Wedding Reception Trends – Do’s and Don’ts

The Do’s & Don’t of Wedding Reception Trends & Ideas

When it comes to planning your wedding day, there are big picture items and little picture items. We’ve talks about a lot of the little picture items, lie wedding gown trends, entertainment trends, shoe trends, and ceremony aisle ideas, so let’s chat about how they fit into a big picture item, like your wedding reception! You might be surprised, or pleased, about some of the do’s and don’t that are on the rise in wedding reception trends.

Today, you are really thinking about making your guest comfortable and about having a super fun and enjoyable evening, especially at your reception. When it comes to the wedding reception you truly want to make the most of it. So here are some of the hottest wedding reception trends.

Wedding Childcare

wedding babysitter, wedding childcare, 2013 wedding reception trends

You want all you’re guest to enjoy your wedding day with you. From the wee ones to the elders, you want them to be comfortable and party into the early hours of the morning.

Do: Make the night just right for everyone, consider hiring wedding sitters or wedding nanny for your guests with small children.

Don’t: Worry about guests not attending because they have youngsters

Do: Allow parents to enjoy your reception by having someone else is looking after their kids

Do: Let the kids have their own “reception” to hangout in with all sorts of games and items to entertain them that a “boring old reception” won’t!

 Good Night Stations

Good Night Stations, also known as Late Night Snacks- (but I’m actually a bit more partial to this term), CONTINUES to be a HOT wedding reception trend.  Local Michigan boutique hotel, Royal Park Hotel, has whipped this one into a FABULOUS shape.

Do: Present your good night station in a way that is visually stunning.

Do: Provide guests with super yummy options to satisfy a sweet tooth or a late night pizza craving.

wedding reception trend 2013 royal park hotel rochester michigan snack station Don’t:  Forget your guests at the end of the night.  Send them home with “doggie bags” of tasty treats.  It is a wonderful way to end the wedding reception and your guests will be sure to love it.

Don’t: Forget to check out these additional late night food snack stations or good night station goodies here.

Reception Lounge

black and white wedding reception trends ideas 2013 lounge rrivre works seen on

I saw a lot of sitting areas and lounges during 2012 weddings, but I expect to see an even BIGGER gravitation to creating a night club like atmosphere for your guests.  Whether bold and patterned, world culture or vintage inspired, lounges create intimate spaces away from the dance floor for your guest to mingle and relax.

Don’t: Forget the groom in your lounge planning.  For a groom, a lounge is a perfect location to corral the guys with favorite microbrews and finger food.

Do: Set up your photo booth, kissing booth, boogie heads, table games and build-your-own drink stations in or around your lounge area.

Don’t: Set up your lounge too close to the dance floor, guest seating or dinning area.  You want to create a space that has a separate, quieter area for your guest to relax and mingle, or a mini man cave for the men.

Entertainment for guests that don’t want to dance

wedding reception trends ideas for non dancing guest 2013

Not all wedding guests like to dance, so setting up a lounge space for them is a perfect wedding reception trend.

Do: Include fun ideas like bag races, contests, piñatas, hula hoops, been bag throwing!

Don’t: Be afraid of being a little different.  Your non-dancing and dancing guests won’t forget what fun they had at your wedding.

Bar scene

wedding reception trends ideas 2013 champagne sculpture champagne bar royal park hotelThemed bars are hot.  Let’s be honest for a minute… People go to wedding ceremonies to celebrate love and two people making a commitment to each other. BUT, and this is a BIG BUT, they attend the reception to let loose and have fun.

No booze = Angry Guests

Are you still with me?  Don’t fool yourself.  If they’re enjoying themselves, they are sneaking out to the car to partake in their personal stash of libations!

Truly Designing your wedding takes every element into account, including HOW to present and display your alcohol!  Try a tequila and cigar bar for the groom and a champagne bar for the bride.

Do: Create bars designed to reflect the drinks, such as an ice block vodka bar or a white tufted champagne bar.

Mini champagne bottles

Do: It is a celebration, right! Mini champagne bottles make a great mini toast or option to let guest mix-their-own drink with optional mixers.

wedding reception trends ideas 2013 mini champagne bar bottles

Late night tequila & cigar bar

Do: Hand out mini shots and tacos on the dance floor to keep guests moving and grooving. Find a smoke friendly area and create a man cave for the groom and his guests that won’t disturb the rest of your guests.

wedding reception trends ideas 2013 mini tequila bar for the groom

wedding reception trends ideas 2013 groom's cigar bar

Don’t: Opt for a cash bar.  Finances may be tight, but it is always a bad wedding idea to expect guest to bring extra money to your wedding.  It might take a little more finessing of the budge or creative drink combinations, but there are lots of ways to make sure your guests have a happy buzz all night.

