Bumpin’: adjective. full of people. Typically used to refer to a party, a dance club (disco,) etc. Usually pronounced “bumpin.” Just in case you were curious! I personally think it’s a fun word to describe a great party.
The most fun receptions I remember attending or photographing are always when the bride and groom are having a blast, talking with guests and busting some moves on the dance floor. There are definitely some traditional, key elements to having a great reception. For instance, cutting the cake, eating good food and dancing to a fun band. But, let’s step this party up a knotch to get to the BUMPIN’ level. Here are some fun ideas to have a next-level reception!
Hire a band or DJ that helps get your groove on.
If dancing is important to you and you cannot wait to boogie with your spouse (I would like to take some time to tell you my AIM name was britishboogiebabe back in the day…. wow that’s embarrassing), then hire someone you feel really confident in to provide a stellar musical experience. The best bands take breaks at convenient times, transition songs quickly and seamlessly, provide song selections that span decades and play all the classics, and guide the dance party by participating a healthy amount. Can we also talk about my all-time fav DJ ROOMBAAAAAA!
Bring out the glow sticks or bubbles.
If the party feels like it could use a breath of fresh air, bring in some bubbles, confetti canons or glow sticks! Add a little colour and flavour to the dance floor and everyone will flip outtttt!
Cut the cake a little later.
Here’s a thought… wait a little bit to serve cake so that this becomes a pinnacle point of the evening. I mean, really, who doesn’t love wedding cake?! Most guests stay for the cake, so if you push the timeline back just a bit, everyone can enjoy the reception a little longer.
Bring snacks onto the dance floor or food trucks.
Similar to cake, everyone loves a good snack. Announce the arrival of a donut food truck, bring nachos out on the dance floor, provide a fondue station or choose another type of food experience that will get guests really jazzed about what surprise is coming next!
Remember the good old days
Does your friend group have a song from your sorority, fraternity, college band or something similar? Let someone organize a flash mob to relive the past!
Rent a moon bounce.
Before I talk about this, can we just agree to call it a bouncy castle? That’s all I ask! Real talk, though, renting a bouncy castle will up your reception game in a out-of-this-world way!!!! (ha, get it)
Have an outfit change!
A 2018 bride in Savannah, Georgia did a shoutout to her new Korean family by changing into traditional dress whenever they entered the reception. It was a special nod to her in-laws’ heritage and such fun for guests to ask about her outfit throughout the night!
Offer an interactive food station.
Receptions should just really center around food… that’s what I’ve decided. Do you looove cotton candy? Want to toss donuts as part of a game? Obsessed with grilled cheese sandwiches? Love ice cream a little too much? Find ways to incorporate these food ideas so that your guests feel that coming to your wedding was a sweet treat!
Plan surprise entertainment.
One of my brides from 2019 performed “Beauty and the Beat” by Justin Bieber with her maid of honour. They are both ballerinas, so they did a hip hop dance (yes, in wedding attire!) in front of the whole reception. Everyone went crazyyyyy at their moves, and it was the best start to the reception!
Plan fireworks or a second line for the end.
Your wedding is like New Year’s Eve… the day before the beginning of a new phase for you and your spouse. It’s the dawning of a new chapter in life, and that’s something huge to celebrate! So set off some fireworks and enjoy the thrilling feeling of being in love and being surrounded by all your people.
Ask guests to pray over you.
For a more intimate moment, pause the celebrations before or after dinner for guests to gather around and pray for the formation of your marriage. It will be something you look back on as a grounding moment in your relationship.
Photo booth with props
In the day of Instagram, people always want a picture to post after the wedding. So, stir up some social media excitement and bring a photo booth in for the reception! Guests will love dressing up in funny costumes and going home with a little keepsake.
At the end of the day, your wedding day is about marrying your love. Your reception can be whatever you want it to be — a simple receiving line or the biggest blow out your city has ever seen. I hope some of these ideas help you think through what’s important to you and your spouse, and how you’d like to serve your guests!