3 alternative wedding reception ideas to shake things up

Wow your wedding guests at your reception

You've had years to think about turning your wedding dream into a reality. If you and your intended are the kind who like to opt for the unique in whatever you do, here are some cool ideas to try at your wedding reception.

3 alternative wedding reception ideas to shake things up

1. Guest welcome

Ditch the guest book altogether and set up a video booth so guests can record their sign-ins. Put a teleprompter sheet near the camera with suggestions on what to say, such as name, how they know the couple, where they're from and any good wishes. Have a camera usher help with the less technologically-inclined.

Add a touch of class by using wedding ushers to seat guests instead of escort cards. Give each usher an alphabetized list of guests and where they're seating. This is a great way to get more members of your large family involved in your special day.

2. Table effects

Name each table after an important place in your courtship, such as "Gramercy Park" or "Johnson Circle." Add a tent card explaining the significance, such as "We first met here while walking our dogs" or "Our first place together was here: a one-bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor without an elevator."

Personalize each table by including old photos of you, either together or as singles, with the guests seated around that table. Go informal with a simple pile of snapshots or get fancy by putting the pics in frames or an album.

Avoid fights over who gets the floral centrepiece. Instead of using a massive bouquet in the middle of the table, set up several bud vases instead. Put a stem or two in each one so every guest can take home a part of the decor.

3. Post-meal fun

Skip the bouquet and garter toss, which may embarrass the singles. Instead, hand these traditional wedding items to the couple in the room with the longest marriage. Have them dispense a few wise words to the crowd about their relationship.

Pack the dance floor by asking each guest to write down three of their favourite songs. Hand the list to the DJ, so every song he plays will appeal to at least one person.

Set up a candy buffet that you reveal only after the meal. Guests can pick and choose their own wedding favours or opt out of them altogether. Have them store their choices in convenient Chinese food containers decorated according to your reception theme.

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