Reception Trends

Trends change by definition.  So it is no surprise that once again some new things are trending for wedding receptions. Here are a few of the best reception ideas that keep resurfacing in the world of wedding planning right now.

The best the locals have to offer- Many engaged couples are choosing to focus on what is available locally. Philadelphia weddings may feature cheesesteaks and softy pretzels. Weddings in Washington State may use bowls of apples as centerpieces.  Not only is this a beautiful and fun salute to what the area has to offer, it is often cheaper. Local items will be less expensive than imported when it comes to such things because they don’t have to be transported.

Cocktails anyone?- Having a cocktails only reception can be chic and trendy.  Finger foods and cocktails can help create an intimate and relaxed setting. Adding a cigar bar and lounge music or big band music will tie it all together.

Focusing on desserts- Gone are the days of just cake as dessert at a wedding reception. More and more couples are leaving their menus at basic or local food choices and focusing their attention on the desserts.  Tarts, crème brulee, cupcakes, s’mores, ice cream bars and so many other dessert ideas are quickly taking hold as a focal point in wedding receptions.

A surprise last course- Most receptions have dinner and then dancing until the evening ends (or the after party begins). Surprising guests with some late night snacks to wind down the evening is an idea that is gaining popularity. Desserts like ice cream and hot cocoa are a popular choice. So are finger foods like wings and french fries with all the fixings.  It doesn’t matter what the treat is, guests will appreciate not having to stop for a late night bite to eat.

Ditch the buffets and plates- Family style table service is becoming increasingly popular at weddings right now. Food is served in larger serving trays at each table as it would be at a family meal. Seating everyone at one long family style table works wonderfully as well.  For larger weddings, have multiple long tables and leave seats open at each one for the bride and groom to make rounds (after they have eaten of course!). The bride and groom can also have one course at each table.

Personalization that isn’t cookie cutter- Personalization looks like it is here to stay.  Some creative couples are finding ways to personalize even further.  Instead of having one set of cocktail napkins personalized with their names and wedding information, some couples have three or four different sets personalized. Each set may have a trivia fact or question about the couple or have a different favorite quote of the bride and groom printed on it.

Getting guests excited- Having the chef on hand to make the food at stations in the reception can get guests really excited about the reception menu.  After all, there are restaurants devoted to the concept that are thriving.  Stir fry, sushi and tacos are all great ideas to have made right in front of the guest.  Making sure the person making the food knows a lot about the food is also a great tip.  Have them spew some fun facts about the origins of the food, preparation tips and other tid bits for your guests to discuss and be amazed by while their food is prepared. Grilled food is also a good idea for these stations and guests can order burgers or steaks to order.

All eyes on the chalkboard Chalkboards are becoming a popular prop at weddings.  They are being uses as menu boards, table numbers, seating charts and so much more. Items with a chalkboard surface are also being used in do it yourself photo booths. Chalkboards aren’t the simple rectangular slates they used to be.  They are available in lots of shapes and sizes. There is even a paint that can convert ordinary surfaces into a useable chalkboard surface.

Table names, not numbers- Couples are opting to use unconventional ways to identify tables. Naming them after birds or local attractions is increasingly popular as is naming them to fit the theme.  Naming tables after places the bride and groom have lived or traveled is also popular.

Open bars, without alcohol– Unconventional bars are also trending.  Coffee and espresso bars are a popular choice. Tea bars and other choices are available as well. Appropriate alcohols are also easily integrated into these bars if desired.

Cake and punch- Cake and punch receptions may have been revived to start saving money in a down economy but they have become very gay affairs.  Cake and punches in a garden party with a live band or amazing DJ can be amazing choices for a wedding reception to remember.

Unusual entertainment- Belly dancers, singers, magicians and other theme oriented entertainment are great ideas and will give the wedding guests something to talk about.