Theme-based. Picking your own theme can range from the very simple, such as choosing a “sunset” color scheme or decorating with a winter wonderland in mind; or it can dip into the grandiose, like organizing a masquerade ball or setting up a Hawaiian luau. Before you decide how you want to represent yourself to friends and family on this symbolic day, sit down with your fiancée and talk it through. What is your favorite season? Do you share any common interests like music, movies, art, or traveling? What do you most like to do in your spare time? Finding an approach that is meaningful to both of you will not only a provide a clever reception for your guests, but will allow you to celebrate your unique love in a profound way.
The casino. If you can’t have your wedding in Vegas, bring Vegas to your wedding! Renting casino games for your reception will definitely raise the stakes on your special day. Your guests will be able to play games like blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette. Hired dealers are especially helpful to those who don’t know how to play, so you don’t have to worry about only appealing to a gambling crowd. For added fun, you can sell poker chips for $1, $5, a quarter and cash them in to buy a dance with the bride or groom. (The profits can go toward the honeymoon.) Casino receptions are a recent growing trend, so many party supply shops now sell casino-themed favors and party goods. There are also many casino favor sites online like http://www.favorfavor.com/page/FF/CTGY/LasVegas. Personalized decks of cards, dice key chains, poker chips, mini-slot machine bubble gum dispenser, and scratch-off lottery tickets are some fun favor ideas!
Faux-carnival. Having your reception at an actual carnival would be ideal for a carnival-themed wedding. Share a romantic moment on the ferris wheel, catch great photo ops on the merry-go-round, and watch your guests have loads of fun winning prizes at game booths. Albeit a splendid idea, it just might not be an option. Don’t despair. You can capture the spirit of a carnival much more easily and a lot cheaper in your backyard or another outdoor setting. When renting tents, look for the white and yellow striped “Big Top”-style tent, instead of the conventional white wedding tent. Set up different stations and hire a mixture of watercolor artists, caricature artists, magicians, balloonists, and jugglers. Rent a photo booth with fun, wacky costumes for the guests to wear—they’ll get to keep the pictures, making a great souvenir from your wedding! Give your guests “tickets” to redeem at booths. This type of reception is especially great for children, but don’t underestimate the joy it will bring to adults of all ages, too!
Wedding days are supposed to be the happiest days of our lives, so try to make it special. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a new and exciting atmosphere that will resonate with you for years to come. Not to mention the killer photos you’ll have to share with the world afterward.