8 Wedding Reception Ideas for a Night You’ll Never Forget | Colorado Weddings


wedding reception ideas

Looking for ways to make your wedding day more memorable? Think outside the box with these 8 wedding reception ideas that will have you and guests laughing all evening long. From keepsake memoirs to hilarious dance routines, these are easy (and affordable) ways to elevate your wedding experience.

handwritten vows; wedding reception ideas

1. Write Your Own Vows

Whether you say them aloud to each other in front of your guests or wait until later, taking time to write heartfelt vows to each other will help you focus on what’s most important during it all. It’s so easy to get caught up in the planning and day-of excitement, but pause a moment to cherish each other. They also serve as a memorable keepsake you can look back on over the years. 

signature drink ideas for wedding

2. Icebreakers + Games

Liven things up and break the ice with a few lawn or table games. Guests can play if they wish, or they can simply mix and mingle during cocktail hour. Games are great if you have unacquainted friends and family you want to bring together.

Wedding Reception Icebreaker Ideas:

  • Wedding guest scavenger hunt
  • I Spy
  • Wedding Mad Libs
  • How well do you know the bride & groom?
  • Lawn games—cornhole, washers, ring/ladder toss, etc.
  • Oversized checkers
  • “Have you ever?…” icebreaker cards (PG version)

The Party Planner Shop on Etsy has several examples and printable games.

3. Trivia Night

Before the night gets going, break the ice with a round of trivia led by the DJ. The key here is to keep the game short—just long enough to get people involved and engaged, but not so long that they get bored. A couple rounds of trivia is a great way to transition between activities without losing guests.

4. Themed Photobooth with Props

Always wanted to see if your dad can rock sequins or a mustache? Make him dress up for the photo booth (it’s your wedding day, after all…). Photo booths provide lots of laughs and entertainment—and you’re left with the proof!

Photo Booth Theme Ideas:

  • Nashville/Elvis
  • Red Carpet
  • Fiesta
  • Travel
  • Tropical/Beach
  • Glamour
  • Theater
  • Movie/Film
  • Wild West
  • Roaring 20s/Great Gatsby
wedding reception ideas

5. Prioritize Food, Drinks, & Entertainment

While the day is certainly all about you, the best way to make memories is to involve everyone. And the best way to help everyone have a good time is through good food, good drinks, and fun entertainment like a live band. However, you don’t have to offer full-course, plated meals if that’s not your thing. 

Get creative with: 

  • food trucks
  • local cuisine/catering
  • signature cocktails (bonus for if you give them “punny” names)
  • cultural food
  • wood-fired pizza
  • ice cream or dessert truck
  • build-your-own bowls (entrees or dessert)
  • taco, pretzel, or candy bar (any kind of bar!)

6. Start a Dance Off

These are best initiated organically—you can’t really force it if the energy isn’t there. But if the opportunity arises—and a couple drinks have been had—start a dance off with the wedding party and see if it’ll catch on. As you might imagine, you can’t get some priceless photos out of it (and hopefully no pulled hamstrings).

7. Interactive Guest Book

A guest book can be one of the best memoirs from your wedding day—if you let it! Here are a few fun ideas to get a guest book you’ll cherish forever:

  • Each guest attaches a polaroid to their note.
  • Ask for date night ideas.
  • Have guests jot down their most embarrassing marriage/dating moments. 
  • Ask guests for travel or book recommendations.
  • Ask for favorite quotes. 

Think outside the box to let your guests play an active and fun role in your wedding day. Bonus points if you can tie it into your wedding theme.

first dance ideas; wedding reception ideas

8. Choreographed routine

Ham it up by stopping mid-first-dance and transitioning into a hilariously choreographed routine. Go as serious or silly as you want—have it reflect your personality. Go modern hip-hop, impressive ballroom routine, or even level up with a Dancing with the Stars-inspired performance. If all eyes weren’t on you before, they will be now!

Visit the JM Blog for more wedding reception ideas.

John Moler is a Colorado Wedding Photographer who specializes in authentic, emotive images. I strive to tell your story through my lens so you can relive it for years to come. View recent weddings in my PORTFOLIO, get more INFORMATION, and BOOK YOUR WEDDING directly at

Meet John

I believe that every photo holds a million tiny stories, each remembered or encountered slightly differently. Ever since I was young, I've been fascinated by this connection between story and image.