Give guests a place to mingle between dance breaks by creating a lounge area at your reception. Fill the space with couches or chairs and plenty of pillows to sink into. It's the perfect way to keep everyone in on the party even when they're resting. Really want to wow them? Close off the area with curtains to create a VIP vibe.
You may already be planning to have your ushers escort guests to their ceremony seats, but consider having reception ushers. These "live escort cards" walk guests to their tables for an upscale restaurant experience. Ask your reception venue or caterer if its wait staff can do this double duty, or assign a few ushers to the job.
If you're planning on shuttling your guests from the ceremony to the reception, make the journey part of the fun by renting some seriously cool mass transportation. Take wedding transportation to new heights with a hot air balloon ride. Or, if it'll suit your wedding style, get nostalgic with some charming yellow school buses.
Your guests won't be expecting any drinks until the reception, so give them a pleasant surprise by setting up a table of light beverages on the way into the ceremony. Just don't serve anything too strong -- think: mimosas or fruit-infused iced teas they can sip before taking their seats (and don't forget to have non-alcoholic versions too!). Have your caterer or ushers collect any stray glasses to make sure the space is tidy before the processional begins.
Standout Escort Cards
Instead of a paper card that'll get lost or thrown away, upgrade your escort cards to something worth keeping (or eating!). Try personalized cake pops with guests' names and table numbers written on them in icing (or on a cute tag), or engraved martini glasses that double as favours.
Upgraded Welcome Bags
Make your guests feel like VIPs with welcome bags that go beyond a map and a few snacks. Stuff personalized tote bags with mini bottles of bubbly or a six-pack of a local microbrew, a gift certificate to your favourite local coffee shop and an individual "Welcome!" note from you.
A DIY Flower Station
Let guests know that it's not just the wedding party that's special to you (it's everyone!) by letting each one stand out with their own corsage or boutonniere. Ask your florist about setting up a make-your-own-flower station: Put out some sturdy blooms like spray roses or mums, supply lots of colourful ribbons and pins, and add labels with easy-to-follow instructions.
A Bubbly Bar
Make toast time delicious by letting guests customize their champagne. Dishes full of fruit purees, lavender sprigs, citrus twists and flavoured ice cubes that can be spooned into glasses of bubbly will make the toast that much more fun.
A First-Dance Confetti Drop
Your first dance will be one of the highlights of your wedding, so add this extra-special touch to up the entertainment factor (and make for some serious photo ops!). If your song is slow and romantic, have fresh flower petals instead of confetti dropped from the ceiling. Your rental company and florist can work together to make this happen -- and don't forget to make sure the reception wait staff will be standing by to clean up.