Saying “I do” was the easy part. Now it’s time for the wedding reception. If you want to step out of the tried-and-true wedding experiences, go with your gut and do something new. Here are several strategies for having a wedding reception your guests will remember. 

1. Be You

This is your day – so feel free to stray away from “traditional” wedding reception ideas if you prefer. On the other hand, you could indulge in the conventional wedding reception ideas, like a traditional wedding dance or a tea ceremony. This is a day to celebrate the union of you and your love: make sure reception fits your identities. 

2. Mind Your Guests 

Even though it is your day, your guests are still your friends and family. Therefore, it is essential that you set up a timeframe to ensure the reception runs on time. This requires diligent planning, meaning your reception doors would have to be open anywhere between 45-minutes to an hour after the cocktail hour kicks off, in order to prevent guest restlessness. Be mindful of your guests’ body temperatures and set the reception room’s temperature at a comfortable level. 

3. Live Music 

Nobody can express the dire importance for hiring a DJ (or band) who gets you. It’s your special day – the artist you hire to provide the soundtrack for the most beautiful day of your life should be meaningful. First, head onto the internet to search for local musicians for hire in your area. Once you have a handful of possibilities, send them songs that mean the world to you and your love. This mixtape will show them the mood, atmosphere and emotion you want at the wedding. Be sure to ask them for songs that you will love but will keep the good times rolling. (For example, I love “The Hunger” by The Distillers – but would never play it for dancing at a wedding.) 

4. Entertainment

This is truly your night to remember – don’t be afraid of rocking the boat and making your guests’ jaws drop. Having live music is incredible, and shouldn’t be forgotten, but there is more to this day than music. Put yourself in the shoes of an entertainer; what would make your guests’ blood pump and their adrenaline glands fume? Think about setting off a firework display, a standup comic, or high-flying trapeze artists. The bigger the spectacle, the more memorable your wedding day and reception will be. 

5. Hire a Professional

If you haven’t done so, hop on hiring a professional wedding planner as soon as possible. Complete Weddings and Events is just one business that does all the hard work for you. Whomever you go with, you will have a grizzled veteran who knows a thing or two about making memorable wedding receptions a reality. 

6. Have Fun

It is so easy to go overboard with planning every minute detail of the wedding, the reception, the guestlist, etc. It’s enough to make your eyes fall out. Learn to forget about sweating the small things that can—and will—go wrong today. You just go out there and have a blast with the love of your life. 


When all is said and done, one of the easiest things to do is plummet yourself into debt. By all means: make as many purchases and hire as many professionals as you will – but do not go overboard. When you plan during the months leading up to your wedding, develop a budget, and stick to it like a super glue.