Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fun Reception Ideas

Receptions are when I get some of the most memorable photographs for a lot of weddings. It really helps if you have fun activities going on, as these will provide abundant opportunities for candid, character-filled photographs of you and your loved ones for you to cherish.
Here's a great article on some ideas to spice up your reception. Enjoy!

From the Bridal Guide:
1. Walk Down Memory Lane
Make the guest feel like integral parts of the day by incorporating them into the decor—in a gallery of meaningful photos. "We do something we like to call 'memory lane,'" says Northern California event planner Sasha Souza. "We hang pictures of the bride and groom with friends and family along the walk from the ceremony to the reception. It's a fun cocktail party conversation starter." As guests take a leisurely stroll and find pictures of themselves with you, they can reminisce and socialize.

Your Dance Partner for Life2. Break the Ice Creatively
When you enter your reception for the first time as husband and wife, don't just take a conventional arm-in-arm stroll. "Run. Skip. Dance. Swoop in on a rope swing!" suggests Alyssa Brown of AE Planning+Design in San Francisco. Brainstorm with your groom about the most creative, appropriate way to make a big impression. This is a great way to break the ice and set up for a fun vibe for the rest of the event.

3. Play Party Games
"We did a wedding where the menus were puzzles, so each person got one piece of the puzzle at their place setting, then everyone had to put the pieces together to get the full menu description," says Brown. "Crossword puzzles are fun for the back of a program or if you have guests going on a long bus ride to get to the reception venue."

4. Surprise 'em!
"Pablo Neruda is the world's most romantic poet," sats Bussen. "And a modern, pretty paperback edition of his love poems makes a wonderful, lasting guest favor that's much more meaningful that a bag of Jordan almonds! If you buy in bulk, you might get a discount—contact your bookseller directly. And don't forget to add a personalized bookmark thanking your friends and family for sharing your big day with you."

5. Be Entertaining
Guests always love the energy of a live band but tend to want to hear the original artist sing their favorite tunes. As a compromise, a bride may hire a dance band but also play DJ'ed music during the breaks, or she'll arrange to have live music during some parts of the event and recorded music during others. Souza suggests combining the best of both worlds—at the same time. "We've worked with a band called The Infusion Experience," says Souza. "The DJ plays the original music while the percussion players play live. It's a huge crowd pleaser!"

6. Be More Entertaining
"Consider unexpected, untraditional entertainments like tarot card readers, magicians and flip book stations (booths where guests create quick movies and make mini books)," says Marcy Blum, an event planner in New York City. She advises asking yourselves what sorts of activities the two of you like to do. You can use your shared interests as surefire wedding inspiration. (Did you meet at a comedy club? You may want to hire a stand-up comic.) Or you can use your heritage as inspiration: "I've had couples surprise their guests with ethnic dancers or musicians who share a set with the band," says Blum. "You can hire square dance instructors," adds Blum. "Have them teach guests to do a line dance—they'll have a blast."
7. Offer a Dessert Buffet
You can assume most people have a sweet tooth, so have guest get involved in creating their very own dessert. "A cupcake-making station is a reinvention of the popular hot fudge station," says New York City event planner Shawn Rabideau. "Have abundant trays of different flavors and colors: a guest might pile crushed Oreos on a chocolate buttercream cupcake or top a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese." This sort of do-it-yourself treat is absolutely guaranteed to bring out the kid in everyone!

If you're planning a warm-weather wedding, feel free to get really playful with refreshments. Consider serving up a nostalgic and fun Sno-Cone station. "It's easy to rent a shaved-ice machine from the caterer or a party rental company," says Bussen. "Add a choice of colorful syrups and even your favorite apres-dinner liqueurs. Think frozen White Russians, Orange Shaved Ice with Grand Marnier, or Ruby Port and Berry. This will be the hit of the party."
To capture your moment beautifully, contact me anytime! =)
- Mike, owner
Philip Michael Photography

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