Not another basic wedding.

Unique Wedding Reception Ideas to make your wedding stand out!!

Despite the ongoing pandemic it seems like there were still so many weddings that took place! With vaccines rolling out and the weather getting warmer, it’s only a matter of time before wedding season rolls around and all the people who postponed their weddings will start to take place, not to mention the weddings that weren’t postponed! The point is, if you’re in your 20s and 30s, you probably have a ton of weddings that you’ll be attending this year and next year,  and you’re also planning your own wedding! The question is: How do I make my wedding stand out against everyone else’s?!

Let’s be real here – the thing that your guests will probably remember most is your reception. They get fed, they get to dance and mingle, they get to drink…. So if you want to have a memorable wedding that stands out to your guests that are attending six other weddings this year, your best shot at this is during your reception dinner. 

#1 – Get creative with your menu!

Skip out on the traditional menu combinations like steak and broccoli or chicken and asparagus. If your venue allows you to not use their caterer, your options become endless! Here are some ideas that I thought of: 

  • Get your favorite fast casual food catered – easy options would be places like Chipotle or Bibibop, where guests can build their own meal and have more options! This could also save you some money!
  • For an afternoon/midday wedding, opt against a full dinner and servehors d’oeuvres and desserts instead! Some guests may be a little bummed they don’t get a full meal, but some guests will love getting to snack on small bites throughout the reception!
  • Think local and look into hiring a food truck for your big day! This will definitely make your wedding stand out – and you could even introduce your loved ones to a new place to eat!

#2 – Unique Drinks

A standard open bar is always a great option for your wedding, but you can easily get creative with drinks! 

  • Serve your favorite mixed drink! If you and your fiance have a drink that the both of you love, have that be the primary drink served, so that everyone can get a taste of what you like
  • Create your own cocktail based on your wedding theme! Make sure to have a non-alcoholic version
  • Serve your drink through an ice luge or a custom ice bar, where your drink runs through a custom ice display before it’s served.    Photo courtesy of. Rock on Ice

#3 – Favors guests will actually use

I have at least four bars of organic soap or sugar scrubs that I’ve gotten as a wedding favor that I have yet to use. Instead of doing something like that, give your guests something that they can get excited about! 

  • Send your guests off with a snack, like a mini-doughnut or a small bag of gourmet popcorn!
  • Hand out baby succulents or plants to your guests to give them a reminder of all the fun that they had at your wedding! You could even place these on each table as decor, and your guests can just take them off the table when they leave.
  • Give each guest a lottery ticket so that each guest has an opportunity to strike it rich at your big event!

#4 – A guest book that’s not just a guest book

Having a book where people sign their names is fun, but it’s not very personal. Sometimes signing a guest book feels a little like signing a yearbook – so here’s some ideas to avoid HAGS-esque notes. 

  • Have your guests leave you date/adventure ideas in whatever form you want! Whether it’s in a book or on note cards, this is a great way to get to know something new about your guests, and saves you the hassle of planning date nights
  • Have people take polaroid or photobooth pictures to leave in a book or in a bowl for you to keep! Having these photos will be a great thing to look back on years from now. Photo from The Columbus Photobooth Co

#5 – Unique Entertainment

For a truly memorable event, you’ll want to dazzle your guest experience and one way to stand out from the other weddings is to hire entertainment that will leave them talking for years to come.

  • Are you considering a menu with mexican food?  Then how about a Mariachi band to accompany the meal and set the mood?
  • Although this is a typically an Indian wedding tradition,Mehndi, otherwise known as henna is a fun and unique addition to any event that expresses luck and happiness all while adorning your guests with beautiful art.  

  • Many DJ companies (such as VIP Events Management) offers a gameshow and trivia parties for your guests during the reception.  This would be a fun and entertaining option for guests that allows everyone to join in for the fun!
  • Children and adults alike love those fun claw machines that you typically see in arcades, but did you know that you can rent one and fill it with cocktails and personalized gifts for your guests to win?   Photo courtesy of Cocktail Claw


What unique ideas do you have that will certainly make your wedding day stand out?


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Engaged Columbus