Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Top 10 List of Alternative Wedding Reception Ideas

Lately, the traditions involved in Wedding Receptions are changing to meet the demands of a new generation. They are no longer the boring slow-dance packed night with cake-cutting and garter toss as the main attractions. They are morphing into more elaborate customized events with lots of energy and surprises to mirror the bride and groom’s character.

If you want to host a wedding reception that screams you, consider this top 10 list:

1. Show up in style:
If the wedding ceremony and reception take place at different venues, providing guests with transportation that meets the feel you want for the party. A limo, or crazy hummer ride can set the tone. Recently, I did a wedding reception in Fonda, NY, a big parachuting town, in an old airplane hanger that was decked out in a German/Swiss theme. I played polkas and yodel music to start, while they served beer a brauts for the cocktail hour. When it came time for the introductions of the bridal party, I hit the Mission Impossible theme and had everyone look up in the air. People marveled at the party parachuting down to join the festivities.

2. Wedding Cup Cakes:
While you may absolutely love the idea of a classy cream cheese carrot cake, Uncle Charlie may absolutely HATE IT. That doesn’t mean you have to be unselfish and not have carrot cake, it only means you have to think outside of the box. In this case, why not try WEDDING CUPCAKES. You tier up a wedding cake display with many different types of cup cakes, in displayed in the shape of a traditional wedding cake. Everyone, including you and Uncle Charlie is now happy.

3. The First Dance:
Many bride and grooms have dropped the 100% serious tone to the first dance, opting for 50% slow and 50% ridiculous. Rascal Flatts “My Wish” plays just past the first chorus, when Sir Mix A Lot belts out his love for big butts. This is quickly becoming more regular than not, with the added touch of elaborate choreographed moves.

4. Video Game Time?!?
Believe it or not, interactive video game competitions are a new trend. Having a later hour set aside for popular competitions like Guitar Hero or Rock Band is a smart and hip way to add another memorable element of fun to your wedding reception. I have seen digital projectors come into play at night-time tent weddings on the ceiling where a massive screen is created for the game play to unfold.

5. SAY CHEESE! Wedding Photo booths:
Guests will love to jump in and snap silly photos, for great additions to your wedding photo album. Have you seen this yet? Wedding photo booths are quickly becoming a new tradition at modern wedding receptions. It also helps to pass the time when the photographer runs late and the people are waiting t=for the grand entrance of the wedding party.

6. Funky Snack Attack:
Candy tables, ice cream bars, your favorite trail mix… There are no rules to what you can serve anymore. If you think the snack is cheap, but something everyone will appreciate, you can use a variety of containers (think martini glasses) to add that special decorative touch. On the Fourth of July, 2009, I did a great Pakistani-American Wedding, where all kinds of great Pakistani curry-laden dishes where set in tandem next to the groom’s favorite American chow, you guess it, PIZZA. The pizza was served on elegant silver platters under a heat light, like a prime rib carving roast!

7. Karaoke Hour
Want fun! Add karaoke! This can be really awesome in the right party, but be careful. Place this activity late, if not last, in the event and limit people’s participation, or else it could be come a karaoke concert!)

8. Digital Slide Show Projection
Collect up as many pictures that you can of the bride and groom growing up, then add shots of them together now. (You can go right to Walmart with the old shots and scan them to disc for a couple of bucks!) Next, with the wonders of modern technology, a power point slide show can then be created with ease. The power point can run continuously while the guests eat, or can play once as a scheduled activity set to music. Maybe you even know someone who can work photoshop, to make you a funny one like this slideshow for Ben and Joanna, who by the way got married at an aquarium!

9. Reception Themes
A themed wedding reception is a great way to let your personalities shine. I have done weddings with many different themes including Heavy Metal, Hawaiian luau, Ethnic-specific, and even Vegas.

10. Hey, Mister DJ!
Great bands rock, but are sometimes limited to only a few sounds that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. A good DJ, however, can be like the weather in New England and change on an instant. At most wedding receptions, your DJ is the life of the party and can shuffle requests and the wishes of the bride & groom to keep EVERYONE happy. I happen to know a real good one, if you are looking!

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