After you’ve exchanged your vows and the first kiss has been sealed, it’s time to party! If you’re getting married in the next year, you can count on these 2021 wedding reception trends to make your big day a celebration that everyone will remember. Whether it’s the decor or other surprises you have in store for your guests (like singing waiters), your wedding reception is one of the few opportunities in life when you have the perfect excuse to plan a party that is what you’ve always wanted. Fancy cocktails? Go for it! Giant cheese board? Yep! Bouncy Castle? Why not?! As well as celebrating your new “just married” status, your wedding reception is also a chance to show love and thanks to all your friends and family members who are joining you on the big day. Take it as an opportunity to wow them with the latest food, drinks, and entertainment trends—because if your guests are having a fantastic time at your wedding, you will be, too!
Drinkable Table Seating Cards
Whether or not you’re displaying a seating chart for your guests, you’ll also need to show them where on the table they are supposed to be sitting. Whilst name cards are perfectly fine, don’t stop yourself from getting creative with yours! Drinkable, or edible, seating cards will be more popular than ever in 2021. Pairing your seating cards with a drink or a bite-sized snack is an excellent way to surprise your guests. Use it as a chance to treat everyone to your signature cocktail (no standing in line at the bar required!), or give guests a taste of the meal to come by serving personal hor’s d’ oeuvres. A few ideas I’ve seen so far: tequila shots, glasses of bubbly, mini baguettes and macarons.
You might be wondering what the difference is between a bartender and mixologist, so before I go any further, allow me to clarify. A bartender works hard on perfecting (and serving at lightning speed) all of the go-to drinks you already love, from vodka mixers, bloody marys and margaritas.
A mixologist will take a more imaginative, experiential approach to their cocktail-making by combining unexpected ingredients and effects. In 2021, I’m expecting mixology to be a huge wedding reception trend as more couples are looking for unique ways to personalise their celebration. Hire a mixologist if you want to create a one-of-a-kind experience for your wedding guests and wow them with cocktails that are both delicious and entertaining.
Bespoke and Instagrammable moments are more prominent now than ever at weddings, and not even wedding favours are exempt from this latest trend. Experience Favours, such as custom perfume blending and craft jewellery, are the newest way for you to get creative with the gifts that people take home at the end of the night. This wedding reception trend is a fun alternative if you’ve been feeling underwhelmed by other wedding favour ideas, and whatever you choose, it’s guaranteed to get your guests on their feet and mingling with each other.
Even though wedding food buffets aren’t exactly new anymore, creatively presenting your food will be more important than ever in 2021. Whether you’re a serious foodie or you want to provide an interactive conversation starter for your guests, using food as part of your decor will continue to be one of the more prominent wedding reception trends next year. Tastefully arranged food buffet boards are the most popular interpretation of this trend—present one during your drinks reception to appease hungry guests, or use them as alternative centrepieces on each of your reception tables.
Probably one of the most unexpected wedding reception trends for 2021 is the ‘Bouncy Castle’. Yes, really! I’ve already seen a handful of real couples incorporate this childhood throwback into their wedding days, and there are companies across the UK who can even supply all-white bouncy castles specifically for weddings. Of course, this idea is perfect if you’re inviting a lot of kids to your wedding, but it’s great fun for adults, too! The photo ops will be fab!
Self Service Refreshments
Self-service refreshments are another trend you can expect to see at wedding receptions everywhere in 2021. According to WeddingWire, nearly one-third of guests say that the bar is important to them when attending a wedding (same), and this is another opportunity for you to make their experience a memorable one. Tap walls, prosecco trucks, and sangria bars are just a few ways for guests to try their hand at achieving the perfect pour.