Free Flowing Reception

 Lawrence & Johnny's Wedding. Photography by Melissa Hesse of Rivets and Roses

Lawrence & Johnny's Wedding. Photography by Melissa Hesse of Rivets and Roses

Looking for something unique for your wedding reception? Always on the look-out for new and exciting trends, recently we’ve been planning a lot of free flowing receptions paired with shorter, stand-up ceremonies. Couples utilize the same space for both without the need for a flip. The ceremony flows seamlessly into the reception. These receptions are a bit different than the traditional reception, but your guests will love the freedom to mix and mingle {without being tied to a chair for two hours!} This format is more intimate and requires less space than a traditional sit down dinner which frees up non-traditional event spaces as an option. And, you can put the money you would have spent on larger two-room venues, linens and centerpieces into lounge groupings, food stations and vignettes of high tops and low cabs.

Start the night with a cocktail reception before the ceremony. {Who doesn’t want a cocktail in hand during a ceremony?} Roughly 45-60 minutes in, have the officiant lead guests to circle around you to begin the ceremony. Often we conduct this on the dance floor. Keep the ceremony to no longer than 15 minutes. Once you kiss, pass champagne for a toast, then open up food stations and activities to ensure options for guests {so not everyone rushes the food!} Spread the food stations throughout the room and utilize your space so guests are not concentrated in a specific area. This encourages guest to meander and mingle. If you are going to have a dance floor, place the dance floor in the middle of the room. Strategically placing it in the middle of the room will ensure energy in the center of the room and encourage guests to dance.

 Lawrence & Johnny's Wedding. Photography by Melissa Hesse of Rivets and Roses

Lawrence & Johnny's Wedding. Photography by Melissa Hesse of Rivets and Roses

Make sure you plan for transitions throughout the evening to keep your guests engaged and interested. Music is a great way to set the mood for each portion of the evening. Transition food from passed appetizers to food stations to dessert then late night snacks. Open a whiskey station, a photo booth, pool tables, or have games for your guests.

Lastly, make sure your guest knows what to expect. This format is not the typical Minnesota wedding, so guests may be a little confused if you don’t spell it out for them. Create signage at the entrance of your reception that outlines the flow of the evening.

Although free-flowing receptions require some planning to ensure their success, this new trend could be perfect for you. And, of course, we are always happy to work with you to create your special wedding day.

Click here to see more photos from a free flowing reception wedding.

To read more about free-flowing receptions check out our recent article in Lavender magazine.