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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Connelly

Unique Wedding Ideas (non-traditional)

When planning a wedding and reception, there are many options for music and entertainment. While some couples opt for traditional wedding reception ideas, others seek unique and non-traditional opportunities to make their reception stand out. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most creative and exciting ways to make your wedding reception more your style.

Wedding photo booth photo with the Kardashian effect
Looking for unique wedding ideas? Try a custom exposure for your photo booth captures.

1. Live music and performances.

Live music and performances are among the most popular non-traditional options for wedding receptions. There are a wide variety of options, from string quartets to jazz bands to DJs. Couples can even consider hiring a professional dance group or performer to entertain guests during the reception. For example, a burlesque performer can put on a show that will leave guests in awe, while a live caricature artist can create personalized portraits of guests on the spot.

2. Interactive food and drink stations

Another non-traditional option that is gaining popularity is interactive food and drink stations. Instead of the typical buffet-style dinner, couples can opt for food stations that allow guests to customize their own meals or even make their own cocktails. For example, a taco station with various toppings and sauces or a DIY cocktail bar with different spirits, mixers, and garnishes can be a fun and unique way to keep guests entertained while they eat and drink. Be forewarned, I’ve seen a few guests take liberty with making drinks that might be more suited for a college party instead of a wedding.

3. Lawn games and activities

For couples who want to create a more relaxed and casual atmosphere at their reception, lawn games and activities are a great option. Croquet, cornhole, giant Jenga, and other lawn games are easy to set up and can provide hours of entertainment for guests. Couples can even set up a photo booth with a more stylized capture, like a monochromatic exposure. Guests love the uniqueness of the experience. My friends at SRC Rentals in Grass Valley have many great lawn games you can rent for your wedding.

4. Silent Disco

Silent discos are a relatively new trend quickly gaining popularity in the wedding industry. Instead of a traditional dance floor with loud music, guests are provided with wireless headphones that allow them to choose between three styles of music. Your DJ is one channel rocking a particular style, and you can run Spotify on the other two, with straight 80s on one and modern hip hop on the other. This creates a unique and intimate experience where guests can dance to their own beat without disturbing other guests. It's also an excellent option for outdoor receptions or venues with noise restrictions. Curious about a silent disco? Check out my page HERE.

5. Alternative lighting options

Lighting can play a huge role in setting the mood and atmosphere of a wedding reception. Instead of traditional lighting options, couples can opt for more unique and non-traditional options, such as neon lights or string lights. For example, a neon sign with your initials or wedding date can be a fun and modern addition to the reception space. String lights can create a romantic and whimsical atmosphere, especially when paired with candles and other soft lighting options. Check out my friends at SacTown Neon. They made my sign!

6. Surprise elements

Surprise elements can add an extra level of excitement and entertainment to a wedding reception. For example, couples can hire a flash mob to perform during the reception. Another fun idea is having a surprise performer, such as a comedian or magician, entertain guests during dinner or night.

7. Late-night snacks and treats

After hours of dancing and celebrating, guests often need a late-night snack or treat. Instead of the traditional wedding cake or dessert bar, couples can opt for more unique and non-traditional options, such as a donut wall, a s'mores station, or a popcorn bar. These options can be a fun and delicious way to keep guests fueled and energized throughout the night.

Overall, your wedding is about your style. Don’t feel pressured to have a seven-tier cake if you love donuts. (Who doesn’t love donuts?)


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