THAT WILL KEEP GUESTS AT YOUR RECEPTION LONGER!
Hello, friends! I am SO excited to start a new blog post series about inspiring weddings to be the best they can be. (It’s been on my mind for at least 2 years now!) And hello to you if you came from my Instagram! Here, I’ll dive deeper in to those points I made on my account, so I’m glad you’re here!
This post is inspired by my LOVE for my brides & grooms, and wanting to help make their wedding day the best it can be. Nick and I notice trends, and one that I want to help out with, is keeping guests at the reception longer.
You can have the best DJ in the entire world, but not everyone is going to dance, (#facts), and they’ll be ready to scoot after the parent dances end. With that in mind, I wondered what we could do to help keep these loved ones around a little longer, while inspiring receptions to be more fun and personal.
The answer? More wedding stations (that don’t involve shakin’ what their mamas gave them). And because Nick and I tend to stay on the frugal side (okay, that’s mostly Nick), I wanted to make sure this list was as inexpensive as possible.
Let’s jump in!
Starting with one of the higher cost ideas, but an amazing one none-the-less! Most married people will attest that their traditional guest-signing book has been collecting dust in a box in their attic ever since the big day ended. And are your engagement photos collecting virtual dust on social media or on a USB? Put those well-wishes, congratulations, and pretty-as-a-peach photos in to a beautiful heirloom book that you’ll revisit (and cherish!) often!
And, because some loved ones aren’t really on social media, there’s a good chance that they haven’t even seen them! What a great opportunity to show them your beautiful photos.
DISCLAIMER: The average cost and quality of these engagement-signing books varies depending on where you order. You get what you pay for with wedding and engagement books. Remember to order them on a paper that ink won’t smudge on, and create a cute little sign like the one below :)
COST: $200 or less (or more for a high-quality, long lasting heirloom!)
Dust off those old childhood photo albums and give your guests a chance to giggle and reminisce over the two cute kids that grew up, met, fell in love, and brought everyone to this gorgeous wedding day! The only cost here would be printing your sign and framing it (which, there might be little to no cost at all!)
COST: $5 or less
Honoring Loved Ones Lost
This is one of my favorite tables. Set out framed photos of all your loved ones watching from Heaven, and give guests a place to talk about them and reminisce together. The only cost would be printing your sign and framing it (which, there might not be any cost at all!)
COST: $5 or less
Treat yo-self (& your guests!) to the ultimate wedding joy! (Besides celebrating you and your new spouse, of course!) Bake cookies & cupcakes, set our jars of candy….it can be an excellent way to spend time with loved ones before the wedding, baking all sorts of inexpensive treats. Goodie bags to go = the happiest guests we’ve ever seen. Keep in mind, that most extended family & friends would love to be included in some of the wedding planning, and this is a fun way to include them.
Don’t really have a sweet tooth? A trail mix station is also a huge win!
DISCLAIMER: this can easily get more expensive than suggested if you aren’t careful–be sure to watch the cost and consider your guest count! Candy bars can be more expensive than you might think. But a homemade cookie bar, not so much!
COST: $100 or less
Date Night D.I.Y.
Creative, fun, and costs little-to-nothing! A jar, some slips of paper, a pen, and a sign is all you need for this cute little station! You can get as creative as you like with this, but you get the idea. Ask guests for their favorite date night ideas, then you have a huge, endless stash of ideas for a while. Other alternatives: favorite recipes, favorite marriage advice, favorite marriage books or resources.
COST: $5 or less
The Kids Table
If you’re planning on having kids at the wedding, keep them happy and busy with an inexpensive kids table! Coloring books & crayons, bubbles, stamps, sticker books, play doh & cookie cutters, legos, toy cars, confetti poppers, & of course, candy goodie bags! The dollar store is your friend here–and most kids aren’t picky at all, and would be thrilled to have a little place to themselves filled with fun activities!
COST: $30 or less
My last disclaimer here, is that it’s really easy to get carried away with most of these ideas. It’s best to sit down and create your budget with your station ideas, and stick to it. (Something the Lord knows I struggle with!)
Overall, I hope these ideas inspired some fun, unique, and inexpensive tables & stations for your own wedding reception! Be on the look out for a part 2–I came up with even more fun ideas while writing this post!