A few years ago, I attended thirteen weddings in one summer, and with the exception of a handful of them, went as a guest. It was a whirlwind of bland chicken, dry cake and tepid punch in paper cups. To be fair, not all the weddings were that way, but after a while they all seemed to run into each other. Sound familiar? Well, your wedding needn't be cookie cutter. Here are five fun ideas to make your reception different and leave your guests with something invaluable - a great experience and even better memories.
1) Hire a live cigar roller for your reception. Yes, there are actually people who will come out and roll stogies right at your event. If that's a little out of your reach, consider placing a cigar at each seat as a favor. The male guests will give you major brownie points for thinking of them, and as a woman, I can tell you I wouldn't mind one either.
2) Channel your inner Europhile and serve up steaming cups of cappuccino from an espresso bar. Baristas can come and mix up beverages just like they do in your corner coffee shop. The extra shots will keep the energy levels up and the dance floor packed. For an alternative twist, offer a post-dessert coffee tasting paired with chocolates.
3) Skip the cake and serve ice cream, or opt for both! Delicious places like Marble Slab and Cold Stone Creamery offer services where they bring their slabs and supplies and mix ice cream right in front of your guests. If you prefer the sweeter, lighter options, check to see if your local gelato shop will do something similar. Yum.
4) Have your DJ teach your guests a dance. Since everyone will be learning it together, the awkwardness factor is cut way down. Plus, you may be surprised to see that the guest you could never drag out on the dance floor is eager to get involved.
5) If your guests will be valet parking, have the attendants place a Bon Voyage gift in their vehicles at the end of the night. This can be a single flower tied with a thank you note from you and your fiance, a midnight snack of milk and cookies, or whatever else your creative mind may come up with. Your guests will be thrilled you thought of them and will be impressed with your attention to detail.
Weddings are a celebration. Have fun and don't be afraid to infuse some fresh ideas into your own reception!