6 Wedding Reception Alternatives

May 15, 2022 | kailey

Image by Michelle Sobel. See more of this real wedding here. Keep scrolling to see wedding reception alternatives

Save money, add adventure to your big day, make your wedding unlike-any-other—there are dozens of reasons why couples decide to ditch a traditional reception. Weddings are evolving and more couples are steering away from conventional celebrations. So if a traditional sit-down dinner reception doesn’t speak to you, there are a variety of alternatives to choose from. From sunset cruises to outdoor movie nights, here are a few of our favorite ways to end your celebration with an unexpected twist. 

Wedding Reception Alternatives

1. A Movie Under The Stars 

There’s no better combination than your favorite cocktails, popcorn, and your favorite film. Then add all of your favorite people to the mix—it’s the perfect recipe for a relaxing and memorable reception experience. Because after a full day celebrating, hitting the dance floor might not be the first thing on your mind. 

For couples trying to come up with an entirely original approach to their wedding reception, a movie night is the way to go. You can hire a company to take care of the set up and tear down or save money in your budget by setting up your own projector and sheet. Either way, it’s a great option to consider if you’re in search of a fun, quirky, and family-friendly reception alternative. 

2. Set Sail On A Sunset Cruise 

Let your love set sail on a romantic, solo sunset cruise or party it up with your loved ones on a booze cruise. Hitting the water is making waves in the wedding world, especially for those adventurous couples that want to shake up their big day. 

Image by Luxart Wedding Studio. See more of this styled-shoot here.

3. Get Your Brunch On

Weddings and brunch are two of our favorite things. And when you combine them both, magical things happen—your guests will agree. You can kickstart your wedding day with breakfast surrounded by loved ones or get your brunch on the next day to enjoy each other’s company again. Whichever you choose, mimosas and pancakes are sure to set your celebration apart. 

4. Light Up The Night With A Bonfire And Food Trucks 

Food trucks, bonfires, and s’mores make for the ultimate after wedding bash—especially for those chilly fall and winter celebrations. This low-key reception idea is a great way to cut costs without having to completely ditch a reception all together. 

Bringing in your favorite food trucks creates a relaxed reception vibe while still offering a variety of food options for you and your guests. This can also be an easy way to appease many different dietary restrictions and preferences. Along with food trucks and s’more kits, keep your guests warm by serving toasty drinks like hot chocolate and tea. 

Image by Elena Popa Photography. See more of this styled-shoot here.

5. Make A Splash

Let your love make a splash—literally! Whether you change into your swimsuits or cannon ball in your wedding day attire, a dip in the pool is an epic way to end your wedding day. This is perfect for laid-back couples tying the knot in those warmer spring and summer months. Plus it’s the perfect excuse to exchange vows in an epic Airbnb venue with a pool. 

While Airbnb properties are typically best for small getaways there are some homeowners who have designed their space to be perfect for events—like weddings. If you’re sold on an Airbnb celebration that ends with an after-ceremony swim, read up on these tips for planning an unforgettable Airbnb wedding

Image by Henry Tieu Photography. See more of this real wedding here.

6. Jetset Off For Your Honeymoon 

There are no rules when it comes to planning the wedding of your dreams. No one gets to tell you what elements to include or where to spend your money. And for couples looking to tie the knot in front of loved ones while saving money on the after-party, consider ditching a reception altogether to get an early start on your honeymoon.

Receptions are typically the most expensive part of any wedding. And planning an alternative or forgoing a post-wedding party altogether can give you more money to spend towards your exotic honeymoon. Whether you’re looking to stay close to home or take this celebration international, kickstart your planning by reading our guide for planning the honeymoon of your dreams.

Image by Apollo Fotographie. See more of this real wedding here.

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One Comment

  1. There’s definitely more than one way to celebrate your marriage, and still be festive. Love the Movie Under The Stars idea.

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