11 Fun Wedding Ideas for Your Reception

Weddings should be fun, right?

Remember when weddings used to be boring? Long before the first wedding alpaca peeked his fluffy face around the church door, weddings were pretty predictable affairs. But as an alternative wedding photographer, I can say uncategorically that those days are over. Because every wedding season I see more and more fun wedding ideas that take weddings to a whole new level of unexpected awesomeness.

And obviously you want your wedding to be the wedding everyone talks about as being the fun wedding, right? More importantly, you want to look around and see all your guests having the time of their lives. And having games everyone can play together encourages people to mingle outside of their cliques, so everyone makes friends and has a laugh. 

But it’s not just about making sure your guests have fun. There are selfish reasons too! They keep guests entertained whilst you have your couples shots so you don’t feel pressured to rush back. And since their happiness isn’t relying on you being there to mingle, there’s much less pressure on you as the couple. And this means you can relax and enjoy your day more.

As a fun, alternative wedding photographer I’ve been to my fair share of wild weddings. I don’t know what it is, but something about my style just screams ‘adult ball pit’! So of all the crazy fun wedding ideas I’ve seen at weddings, I’ve put together a list of my 11 favourites for you. 

Fun Wedding Ideas for Your Reception ADULT BALL PIT

1. Adult ball pits

This had to be first on my list. Because who doesn’t love a ball pit?! Jumping into that yielding mass of plastic balls is like jumping through a portal into your childhood. They’re vibrant, fun and totally bonkers. And the overwhelming sense of nostalgia and immature joy you get from an adult ball pit immediately puts everyone in a good mood. 

And you know what? Imagine yourself sitting in the sunshine, a drink in your hand and your partner in your arms, the balls rustling playfully everytime you move your feet. They can also be weirdly romantic. But mainly they’re just super fun!

And last- but by no means least- they’re awesome for photographs. Whether it’s a nice romantic shot of the two of you cuddled up together. Or an ‘air shot’ as you abandon the health and safety brief and fling yourself headfirst into the pit. It’ll be an amazing memory, and I can guarantee you’ll get it printed and framed.

2. Fire dancers

Fun Wedding Ideas for Your Reception fire dancer

From something we all loved to do as children, to something we were always told not to do: playing with fire.

Fire dancers are a spectacular way to finish off the night. After all, why settle for waving a few sparklers around when you can have someone literally throwing fire?! They’re still rare enough as an act to be an exciting novelty. And they’re truly astonishing to watch, so you and your guests will be absolutely buzzing afterwards. 

And again, they make for some incredible photos. Just a black and white photo of the firedancer doing his thing will be a beautiful piece of art in its own right. And it’ll mean that much more to you knowing it was the firedancer at your wedding. Just something to think about.

3. Bucking bronco

Fun Wedding Ideas for Your Reception bucking bronco

Just imagine the look of unbridled joy and excitement on your guests’ faces when they walk out into your reception area and see a frickin’ bucking bronco machine!! As a fun wedding idea, this is an absolute game changer. They’re competitive, difficult, physical, slightly dangerous and insane amounts of fun! 

And actually it’s nowhere near as expensive as you might think. This company charges £325 for 4 hours, which is just long enough for everyone to have a go. But not so long everyone gets wrecked and injures themselves (they also have £10 million public liability insurance just in case!) Pound for pound, this is arguably the best value fun wedding idea there is.

And from a wedding photography point of view, it’s an endless source of candid, funny, energetic shots of you and your guests having the time of your lives!

4. Lawn games 

Fun Wedding Ideas for Your Reception giant jenga

You don’t want your wedding to be a ‘yawn on the lawn’ wedding do you? With all your guests just milling about and drinking out of boredom. You’ll stress yourself out if you try to talk to everyone and small talk has a shelf life. So give them something to do. And there are plenty of fun wedding ideas you can come up with that everyone knows how to play. And that aren’t expensive.

Lawn games are a really cheap, fun way to keep people entertained. Classic games like giant Jenga, boule and horseshoe throwing are something everyone can play. And they’re classics for a reason. 

Or you can appeal to the child inside every guest and have throwback games like swingball. Or that little game with the tennis balls and velcro hand pads (does anyone know what that’s actually called?! You know which one I mean though). I even had a wedding with a coconut shy, which people went nuts for (pun intended).

Scatter these games around the lawn of your reception and you’ll keep guests happily entertained for hours. Giving you guys time to chat to people, soak up the atmosphere, disappear with me for your couples portraits in the grounds. And maybe even- deep breath- relax and enjoy your wedding day!

Buy giant Jenga here

Buy a swingball set here

Fun Wedding Ideas for Your Reception tug of war

5. Space hoppers

Fun Wedding Ideas for Your Reception space hoppers

Three words. Space. Hopper. Race.

