13 Best Alternative Wedding Reception Ideas

Wedding Reception Décor

Weddings are invariably thrilling and exquisite, but they can also be costly. Many couples don’t have the money to throw a big wedding or are looking for ways to cut costs. One great way to save money is to host a destination wedding reception instead of having your reception at home.

Not everyone who gets married wants a traditional wedding reception. Some people have destination weddings; others may have themed weddings or casual receptions. Some couples’ plans are tiny and simple, while others plan on having big, elaborate affairs.

If you’re looking for ideas for your wedding day, consider how many guests and locations you want to host the party to see what works best for you and your partner!

Many couples like to have a destination wedding reception. Traveling to a destination wedding is a great way to avoid the stress of planning a wedding and have fun with friends and family while celebrating your love.

You can have a destination wedding reception at a hotel or other venue in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Most receptions are held on Saturdays, but they can also be arranged for any day of the week if desired by your attendees (or you!). In addition, most venues offer an open bar package, so it doesn’t matter what time you have your reception.

Here are a few alternative wedding reception ideas

1. Plan an entire wedding reception weekend

If you’re planning a wedding reception, it’s important to remember that the whole weekend isn’t just about your big day. You can have a rehearsal dinner, brunch, or cocktail party before the big event. And if you have an after-party or pool party afterward? Even better!

You should also consider having guests stay at hotel suites or hotels within walking distance of your venue so they don’t have to drive back home after eating dinner on their plates!

2. Host a wedding reception brunch

A wedding reception brunch is a great way to celebrate the beginning of your marriage with friends and family. Brunch is also an excellent way to get together with those closest to you, including your spouse-to-be!

Wedding Reception Brunch

If you’re looking for some ideas on how best to plan out a wedding reception brunch, consider hiring a food truck that caters specifically to both of your favorite foods. This will allow guests from different backgrounds and tastes (not just yours) to access one event space at once—and it’ll make sure there’s something for everyone!

3. Opt for an adventure wedding reception

If you want to go out of the box, consider the following

  • Beach wedding reception

If you’re looking for something more relaxed than camping but still want to have fun while getting married, why not try this? You’ll have plenty of time before guests arrive, so there’s no pressure on them—and if they’re late, that’s okay too!

  • Picnic wedding reception

Perhaps one day we’ll all live on farms again as our grandparents did; until then(and probably forever), picnics will remain one of our favorite ways to celebrate life together as a couple!

4. Plan a getaway reception at Disneyland!

If you’re looking for a destination wedding reception, Disney World is one of the best places to go. However, if you have never been to Disney World before, it’s worth getting a guidebook to know what to expect and how to plan accordingly. It’s also helpful to see some of the best locations in scenery and photo opportunities (for example, Cinderella Castle).

Disneyland Wedding Photography

If you want more than just photos with your guests standing around at random places while they wait for drinks or food—and if they’re not willing to spend all day waiting in line—then consider having an actual ceremony elsewhere instead! There are many different venues throughout Southern California where couples get married every month; look online or ask at local shops about which wedding ideas you like the most.

5. Get inked together for your reception!

If you and your partner are artists, getting inked together is easy. You can create a design together and have it tattooed on your backs! Some great laser tattoo removal kits will immediately remove unwanted ink from both arms if you aren’t comfortable with needles. 

The cost of these services varies by city but should run between $200-$500 per session depending on where you live and what kind of artist works on them (there’s no need to worry about finding an affordable one).

Finally, once your wedding has come and gone, consider having one last moment with this special image permanently etched in time by having it removed from one arm only—and then getting another done on the other side!

6. Book a camping trip for your reception

  • Choose a site that is near to where you reside.
  • Make sure you have everything you need for the weekend: food, drinks, chairs, tables (if applicable), linens, and decorations.
  • Camping can be a cheap alternative to a hotel! You’re not limited by space or set-up time like other venues, so it’s easy to use this method if you’re on a budget.
  • If you choose this option, pitch your tent in a shadowed space. You don’t want to be scorching in sweat all weekend!

Camping Wedding Couple

7. Hire your favorite band

Hiring a band is one of the most popular wedding reception ideas, and for a good reason. They’re fun, they get people dancing, and their music will make it easy to get everyone involved in the party. However, it can be expensive.

To begin looking for bands that fit your style and budget, start by searching online reviews at WeddingWire or The Knot (if you’re concerned about bias from friends). Next, find out what kind of music genre appeals most strongly to guests so you know where to look when choosing out-of-towners.

