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Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:24 pm
by jaynage
Hi all, it's been a while since I was around here, but one of my good friends has asked me to be her BM in Feb 2012, so I'm doing a bit of research for her here :)

My friend was planning on having a photobooth at her reception, but her FSIL (who is getting married 2 months before her) has decided to do one too. My friend is pretty disappointed as she really wanted that to be a feature of their reception, so she is now trying to think of something else to make her reception a bit more unique, since the weddings are so close together.

What sort of ideas do people have to make the reception more unique? She's considering a lolly buffet, but I think she'd prefer something that doesn't get done all the time at weddings.

Thanks for your help all :)

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:28 pm
by KateM
I think that the risk is that these ideas get popular REALLY quickly so what starts as a unique idea can inadvertantly end up being what everyone is doing.

what does she like?

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:32 pm
by jaynage
KateM wrote:
I think that the risk is that these ideas get popular REALLY quickly so what starts as a unique idea can inadvertantly end up being what everyone is doing.


I totally agree. I know the photobooth idea is pretty popular these days (esp. since the almost 3 years since our own wedding), but I think the fact that her FSIL has now decided to do it has put her off, since many of the guests will be the same for the two weddings.

Her taste is pretty middle of the road, similar to my own I guess. I've suggested things like having a big canvas board for people to sign, or the cameras on the tables for guests to take photos, though I'm aware those are popular options too. Besides that, I've run out of ideas!

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:33 pm
by Chief Pancaker Maker
You can hire a cartoonist to do caricatures of the guests - that would be a hit.

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:24 pm
by Garden Girl
She could still do the photo booth but do it differently - really cool backdrop or props. Or get a polaroid and everyone can take a picture of themselves - would be expensive though. I saw a great thing the other day with someone doing temporary tattoos on the guests - not very middle of the road though.

Fire twirlers?

Is she having a theme for the reception?

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:29 pm
by Cimbom
We had a Fuji Instax camera at our wedding (like a Polaroid) and had a scrapbook for guests to stick the photos in and write a message. We sold the camera on eBay after the wedding and got most of our money back :D

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:18 pm
by heartstringz
I went to a wedding where everyone got a little card and wrote a message to the bride & groom on it then pegged it on a line across the room. Something a bit different to a guest book.

Also, I went to one where all the family collected glass jars (jam jars etc) and these were cleaned (labels removed etc) and filled with fresh flowers or tealight candles and used as the centrepieces for the tables. It actually looked really nice!

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:41 pm
by jimmysmum
i saw on here some one is doing an eye spy game sorry i cant remember who it was but i thought it was a great idea :D
i found this online http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&sourc ... 63ljnyVR3w

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:27 pm
by skye_mck
Went to a similar wedding as heartstringz where we were all sent a little bunting flag (triangular piece of material about 15cm long) which we had to decorate/write on and bring to the wedding. These were put on a string across the door and along a wall. It was in a marquee in a garden, so the flags fitted in well. Some were just written on with good wish messages and others were actually embroidered by people.

Another idea for an interesting guest book is where guests put a thumb print on the page and the resulting pictures makes a large tree of prints with names underneath. I think they are available from etsy.

We got disposable cameras for each table, but the quality of the pics was pretty poor. We also had table trivia which were a hit, esp for people on tables with guests they didnt know. They were small boxes that contained little cards with questions on- a bit like trivial pursuit. I got mine from ebay in the UK, but they are prob available from an Australian company also. I got many comments that this broke the ice for people, passed the time while waiting for the wedding party to arrive and there were no boxes left at the end of the night!

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:32 am
by The DJ
There is a book we recommend our clients read called 'The Best Wedding Reception Ever'. It is written by American wedding DJ peter Merry and has some great ideas. A few idea from the book include:

- Get one guest to take Polaroid photos of your other guests, and have guests write messages on the back of their photos.
- Set up an easel, one big canvas and paint and ask your guests to paint a part of a picture for you (may or may not work depending on guests/venue)
- Do Bride and Groom trivia. Trivia run between tables (each table is a group) where the questions are about the bride and groom, and their relationship up to this point.
- Photo scavenger hunt. Similar to putting cameras on tables, but you give your guests a list of things to take photos of (eg bouquet, a kiss et)
- Customise their bridal party entrance (there really are sooo many ways you can do this, you are better off talking to someone like a DJ about options specifically)


The book is literally full of ideas. Some of them are Amercianised, but the majority would fit right in with an Australian reception. Either way, there is so much stuff in there that you should be able to come up with something unique. If you are after something different and fun, it is a great place to look.

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:51 pm
by nickncarolyn1
I have a similar problem - I really want one but my FH isn't too keen... and it has got me thinking... is it really worth it? Do we really need it? So I'm looking for things to replace it, something that's unique and fun. I like the polaroid camera idea, but I don't think i want to ask one of my guests to walk around all night taking photos of everyone... I want everyone there to have fun... not to be worried about doing jobs! ... and with the polaroids you only get one copy... so it's not a gift for your guests,like the strips from the photobooth are. I did see an idea where people had a tree and they had little tags that the guests could right well wishes etc for the bride and groom and then they hung them on the tree... then the couple take the tree home, plant it and watch it grow - i think that's nice. But I would love something fun for my guests... really memorable!

Re: Unique ideas for reception?

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:58 pm
by Cimbom
nickncarolyn1 wrote:
I have a similar problem - I really want one but my FH isn't too keen... and it has got me thinking... is it really worth it? Do we really need it? So I'm looking for things to replace it, something that's unique and fun. I like the polaroid camera idea, but I don't think i want to ask one of my guests to walk around all night taking photos of everyone... I want everyone there to have fun... not to be worried about doing jobs! ... and with the polaroids you only get one copy... so it's not a gift for your guests,like the strips from the photobooth are. I did see an idea where people had a tree and they had little tags that the guests could right well wishes etc for the bride and groom and then they hung them on the tree... then the couple take the tree home, plant it and watch it grow - i think that's nice. But I would love something fun for my guests... really memorable!


I didn't have anyone in charge of it. The reception just set up a small table for us to put the camera and guestbook on and people would just walk up to use it. I purchased plenty of film so that people could take some pics home if they wanted. I had like 8 packets of film left over at the end of it :D