This is one of those fun wedding ideas where you’ll be surprised at how popular it is. Because people bloody love a space hopper! The wonderfully cumbersome feeling of that giant rubber ball bouncing around beneath you. The exhilaration as you bound further towards the finish line. They’re ridiculous, retro, surprisingly tiring and crazy amounts of fun. And few things inject energy into a day and bring a wedding party together better than a full-blown, weirdly competitive space hopper race. 

If you want to buy yourselves some Space Hoppers for your wedding, Amazon has some good ones. 6 or 7 should be enough to keep your guests happily entertained for a couple of hours. 

Buy them here and thank me later.

6. Walking band or Mariachi Band

Fun Wedding Ideas for Your Reception band

Yes, it’s a novelty act. And no, you won’t regret it.

Who wants background music playing softly in the background when you can have a mariachi band wandering around?! There’s something awesome about any kind of live music. And walking bands and mariachi bands are something a little different.

And the music they play is invariably upbeat, fun, catchy and super cheerful. So book yourself a mariachi band or walking band and you’ll instantly see your guests light up. 

7. Oysters (for the lols)

There are few things you can book for your wedding that offer the same winning combination of sustenance, novelty, activity and sophistication as an oyster man. Or woman. Women can shuck oysters too.

They’re supposed to be an aphrodisiac as well. So potentially your wedding could get a little saucy. But for the most part it’s just a unique way to feed your guests that’ll keep everyone entertained for a while. 

8. Fancy Dress Tent

Nothing chips away at inhibitions like being dressed as a pirate. Or a princess. Or a giant dinosaur. Because it’s wonderfully freeing to forget the fact you’re an adult and just be a bit silly for a while, right? 

And giving your guests a fancy dress tent is like giving them the key to unlocking that childlike freedom. It’s innocent, fun and just a bit silly. And if you can’t forget your troubles and pretend to be a panda at a wedding then when can you, eh?!

So let them chuck on a feather boa and a funny hat. Let them wear toutous. Let them be fabulous for the afternoon. And trust me, get a bunch of adults playing dress up and the evening party will go off.

9. Beer Pong

Fun Wedding Ideas for Your Reception beer pong

We all know it, we’ve all played it. Most of us have repeatedly lost at it and got way too drunk too quickly. But for all its ‘frat boy’ associations, and its inherent danger that one of the groomsmen will end up being sick and passing out, it’s an awesome game. And you don’t have to fill up the middle cup with Jaeger if you don’t want to.

When it comes to fun wedding ideas, beer pong is a definite winner. It’s easy to learn for people who’ve never played it, it’s fun to watch as well as play, and it’s literally hours of entertainment for next to no money. Plus, if you want your wedding to get a little drunk and crazy, it’s a surefire way of making your dreams come true!

If you want to buy a good Beer Pong set for your wedding, click here.

10. Ice Cream

The evening is starting to wind down a little bit. The night is creeping in, the food has settled and people are starting to get sluggish waiting for the disco. Then BAM! An ice cream truck shows up and everyone runs over giggling with childlike excitement!

Show me someone who doesn’t like ice cream and I’ll show you someone who’s dead inside. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and another little addition to your wedding day that will keep people happy and distracted for half an hour. 

This is a great one to plan for golden hour in the summer. Because it’s a few hours after your food, so people will be starting to get peckish again. And it’ll keep everyone entertained while we disappear for your couple’s portraits. So you can enjoy the experience and the intimacy of your photo session without feeling like you have to rush back.

11. Old school dance off machines!

So you think you can dance? Prove it! I challenge you to a dance off! Just kidding. Honestly I would, but I’ll have my camera. Otherwise I’d destroy you!

If you ever went through the phase of going to the arcade and going on the dance off machine, this is a great throwback addition to your wedding. 

And the great thing about them is they’re just as much fun if you’re crap as if you’ve got moves like Jagger.

Looking for a fun wedding photographer in Hampshire?

If you’re now sitting there trying to work out how many of these fun wedding ideas you could squeeze into your venue, then you’re my kinda people! Because fun weddings are my jam! I’d take a tipi wedding with a ball pit over a boring stately home any day of the week.

I want to give you a wedding gallery that captures all the fun, candid moments of your wedding day. That time when you went a bit crazy and jumped on the bucking bronco. When you let your inner child get the better of you and dove headfirst into the ball pit. When you sacrificed your dress as a casualty of war and won the space hopper race. 

Because those are the moments you’ll always want to remember. And those are the photos you’ll want to get printed and framed, because they’ll make you laugh and smile every time you look at them. If you love my work and want me to capture your wedding day, I’d absolutely love to chat with you. Please get in touch today and let’s get to know each other.

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