Country rock? Jazz fusion? Classic rock covers? Once we have some ideas about what kind(s) of acts might work best at your wedding—whether you are hiring local musicians or traveling across state lines— you need an idea of how much money each artist will cost per hour ($50-$80 per hour).

8. Have an arcade party for your wedding reception

If you want to bring out the inner child in all of your guests, then an arcade party is the perfect way to do it. Arcade games are always fun and can be incorporated into almost any wedding reception theme.

Here are some ideas for how you could incorporate such an event:

  • Video game-themed wedding receptions
  • Retro arcade wedding receptions: The 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s have a lot of great video game consoles that would look amazing at your reception! You could also use old-school arcade cabinets or even create a pinball bar if this sounds more up your alley than paying $50 per person so they can play silly digital games on their phones while waiting for dinner time.

9. Customize your wedding reception regardless of the traditions

You can customize your wedding reception regardless of the traditions. If you’re not a fan of traditional weddings, there are a plethora of other choices!

You don’t have to stick with the same old conga line or live band if that isn’t what makes sense for your personality and tastes.

For example, if a particular song or dance is important to one family member but not another, then it’s easy enough to accommodate those needs by playing an acoustic set instead of a full band at dinner time.

10. Find alternatives to flowers

While planning your wedding, it’s important to consider all the different ways flowers can be used. For example:

  • You can use candles instead of bouquets and boutonnieres. Candles are more affordable than flowers and have a soft glow that makes them perfect for any space. They also last longer than most fresh-cut bouquets, so if you’ve got extra cash, go ahead and splurge on some candles!
  • Alternatively, consider using biodegradable arrangements instead of traditional ones made from plastic or metal stems (which often contain mercury).
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has developed guidelines for how much mercury should be present in an item before it qualifies as “safe.” For example, A vase made from clay is considered safe because it contains less than 10% mercury by weight (compared to glass picnics—which contain up to 40%). If you’re looking specifically for something made out of clay rather than paper mache or plasterboard, then there are plenty available online ranging from $3-$10 per piece depending on size/quality desired; make sure they’re certified organic before purchasing, so they don’t become contaminated later downstream during the shipping process.

Wedding Flower Backdrop Décor

Also see :10 Stunning Fall Runway Trends to Attain in Wedding Reception

11. Host a cocktail party reception

  • Have a cocktail party reception.
  • Have a champagne toast.
  • Book an improv comedy show, DJ, or band for the evening (or both).
  • Provide space for dancing on the dance floor, or let it be something else like an open bar area where people can get drinks from bartenders present throughout the night/evening!
  • Serve dinner buffet style at your venue, which will allow you more flexibility in terms of what type of food you want to serve at this event—and also will enable guests to choose how much they want to eat!

12. Book food trucks for your reception

Food trucks are a great way to get a variety of food. They can also be booked for weddings and corporate events, but it’s not just about the food! Food trucks are also unique to each area and are often able to provide local flavors that you might not find at other restaurants.

Food Truck

For example, if your wedding is in New York City, you could choose from one of several Indian restaurants or even an Italian restaurant that serves pizza! The opportunities are infinite when booking food trucks for your reception!

Also See : Stylish Wine Dispensing Station for Elegant Wedding Reception

13. Have a pool party, wedding reception

This is the perfect option if you’re looking for a fun, relaxed, and casual wedding reception full of pool-themed activities and food.

The pool party wedding reception idea is perfect for all types of couples—whether they’re getting married outdoors or indoors. You can choose from several different themes, including beach party decorations, ocean-theme decorations, and water park decorations (if your venue has one).

Regarding food at your poolside celebration: don’t worry about having enough options because there will be plenty! You’ll want to keep things simple with a buffet filled with finger foods like chips & salsa, barbeque chicken wings, pizza bites, nachos, etc., plus non-alcoholic drinks such as lemonade or soda pop.

Also See: Stunning Ideas to Throw Pool Party at Destination Wedding


The most important thing is ensuring your wedding reception is fun and exciting. It doesn’t matter if it has to be outside or indoors, as long as it’s something new and different for your guests! Remember that no matter what kind of wedding you have or where you decide to have it, the bride and groom should always get all dressed up and look beautiful for their guests!

We hope this article on Alternative Wedding Reception Ideas was helpful.