Some may gasp at the mention of an outdoor wedding reception with its inherent risks. Yet, an outdoor wedding reception is an opportunity to get inspired and unleash your creativity. Having such a reception opens up all sorts of fantastic possibilities to impress your guests. It can make your event remarkable and fun. We have put together 10 ideas to get you started:
10 Unique Outdoor Wedding Reception Ideas
1. On location
One of the main benefits of an outdoor wedding reception is that you can choose a unique and beautiful location. Your guests can soak up the atmosphere outdoors. Being outside gives the event a relaxed feel. Both guests and staff have more freedom to move around.
Popular outdoor locations include the beach, a riverbank, vineyard, farm, local park, headland, golf club, country club, or even a friend’s backyard if they have a unique outdoor space. It should not take long to find a venue once you have decided where you want to have the reception.
2. Fancy decorations
By having an outdoor event, you have more free reign to get creative with decorations. You are limited by various rules and safety restrictions in an indoor venue. You can really have fun outside.
How about spreading paper lanterns throughout the space, perhaps adding some bunting, fairy lights or candles to adorn trees and other greenery. Silk banners and other fabrics can look classy and add lots of color to the scene.
What better way to impress your guests and make them feel welcome than to have greeters meet them on arrival. Some venues include this but this is an excellent and subtle touch to add an air of professionalism to your event.
Greeters will typically meet your guests when they arrive. They will show them where to put the gifts and sign the guestbook. It is a simple touch and a great way of removing any anxiety and uncertainty guests may have. It will instantly put them at ease so that they can enjoy the occasion.
Everyone loves games, either watching or participating. So, this idea is good for both adults and kids. Since you are going outside you will likely to have plenty of space to play with. You can designate an area just for the games.
Some game ideas you could try include treasure hunt, ball games, ring toss, croquet, charades, blindfold games, and badminton. There is not much you cannot do with a decent amount of space and a bit of imagination!
5. Celebrating nature
Some outdoor wedding receptions cover and clear the area but why not embrace nature and incorporate it in your event. Adorn the bases of furniture and the marquee with pine boughs. Besides, you can spread petals in the aisle. You can also hand out garlands of daisies or leaves to the guests.
6. Dress with a theme
If you want to try something really adventurous, pick a fun theme for your reception. Having a theme is a wonderful way to achieve a cohesive feel and transform the occasion into something really unique. Some great ideas for this are hollywood theme, winter theme, holiday theme or a time-period theme. For added effects you might like to choose the venue that can best complement and incorporate your chosen theme.
7. Different styles of foods
How do you make your food stands out from everything that’s been done many times before? If you are going for a wedding theme how about matching your food with it. Taking a beach theme as an example, you could have tropical canapes, pineapples, fresh cut fruits, lobster medallions and citrus grilled vegetable skewers.
A popular idea in recent years is having unique food stations to separate different styles and dishes. This allows you to get really creative in showcasing the dishes to wow your guests. You might have separate stations for Mediterranean dishes, children’s food, carving dishes, seafood, desserts and ice-creams.
8. Fancy cocktails
Another great way to make your outdoor reception stand out is to have fancy cocktails being made up and served outside by experienced professionals. If you want to control your budget a bit you can come up with a set menu of special cocktails. They can follow the wedding theme. ‘Something Blue’, ‘Blushing Bride’, ‘Tuxedo’, ‘Diamond Martini’ and ‘Wedding Cake’ are some of the ideas and options.
You could even serve pre-reception cocktails. It is a great way to get everyone in the mood for having fun. If you have ushers or waiters, you can serve the drinks as soon as your guests arrive.
9. Funky favors
There are literally 1000’s of different wedding favors you could offer your guests. The good news is they can suit any budget. From colored candy favors to glasses, napkins, bags, bath and soap. Many of them can be personalized too. This kind of touches can really make a difference both on the day and in your guests memories. It can a smile on everyone’s face.
10. Live music
you can always hire a DJ but how about something a little different to shake things up and make your wedding reception the talk of the town? From opera performers to bands and local celebrities, having live music adds a visceral and evocative element to your event. Your choice of music should be an expression of your own feelings and lends a special weight to the occasion that your guests will appreciate and enjoy.
When you are organizing your outdoor wedding reception, remember to consider the weather and how it would affect your event. Before you go ahead and book the venue, check if they have a backup function room or perhaps a marquee to protect guests from the rain or heat. This will also provide you with peace of mind on the day. You can carry on the party when it rains.
Be sure to have fun with these outdoor wedding reception ideas. Most venues will be used to cater for a diversity of parties no matter how outrageous!