Ok, now it’s your turn.  I want to hear from you.  What do you think of my 2013 wedding reception trends and ideas?  Which one(s) would you like to incorporate on your FABULOUS wedding day?  I’m all ears? Leave me a comment below or on our Facebook Wedding Design Studio page! Tweet me!

  • skeptic

    I’m a little confused about this “VIP lounge” trend. I recently went to a large wedding (around 200) as a friend of the bride’s family. I could see a separate area apart from the reception – couches, a bar, a dance area. That’s where the bride/groom spent the entire evening with their friends partying. I was more than a little miffed that the “old people” reception was considered too lame for the young couple and their hip friends to even bother attending. A lot of our friends’ kids are getting married over the next few years – we’re going to stop attending and probably won’t send gifts. This was the rudest thing I’ve ever seen.

  • Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi

    Sorry to hear about your experience as well! The intent is not to separate from the “old people” rather to create another environment that is not at “formal” as sitting around a table, a space that is more relaxed, like being in your home.

    Clearly the bride and groom weren’t attentive to their all guests, but it sounds like this may have been the case either way, since they didn’t even take the time to visit the table. I HIGHLY encourage my couples to visit tables during dinner, this way they are able to chat with all their guests, grab impromptu photos and such that a formal receiving line doesn’t serve as well.

    You’ve made a GREAT point, one that I will be certain to talk about in future lounge posts! THANKS!

  • Robin Rue

    My sister had her bridal shower last summer and I did a 20′s/flapper theme. Everyone loved it.

  • skeptic

    If everyone invited to the reception can’t fit into the “lounge,” then by definition it’s elitist and exclusionary. The brides need to get over their preciousness.

  • Pam W

    Great tips! I’m going to show this to my daughter, I think she would love the “late night snacks” at her wedding that is coming up!

  • Heather Lawrence

    Great tips! We have a while to go before we will be attending any weddings.
    But ya never know!!

  • Debbie Denny

    Great ideas. I love the outdoor lounge area.

  • Lexie Lane

    I’ve never thought about a reception for the kids. Wish we did at my wedding. I know people would have had more fun. Although it was already really good :)

  • Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi

    DEFINITELY! It’s a great alternative to the “adult only” reception which cuts guests list and excludes people who don’t want to attend if they can’t bring the kids. But is the Perfect alternative to make kids and parents happy!

  • Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi

    Thanks Debbie! I’m a big fan of multiple spaces!

  • Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi

    Thanks Heather! You’re right, you never know when you’ll have someone you can even help with a small idea :)

  • Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi

    Fantastic! Hope she has fun with the late night snacks!

  • Lia Moore, Full Circle Eventi

    I love setting the mood with a time period. Great way to embrace elements of style that you wouldn’t normally gravitate to, but think are beautiful, like fringe and pearls!

  • Mama to 5 Blessings

    I have never heard of wedding sitters before. Great tips.

  • Lois Alter Mark

    So many fantastic ideas here. Where were you when I got married?!

  • Amy Desrosiers

    I have never heard of wedding sitters, but I think it is a great idea!

  • Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

    For some reason Ice Sculptures tend to always be a better idea in theory, they melt so fast!

  • A Dash of Sanity

    I love all of these suggestions, sharing this over twitter to my friends who may need it :)

  • Danielle

    I LOVE these ideas!! Especially the ideas for the kids and the photo booth too.

  • Elspeth

    Great ideas. I dig the Good Night Stations. I can see this as prefect for almost every wedding – even if it’s just pre-packaged salty snacks to soak up the booze.

  • Kim Yuhl

    Childcare – Brilliant! I really love these ideas. Weddings today are so different than the weddings of my day. Of course I bucked all trends and eloped to a destination before destination weddings was even a thing. :-) Great post, Lia!

  • Camesha

    I so wish I had read this list before I got married almost seven years ago! I think child care is a great idea. I’ll admit, I didn’t see the value pre-kids. Hindsight, great idea.

  • Sonia Singh

    great creative ideas.. love it!