If you don’t want cutting the cake - or doing the conga - to be the highlight of your wedding reception, be wowed by these amazing (and unusual) reception ideas, guaranteed to impress your guests.
- Get your guests behind a camera
If you love the idea of filming your big day, but you’re worried about the cost and the hassle, Shoot it Yourself (as seen on Dragon’s Den) could be the answer. It’s a simple – and brilliant – concept; your guests are given broadcast quality cameras along with some guidance (and inspiration) for using them. Then they will capture the magic of the day, rather than leaving the filming in a stranger’s hands. The professionally-edited results provide an exciting, insider record of your wedding that you’ll love watching for the rest of your lives.
- Say Cheese
A fabulously fun twist on the photo booth, Wonderscene set up a mini photographic studio at your reception. You can choose from four individual themes (including ‘All That Glitters’, for the red carpet lovers, and ‘All That's British’, with a traditional fete backdrop) and a huge selection of fancy dress accessories to make the photos even more unique and dazzling. Your guests will be queuing up to dress-up and pose, and you’ll receive a DVD and a guestbook of the images as an everlasting memento.
- Now you see it...
One of the best ways to entertain your guests (and help them get to know one another in the process) is by allowing them to share in some amazing entertainment – something they will talk about for years to come. Magic is a timeless and spellbinding option; everyone is wowed when an illusion takes place right before their eyes. Young magician Ed Sumner, a master of interactive, engaging and close-up magic, will make your wedding guests laugh, help them break the ice and amaze them with his performance art.
- Reach for the microphone
You don’t have to save your favourite song for the first dance; designed by Perfect Day Studios, ‘Marryoke’ is a brilliant and original entertainment idea. You and your husband learn the words to a classic song and then mime along to it at a time of your choosing during the reception - the guests will be stunned! Perfect Day shoot a cleverly directed video of your top pop moment, providing you with a fun memory, and the chance to be an extra special star on your wedding day.
- Fairground Attraction
A classic carousel adds some serious wow factor to any wedding. As well as a gorgeous addition to your photos (just think how beautiful you’ll look on the carousel in your wedding dress) guests of all ages will let their playful side come out as they step back in time and relive their childhoods. All you need is the permission of the venue and enough space; the rest is simple, old-fashioned enchantment.
- Sweet tooth
Vintage sweet bars have been hugely popular at weddings in recent years, and the latest twist in retro treats is a truly show-stopping idea courtesy of Ice Angels. At your reception, glamorous ladies in 1950s-inspired black and gold dresses will mingle amongst your guests offering them tiny ice cream cones. With award winning Maison des Sorbets and mini ice cream sundaes to choose from, your guests will be deliciously delighted - and impressed.
- Bang for your buck
Fireworks remain one of the most popular - and spectacular - ways to end your big day. Make the most of the moment by offering hot chocolate or warming mini snacks to your guests as they stand under the stars, being entertaining by a glittering, soaring display. Whether it lasts five minutes or 30, it is guaranteed to make an impact. And if you need advice or inspiration, get in touch with the Hitched Fireworks Team who can give you plenty of further information.
- Fly in on a helicopter
If a horse and cart is a little too Downton Abbey for your tastes, get the adrenaline pumping by travelling to your wedding reception in a helicopter. With Rise Helicopters you can land in a Robinson R44 (with enough room for two - including a wedding train) and the price includes one hour of flight time, so you can take in a stunning, once-in-a-lifetime view of your wedding venue and the surrounding area before amazing your guests with the most dramatic of entrances.
- What a character
Photos and film aren’t the only way to capture the magic of your day – or give your guests a very special keepsake. Whether he’s mingling at the drinks reception, or making a sketch of the bride before she glides down the aisle, caricaturist Spot On George who has drawn caricatures for many an A-List star, will add heaps of fun and originality to your wedding.
- On the buses
If you’re having children at the wedding (or if your guests are young at heart), a trip on the Squiggles Playbus will keep them wonderfully entertained. Based in Nottingham, this retired former school bus has been converted into a children’s soft play centre on wheels. With a drop slide, squiggles tree, crawl tunnel and ball pools, the bus is operated by a couple with young children who know exactly what it takes to wow your younger guests.