Eight Alternative Wedding Reception Ideas

The international wedding planning experience is filled with a wide array of flower, decor, food, and layout options that aren’t always accessible to couples planning a wedding stateside. For the brides looking to wow guests with unique reception elements that shake up those old age traditions, we have countless ways to get creative! Here are eight alternative wedding reception ideas to match your one-of-a-kind personality, and leave your guests with a memorable wedding experience.

Some say if you’ve seen one wedding you’ve seen them all, but you are not one to take that lying down.  At your wedding, you want to wow your guests with unique reception elements that shake up those age-old traditions that feel played out.  Great news is there are countless ways to get creative with your reception and surprise even the most wedding-weary guests.  Here are eight alternative wedding reception ideas that can match your one-of-a-kind personality and leave your guests smiling.

1. Switch up the menu.

Sit down dinners offering a meat and seafood option are pretty standard, but might not satisfy the desire to stand out. What about a brunch styled reception that allows you to get creative with the menu selections? If you aren’t into the formal sit down dinner idea, a fun alternative is a “grazing” menu with food stations set up all night or endless hors d’oeuvres passed around by servers. Guests will have a blast trying different delicacies and enjoy the innovative, relaxed structure.

2. Keep the party going with late night snacks.

The feasting doesn’t have to end after cake.  Late night snacks give your guests a break from dancing and a chance to mingle.  The best part? Late night snacks are the perfect opportunity to showcase your food favorites, and immerse your guests into the local cuisine. If your favorite snack is chips and dip, set up a guacamole station. Better yet, brainstorm ideas with your Weddings by Funjet Concierge how to provide a food truck on the sidelines at the reception to really spice up the night.  Tacos after a night of dancing and drinking equals pure happiness.

3. Incorporate interactive stations.

Engage your guests with unique things for them to do at the reception, like a cigar-rolling station in the Dominican Republic or a karaoke station with reggae options only in Jamaica. Encouraging your loved ones to try something new in your wedding destination is a great icebreaker for family and friends meeting each other for the first time, and will make the best of stories.

4. Bring in special performers.

The animation teams throughout Mexico and the Caribbean are truly talented, and are top performers in their fields. From belly dancers, magicians, fire dancers, and caricature artists, hire an end of the night performance for a special touch. Everyone loves a good show!

5. Set up board games and outdoor games.

Not everyone loves to dance. Offer up board games or trivia at high-top cocktail tables, or cornhole and ladder toss to give guests an alternative to standing around the bar and mingling. Start your friends and family off with some friendly competition, another great way for them to bond.

6. Make your wedding guest book special.

We love the idea of a world map wedding guest book where guests pin their names to places they traveled from to get to your wedding. We have even seen couples get creative by requesting guests to pin their names where they think the honeymoon should be. To step it up even further, reserve a photo booth so guests can take their pictures first and add their photos to a wedding board. Treasured items like this at your wedding are great decor items to display in your home, rather than collecting dust in the back of the closet.

7. Replace traditional wedding tropes with games.

Not a fan of the typical garter toss, bouquet toss, and first dances? Replace them with games that will keep guests entertained, and won’t feel cookie-cutter. Swap the garter toss for the “Shoe Game” where you and your spouse have to answer a series of questions about yourselves by raising either your shoe or your spouse’s depending on which of you the question describes. For the full game instructions, click here. Ditch the first dance and challenge your spouse to a lip-sync battle, all hail the lovely Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum for this inspiration.

8. Toss the wedding cake (not literally).

Whoever decided wedding dessert should be cake certainly didn’t see the creative donut dessert tables that are taking the wedding scene by storm. There are many other creative ideas you can substitute for cake, like a sundae bar to beat the heat and satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. Throw in unique toppings like coconut shavings, caramel corn, or pop rocks to separate the reception from old traditions.

Are you ready to plan your destination wedding and don’t know where to start? The Weddings by Funjet team is here for you to give you the run down on what to expect when planning an international wedding, and will answer any questions you may have. Click here to submit an inquiry to our team today!


Content Coordinator

Megan was recently married to the man of her dreams! Her insight into what it feels like to be a blushing bride paired with her experience in the travel industry gives couples and their guests a personalized experience from start to finish. Megan contributes her best tips, inspiration and first-hand experiences on the blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *