Magicians and 5 Other Unique Wedding Reception Ideas

Are you soon to be married but don’t want a boring, traditional wedding? Here are some unique wedding reception ideas to make your marriage memorable.

Weddings are largely a time of tradition. There are certain things we expect when we go to a wedding reception, from dancing to toasts.

That being said, if you just stick to the traditions, your wedding is going to have a hard time standing out among the crowd. Most people want it to be a night for the guests to remember just as much as it is for the bride and groom.

With that in mind, it is important to stray from the traditions a bit. Unique wedding reception ideas will keep guests on their toes and entertained all night.

Here are some of the best unique wedding reception ideas for an unforgettable night.

Add a little magic to your special night

As far as unique wedding reception ideas go, hiring a magician really takes the cake.

The day is already magical for the bride and groom, so why not share that magic with the guests?

There are lots of reasons to consider hiring a magician for your wedding.

A lot of different social groups are being brought together for the first time at a wedding. While this is a great opportunity to get to know new family members, it can often lead to some awkward moments.

The great thing about a wedding magician is that they are mingling with your guests. Which means they can help to alleviate some of these tensions and distract from awkward moments.

But more than anything, a magician is entertaining. A wedding reception will undoubtedly have slower moments when the logistics work themselves out — people waiting for food or between the toasts and the dancing and the cake cutting.

A magician can step in and keep people occupied during these moments. This gives your photographer a chance to focus their attention on the happy reactions of the guests while the bride and groom are otherwise occupied.

A magician is certainly a unique wedding reception idea that your guests will remember.

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Say Cheese!

If you opted for a phone and camera free ceremony your guests are likely at the point of bursting with built up photogenic energy. This presents the perfect opportunity for another unique wedding reception idea. Give your guests a chance to release all this pent up energy at a photo booth!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to a photo booth. You can hire someone to bring out a professional photo booth. But it’s just as easy to make your own — and will probably save you some cash.

Your Do It Yourself photo booth can be extremely simple. All you really need is a white sheet or one that fits well with the wedding colors. Drape the sheet over a branch or clothes line and viola! You now have a photo booth backdrop.

Next you’re going to need some kind of camera. You can use any camera with a timer and a tripod. Just make sure you also have a short list of instructions for your less technologically savvy guests to follow.

There are several apps that you can get for your phone or iPad such as Simple Booth or My Photobooth. Download the app on one person’s phone (maybe the bride or groom’s since they likely won’t be using it much that night anyway) and set it up on a tripod.

Or just invest in a selfie stick and guests can use their own phone.

Then encourage guests to share their photos on Instagram with a unique hashtag so the bride and groom can browse through all the shenanigans they missed.

If you are able to get your hands on a Polaroid camera, have a clothes line set up so guests can hang their pictures. Have guests sign their pictures and then put them in an album. Tad-ah! This unique wedding reception idea is entertainment and a guest book all in one.

Be sure you don’t forget to leave some silly props at your photo booth.

You can choose props that fit in with the theme of the wedding and the color scheme. Or you can choose wacky props like over-sized sunglasses and fake mustaches.

Sometimes it can be a good idea to include seating as part of the photo booth. A vintage chair or couch can add a lot of visual interest and elegance. It can also cut down on how much you feel the need to decorate the photo booth.

Meals on Wheels

It’s hard to avoid serving dinner at a wedding — nothing unique about that.

But that typically means one of two things. Either all the guests are served the same mass prepared meal or there is a buffet of options that are usually cold by the time the last person gets their plate.

The solution to this is simple and is a great unique wedding reception idea to add some personality to the night.

Hire a few food trucks to park at your venue. Come up with a flat rate for them to stay for an hour or two no matter how much food they serve. That way your guests still won’t have to pay for their meal, but they have the freedom to choose what they would like to eat.

Your guests are sure to appreciate the added variety food trucks offer.

You can even hire dessert food trucks or an ice cream truck and nix the typical dessert bar or large wedding cake. Instead the bride and groom can order a personal cake to share and/or shove in each other’s faces.

Table numbers

When it comes to decor, unique wedding reception ideas are seemingly endless. One fun and easy idea stands out among the crowd, however, because it is also extremely versatile and functional: table numbers.

Whether you opt for assigned seating or let your guests sit with whoever they choose, numbering the tables can be helpful so that guests can find each other.

Instead of Auntie Ruth telling Little Timmy to fetch her purse from “that table in the back, over to the left, and a little in front of the bar,” you can simply reference the table number.

One idea is for the table numbers to feature a picture of the bride on one side and a groom on the other. The age they are in the picture correlates with the table number. For example, table number four would have a picture of the bride at age four on one side and a picture of the groom at age four on the other.

This unique wedding reception idea works best if there are enough tables to reach the bride and groom’s current age. But it can be adapted to fit the needs of weddings large and small.

For the wanderlusting couple, the table numbers can represent all the places they’ve visited. One side can be made to look like the sign at an airport terminal. The other side can have a picture from that destination.

If the bride and groom have gone to San Francisco, for example, the front of the place card would have the airport abbreviation “SFO” and the table number would be the “gate number.” On the back might be a picture of the happy couple with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

Give the kids’ table a boost

Even parents of young kids want to be able to enjoy the wedding, but sometimes they aren’t able to find a babysitter. Or maybe that little someone is also a special someone — after all, what would a wedding be without those adorable flower girls and ring bearers?

So give the kids something to do that will give mom and dad a chance to hit the dance floor. By picking crafts that don’t require scissors or glue, you cut down on the supervision the crafting kiddos will need.

Kid-friendly craft tables is a great unique wedding reception idea for those weddings where the whole family is invited.

You can keep it simple by setting up a coloring station. Scatter some coloring books or roll out big pieces of butcher paper for crafting of larger proportions.

It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that kids don’t always color inside the lines. Crayons or colored pencils are less likely to end up ruining that adorable little dress or button up shirt. So leave the markers at home and let the kids have at it.

You can also have the kids color paper plate crowns.

Most of the prep can be done ahead of time. Fold each plate in half and cut from the center to the outer rim so that you have eight triangles with the tips all meeting in the center.

Once the plates are colored, fold the triangles up and you have your crown.

For the older kids, set out origami paper and some instructions on how to make some of the more basic shapes like an origami jumping frog or an origami heart.

The cherry on top

Don’t just let your guests amble off into the night once the fun is over. Leave them with something they (and you) will always remember.

This unique wedding reception idea, like many others, is customization. You might end the night with a slide show of all the pictures from the photo booth or you could arrange for a fireworks show. You could hand out glow sticks and turn off all the lights for a final dance.

Get creative and make your wedding night a magical one with these unique wedding reception ideas.