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10 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Reception

The ceremony is the most important event of the wedding because it seals the deal on your love. The reception, though, is what many couples look forward to because they get to relax and let loose with friends and family.

The reception is the ideal time to show guests exactly who you are as individuals and as a couple. Infuse the evening with little and big details that tell your story, including your likes, hobbies, culture and more.

1. An Interactive Guest Book

Guest books began as a way to record a guest’s presence by simply signing their names. While this method is still used, a book of signatures might just end up collecting dust. Instead, consider a guest book that allows your guests to leave a personalized message, whether allowing them to select a postcard to write on, having a vintage phone present that they can use to record audio messages or allowing them to record short videos.

2. Honoring Loved Ones

Photo courtesy of Sarah & Paul Photography

Sometimes, those we love most leave this world before our wedding. While we wish more than anything they were in attendance, there are ways to honor them and feel their presence. Designate a table with photos of your favorite memories with them, display their memorabilia throughout the reception or designate seats for them at the ceremony and reception.

3. A Unique Entrance

When you enter your reception, you’ll be coming in hot as a married couple. Make it grand. Start with a dance, then invite everyone onto the dance floor. Let sparks fly with sparklers, fireworks or smoke bombs. Enter from an unexpected place or include a theatrical performance.

4. Outfit Change

It’s your night, so if you want multiple outfits, go for it. Change into something that showcases your personality or is show-stopping. Whether you’re a bride or groom, an outfit change for the reception can be an iconic moment.

5. Include Your Pets

Photo courtesy of Cedar Relics Photography

Pets are part of the family. Whether they can physically attend or be there in spirit, including your pets can be very special. Have them walk you down the aisle, be a part of your first dance or include them in photos. Dedicate a signature drink to them or include them on a cake or dessert.

6. Write Notes

One of the best gifts you can give your guests is a handwritten note of thanks. Leave these at their place settings at the tables or for them to pick up at the seating chart.

7. Your Favorite Foods

Any wedding can serve a good chicken or beef dish, but a memorable wedding gives guests a true taste of who you are by serving your favorite foods.

8. Include Your Culture

Photo courtesy of LV Photography

Whether through the menu, song, dance or décor, including your culture and heritage is an important window into who you are and a way of honoring how you will share or combine your cultures.

9. Choreograph Your First Dance

Enlist a professional or be your own at-home choreographer. Choreographing your first dance can not only be a special moment at the reception but also a meaningful time of bonding leading up to the wedding.

10. Meaningful Favors

Let your guests depart with something that reminds them of you. Consider a signature scent candle, favorite bottled beverage or snacks or a personalized memento that aligns with your wedding locale.

Feature image courtesy of Paul Johnson Photography

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