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UK wedding photographer

norfolk based but

loves to travel

relaxed and fun wedding photography


© 2019 Grace & the Heart Photography

  • Grace Hamilton

Fun Ideas for your Wedding Reception

So the ceremony is done, the confetti thrown and you've wrangled the crowd into a big group photo - now it's time for the reception. Eating. Drinking. Chatting. A LOT of chatting. So this time is perfect for organising something fun to entertain your guests - trust me the photos will look awesome, everyone will be having a BALL and it brings people out of their 'lets just chat in a corner' shell. After all the best parties are kids parties right? Cake + Games = FUN!

Here are a few ideas that I've photographed in the past few years and loved - from the super popular to the more unique. Everyone commented how much fun these all were at the time and it truly made a big difference to how unique and joyous the receptions were. Weddings can be a long day of standing around for everyone and often unique entertainment is overlooked in favour of just paying to have everyone there. Allocate a small slice of the budget and even some DIY skills to some of these ideas and you won't regret it.

Anything that reminds you of being a kid - from bouncy castles, space hoppers, connect 4, arcade games, pin the tail on the donkey. Some of these are so simple to set up at your reception and easy to source. Garden games have been hugely popular at weddings for a while now but try and think outside the box and make it relevant to you as a couple. Eg. You both love playing swing ball in the garden in summer - start a tournament at your wedding! Or you are obsessed with playing Mario Kart. Hook up a screen and a console and start the races. Bonus if you have children attending to keep them entertained but also extra bonus cos adults seriously need to remember how much fun being a kid was.

Drinking Games & Fun Food: Beer Pong, Shot Roulette, cocktail making, Ice cream trucks, marshmallow fire toasting pits - everyone loves to get involved with the days food and drink. Turn it into something people can get messy with for guaranteed laughs.

How about using your hobbies as inspiration? Maybe you love karaoke or salsa dancing? Or like one of my fab couples from last year who go to a drumming class every week - they organised their group to come and teach a workshop at their wedding so that everyone could get involved and play. A unique experience like this really showed what they were both passionate about in life and let their friends and family take part in something that they love.

Got some budget to spare? Push the boat out and make your whole reception a funfair. One of my all time favourite scenes in a movie is the ending of Grease. It's literally a carnival of fun! Have pies thrown in your face, bob for apples, hook a duck and if venue allows it then hire yourself a carousel or a ferris wheel. Better yet for those on tighter purse strings DIY something - set up hook a duck with a paddling pool and some crafted hooks on sticks. No matter the scale of the idea you can find some fab ways to bring it to life.

Dancefloor Entertainment

The party kicks off on the dancefloor with whatever awesome band or DJ you've hired - now the trick is keeping people on the floor after the first few songs. Get yourself some inflatable guitars to rock out with, have a salsa lesson or some (non cringey) group dances. So many different cultures have some amazing dance ideas that you could look into for inspiration. Some of the best dance floors I've photographed are guests who aren't afraid to look a little silly - give them the tools to be even more barmy. An amazing idea is musical bingo - give everyone a bingo sheet of songs and wait til someone gets a row or a full house. Guaranteed competitive dance offs will begin.

Photobooths are pretty common these days at weddings but their popularity isn't slowing down for a reason - they are mega fun and super easy to set up! It's not everyday you can get that hilarious picture of your nan in a moustache, right? Or get your parents dressed up as Elvis and Thor. Big, small or DIY - a Photo Booth makes a big impact on the evenings entertainment and everyone gets a momento of the day afterwards. For an extra special booth grab yourself a Fujifilm Instax camera and some film and get guests to pin their photos on a line round the room.

Last year I photographed Becs & Rob's gorgeous wedding and a true standout moment at their dinner was the quizzes they held for their guests. Each set of tables bonded together to try and win and it was an amazing talking point for their friends and families. I love a bit of healthy competition and this was a great way of showing off their fun personalities as teachers. This would suit a couple that LOVE a pub quiz too - if it's something you do together then why not have it on your wedding day. Bonus rounds can include quick fire questions on how well your guests know your relationship or even naming some of the destinations you've travelled to together. The possibilities are endless.

Inspiration can be anywhere for fun reception ideas - look at some of your fave kids parties from the past or events you've been to where you've done something memorable like a festival or fete.

A few more easy to organise ideas are: an Easter egg hunt, a cupcake/ gingerbread decorating table, glitter bars (I LOVE the idea of your guests all covered in glitter dancing the night away!)

Pimp your Prosecco, wedding pinatas, a balloon release, sparklers, sack races, welly hurling, face paint, a coconut shy, limbo on the dancefloor.

But above all make sure that you and your now spouse get to join in on the fun. Nothing says you wanna celebrate the start of this new chapter in life like chowing down on ice creams after winning that space hopper race.