazing. It’s easier than you would think to make your wedding reception unique and fun! We share some of our favourite ways to make sure your wedding reception will be a success and have your guests talking for all the right reasons!
Set Up A Designated Chill Out Area
If you are having older guests at your wedding we highly recommend planning a chill out area. There is a lot of standing up during the wedding day and it’s nice to have somewhere to relax that isn’t the table where the meal is being held. Preferably somewhere the action can be seen so that anyone who needs a rest doesn’t feel isolated from the rest of the wedding reception. Plus you can keep an eye on anyone who might be flagging.
Book a photo booth
One of the reasons that we love photo booths is their unique way of breaking the ice. Once the evening guests arrive and the day guests are on their fourth (or fifth!) glass of wine it’s time to go from mingling to partying. Grabbing a silly prop and having a few photos is such a fun way of starting the evening. Take a look at our wedding photo booth hire service for some inspiration. We use only the best props to add a unique and quirky touch to the wedding reception.
During the summer months the last thing couples and their guests want to do is head inside when the weather is still beautiful into the evening. Consider bringing your entertainment outdoors! Wedding singers are a great option as their set up is very portable, if it rains they can pack up quickly if needed. A full band can’t move inside at the drop of a hat as it takes them a long time to set up. But a singer often just needs a microphone. Talk to your wedding coordinator or planner before the event to see if this is possible at your venue.
Play Mini Golf
Mini golf is such a family-friendly activity and a great way of keeping your guests occupied when you are taking photos during the drinks reception. In our experience everyone loves mini golf, it’s always packed with guests having a go. At weddings a lot of the guests might not know each other, activities are a great way of getting everyone together. Conversation flows really easily when occupied with an activity.
Choose Cool Lighting
Lighting makes a huge difference to the ambience of a wedding reception. Professional lighting isn’t a cheap option but trust us on this one! Not only will lighting experts be able to create a party atmosphere but they will also make the photos look amazing. Festoon lighting outside created a unique experience for guests whilst indoors can have more of a party feel. Plus uplighting is practical too, lighting up pathways can really help guests navigate when it gets dark. Great quality professional lighting creates interesting colours for photographers to work with elevating both your pictures and the party!
Pick A Great DJ
The wedding industry has a bad reputation for naff DJ’s. Nothing kills a party quicker than poor song selection. However there are some amazing wedding DJ’s that are renowned for getting the party started. Be clear about what music you are into and choose a supplier accordingly. We recommend Andy Murphy who consistently wins the award for Manchester’s best wedding DJ year after year.
Interactive Food & Drink Options
A fantastic way to keep guests entertained and happy is through their stomachs! When planning an event it’s essential that everyone has plenty to eat and drink. There are loads of fun interactive food and drink options to wow your wedding reception guests. One of the best thing about this reception idea is that you can spend as much or as little as you want. For a hands on bride there are lots of cute DIY options to keep the costs down. Or your wedding planner can book out a whole variety of vendors to create a festival themed day! The possibilities are endless. Here are some of our favourite food and drink interactive reception ideas:
• DIY sweet trolley with all your favourites!
• Cocktail station where guests can make their own drinks, great for corkage only venues
• Ice cream van. Have a toppings station with sprinkles, chopped nuts and different sauces
• Beer pong or the classier cousin, prosessco pong!
• Doughnut wall
• Build your own wood-fired pizza
Hire a band
The best combination for an amazing wedding reception is hiring a DJ and a band. The band plays the start of the evening and the DJ will take the last couple of hours at the end. Couples often worry that really good bands will be difficult to find or out of budget. If you aren’t sure where to find the right band for you have a chat with the suppliers you have already booked. Our recommended suppliers page is a great place to start! Luckily we know the best bands in Manchester and the North West.
If a traditional wedding band isn’t your cup of tea then try a live performer. Six15 Events have a large selection of saxophonists, percussion artists, violinists and more. You can mix and match performers based on your musical tastes. In our experience wedding performance artists really make the reception fun! They help get the crowd involved which is great for more timid guests who need a bit of encouragement.
Have What You Want
It’s your wedding and everyone has to do as you say. Perhaps this approach is a little bridezilla but it’s effective! You have spent a fortune on creating the perfect atmosphere. Get out there and enjoy it! If you take to the floor all your mates will follow. Everyone has come to the wedding to support you and get involved in the day. Think about your tastes and preferences and go with it!