8 Creative Ways To Buck Tradition At Your Wedding Reception, Because It's Your Party

by Ginny Hogan

Everyone seems to have an opinion on how to plan a wedding. Does your mother want you to wear something you hate? Do you not want cake shoved in your face while wearing an $800 dress? Do you want your first song to be I Love College because it's your favorite song? It's your wedding, and while your family might be part of the planning process, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to add your own creative spark to it. If you're having a traditional ceremony, you can still find creative ways to buck tradition at your wedding reception.

The reception is where all the fun happens. After all, your friends didn't fly here from California just to watch you declare your love to your partner. Well, maybe they did, but they also wanted to celebrate and dance with you until the wee hours of the morning (and possibly enjoy the open bar — I never mind a party with an open bar). That's where the reception comes in. Weddings are about more than the bride and groom — they're about the guests as well. You have to make sure the reception is a party you'll enjoy, and a party you'd want your closest friends to attend.

Check out these eight ways to add a creative twist to your wedding reception.

A Reception Lounge

Two of my main passions in life are dancing and sitting, and I know I'm not alone. Offer your guests a place to hang out between dance numbers with a reception lounge, and they'll have even more energy when Uptown Funk comes on.

A Hot Chocolate Bar

Weddings often have great open bars, but you can do one better: a hot chocolate bar. There's no better time to try white hot chocolate than at a wedding — it matches the dress! Especially if you're having a winter wedding (but even if you're not — I down hot chocolate year-round), a hot chocolate bar will delight your guests. Plus, it's fun to offer something special for the non-drinkers in attendance.

Dance With Your Friends First

You'll be dancing with your partner for the rest of your life — let your friends join you in the first dance. If you're a little attention-shy or you need a break after everyone has stared at you say your vows, you can make the first dance a group party. And you and your partner can share a special dance later in the evening, or not at all if you don't want to. It's your wedding!

Singing Waiters

If you want entertainment that truly stands out, consider hiring singing waiters. The party never stops when the people serving the food are also singing. Your friends will love the unique energy of the ensemble!

Request A Song

Let your guests request songs — it's the least you can do after subjecting them to your uncle's 45-minute toast in which he detailed the first time you rode a tricycle. Besides, letting guests request songs will make the music selection more diverse and representative of everyone's interests. Also, people request songs no matter what, so having a system to do so makes the DJ's life easier.

No Toasts

The only people who like giving toasts give very long toasts. While there's nothing wrong with one long toast, seven long toasts — that's a lot. Also, toasts are intentionally designed to embarrass the bride and groom, so if you don't enjoy being embarrassed, you might want to skip it. And you don't need toasts to prove that you are loved — just look at what a beautiful wedding you're having!

Let Everyone Try To Catch The Bouquet

The bouquet is really just a sign of good luck, and why shouldn't the married people also be invited to partake in the luck? It will make the bouquet-catch more competitive, but who doesn't love a contest? Besides, assuming all single women are trying to get married is a little outdated.

Smash The Cake In The Face Of Whoever First Invented That Tradition

There's really no reason to waste cake like that.

It's your special day, and you and your partner are the reason everyone is at this wedding. Throw your friends and family the best party you can imagine, and add some creative touches to your reception!