Unorthodox Ideas For Reception Themes


Pretty much any wedding reception can be a great time. Whether you have a big crowd or a small one, a huge rented venue or a private room at a restaurant, you’ll be around people you love and enjoy and you’ll have cause to celebrate. It’s a lot of work to put together (even on the smaller end), but at the end of the day, it’s a party! That said, it can also be fun to have a theme for a reception, and particularly if you have a big crowd it can keep people entertained beyond the dance floor.

A Game Night

“Game Night” can mean a lot of different things. Here, however, we mean it more in the sense of games you might play in a basement, or even at certain pool halls or bars. Imagine a reception in a large venue with a corner or an entire end devoted to games like pool and table tennis, miniature shuffleboard, or foosball. If you really want to go above and beyond you can even look into organizing a bowling alley or setting up a badminton court. Some of this might sound a little bit tacky, particularly when you think of game tables, but don’t get the wrong idea. Classier versions of these games actually happen to be quite trendy these days. Consider as just one example a popular product called the Puma Blackout ping-pong table, which is made entirely in black and white, and perfect for a wedding setting. It’s just one example, and it’s expensive, but it might get you thinking on the right track.

A Casino Night

It’s a spin on game night but another one that can add some buzz to your reception. And we’re not just talking about decks of cards and plastic chips on tables. Rather, look into going all out! You can hire a few dealers to set up professional poker, blackjack, and roulette tables around the edges of the reception area, for instance. In some cases you may even be able to rent some slot machines and set them up to work with “play money,” occasionally with even the most popular options available. If you’re curious, the most popular games in the world are on display at any given time at slot arcade sites in Canada and elsewhere online gaming is legal. This can give you an idea of which ones to stock. Before you know it you could have half the venue looking like a professional casino and keeping your guests busy and entertained.

A Graffiti Party

This type of party can only go as far as the venue you’re renting allows, but even if actual graffiti isn’t an option, you can set the place up to allow guests to write messages, draw pictures, and otherwise express themselves throughout the evening. This can be done with tablecloths that can be drawn on, easels propped up around the perimeter of the space, and anything else you might come up with. You can think of it as a more involved, interactive, and expressive version of a guestbook, and you never know what kind of fun you might have looking over everything your guests came up with later on.


Oktoberfest is a less active theme, but certainly a festive one. We looked through a collection of 100 unexpected wedding themes for some further inspiration from this piece, and it was the idea that really stuck with us. A full-fledged Oktoberfest theme (for an autumn wedding, naturally) automatically infuses even more festivity into an already celebratory event. And particularly if you have guests who enjoy a good beer, setting up bars with authentic German brews (instead of the standard white and red wine options) can be a perfect treat. Just don’t get carried away!

Puzzles & Crafts

If you want a fun, interactive theme that’s a little bit easier to pull off, you might want to think about simply setting up table with puzzles or crafts (like gingerbread houses for instance). You could even have a giant table full of these kinds of activities so that tables could pick their own. You don’t want everyone huddled over their tables doing puzzles all night of course, but having pieces laid out and projects underway that guests can chip away at as the evening moves along can be a lot of fun. You could even have puzzles custom made in advance such that when they’re put together they’re enlarged versions of your best engagement photos. Or at least, that’s one way to do it.

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Posted in reception, Waterloo Region Wedding Planner, Waterloo Region Wedding Planner, wedding-reception

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