Non-traditional Reception

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
2878 posts
Sugar bee

@BlushingBride3814:  I could have written everything you said.

We’re going for non traditional ceremony and reception too. And we’re sticking to close family mainly, that brings us somewhere between 50 and 60 people including ourselves and probably our 2 godsons (who will be almost 3 and 7 years old).

Ceremony : no walking down the aisle as there won’t be any aisle, we want our guests surrounding us. We haven’t decided on the celebrant yet, but it will be someone from our friends or family, and the ceremony will be civil. We’re still debating if we’re doing the ring exchange. We already have e-rings and won’t buy another set of rings for the wedding, so we’re not sure it’s pertinent to exchange rings we already wear. FI thinks for the symbolic and romantic aspect of it, it would be a good idea. We’ll see !

The for reception, we will not hire a DJ since we both hate clubbing and that kind of music. We were thinking game night (poker, table games). Not ”casino”, but casual and relaxed, as we want people from both families to mingle (ex.: in teams). I’m going to follow this thread as I am interested in other ideas as well. 

We’re thinking about jazz/blues/classic rock music on Ipod, or hiring a small jazz band. It really depends on our budget and if we’re able to save enough. 

I asked my uncle to play some accordion during cocktail hour. It’s part of the best family memories I have from childhood : my grandfather or uncle playing happy songs on the accordion, while we seated by the fire outside. There will be a fire too, I thought it would be special and bring joy to our guests to share that little piece of memory with them. 🙂

Post # 4
10904 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@BlushingBride3814:  Would you consider hiring a local theatre group to perform a “Who Dunnit” mystery that your guests would work together to help solve?

I’ve attended two major (but non-wedding related) events where this was done, and people seemed to really enjoy it.  At one of the events, the actors actually attended the hors d’oeuvres hour IN character, interacting with guests and dropping clues along the way.  It was a lot of fun!

Post # 8
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@BlushingBride3814: Small weddings are wonderful! We had 35 guests, but included a lot of “traditional” elements.

What about doing a tasting menu paired with wines and making the food the entertainment?  A 6 or 8 course meal with people actually taking the time to enjoy the food and talk.  You and FI could move to a different table for each course so you get to visit with everyone. 

Post # 9
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We are not big on dancing so I too have been trying to figure out what to do.  We decided we are going to have “games night”… Or at least this is what we are trying to convince people is a good idea ( we are not completely footing the bill so we are trying to keep parents happy too). I was thinking of having different games at different tables and just have everyone mingle. 

Post # 10
2460 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We had under 40 people and we rented out a high end restaurant. It was amazing, the food was delicious and the whole night was so much fun!

Post # 11
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@BlushingBride3814:  We are TWINS! I had the exact same epiphany! I was planning a big 140 person wedding (hadn’t put down any deposits yet, thank goodness!)….and a few days ago we scratched the whole thing and are running off to Massachusettes with a guest list of 35 to get married at a butterfly conservatory 🙂 So happy you found a plan that really makes you happy! 🙂

Post # 13
200 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@BlushingBride3814:  We’re booking at the Magic Wings Conservatory in South Deerfield. If you google them some wedding photography comes up and it looks amazing! Here’s the random couple I stalked that made me fall in love with the venue–


The lady there that I’ve been talking to has been super nice! We’ll probably do the ceremony there and a dinner somewhere afterwards as a reception. We want to have a 1st dance and those sorts of things, but will probably cut a lot of the other traditional reception stuff like bouquet toss/garter throw….I am SUPER excited about it! We’re going to have our mini-destination wedding in Massachusetts and come home to Maryland and throw a BIG casual picnic sort of party for whoever wants to come a few weeks later! Let me know what you decide! 🙂

Post # 15
2070 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

@BlushingBride3814:  Have you thought about having your reception outdoors? We had a suuuper casual outdoor wedding and it was so much fun, and such a beautiful place. We set up lots of lawn games, like croquet and cornhole and giant jenga, and everyone had some much fun strolling around on the lawn, playing games. It’s also a pretty cheap way to entertain people! I had wanted to do some games too, like tug-of-war and potato-sack races, but didnt’ have enough time to get those organized.

A lot of our guests commented that they had never been to an outdoor wedding before – most people were used to the church/receptional hall or hotel/country club wedding.

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