Fun Activities for Your Wedding Reception

Everyone knows the ceremony is bound to be beautiful, but the reception is where the party REALLY starts…and continues into the night, sometimes even after the happy couple has left for their honeymoon! To make sure you have a rocking good time ready for your guests – and for yourselves, too —remember to include some fun activity stations that encourage everyone to mingle, circulate, and capture moments the whole evening through. With a little planning, you’ll create memories that last forever for everyone who attends. There’s no better way to celebrate your happiest day!  

  1. DJs—With a DJ running the show, you have a built-in party steward making sure the music matches the moment, getting everyone on their feet, and keeping the energy flowing from start to finish. They’ll call out the toasts, the special dances, the garter and bouquet tosses, and all the other moments you’ll be too busy reveling to call out yourself. In other words: with a DJ at the helm, you can relax and enjoy the party with everyone else!
  1. Live Bands—Few elements add stratospheric levels of happy energy to a reception like live bands! Imagine a lounge band playing standards, an R&B unit cranking out smooth-as-silk classic tunes, or a dance band turning your reception hall into a house party. If you’re a lover of live music and you want a real treat for the occasion, you can’t go wrong with a live combo to bring the magic alive. 
  1. Lighting—Atmosphere is everything at a reception; you can shift from sweet and romantic to lively and energetic with the flip of a switch. Colored gels can lend mood, disco lights can signal all the party people to the dance floor, and soft spotlights can call out the cake cutting and first dances like no other aspect of your event. With a lighting professional on hand to make the most of your reception space, you’ll know the spirit of your special day will be captured at every turn.
  1. Photo Booth—What better way to get your guests laughing with one another than a fun photo booth? You can supply props for fun wedding hashtag moments, encourage long-lost friends reunited for the occasion to capture new memories, and catch impromptu family reunions among long-distance relatives in digital form to share on social media and to store away for sweet memories. It’s the best way to catch all the beautiful faces in their most relaxed revelry for reliving the moments long after the reception has ended! 
  1. Sentiment Stations—From a registry that allows your guests to leave their best wedding advice to a shadow box frame filled with wooden hearts signed by your friends and loved ones, a sentiment station or two set up around your reception allows everyone to leave their thoughts and wishes for the happy couple. You’ll end up with a collaborative keepsake that captures the spirit of your big day forever, and your guests have a chance to participate in the evening in a special way. Everybody wins! 

At Allegro Entertainment, we specialize in making your wedding celebration an 

occasion to remember. From lighting to DJs, from live bands to photo booths, our specialty is turning up the fun and excitement, removing the stress from the happy couple so they can enjoy a worry-free wedding and reception. Visit our Look and Book sign-ups (did we mention they come with a free cocktail party, complete with beverages, live music and appetizers?) and let us show you how we can bring even more magic to your most enchanted day!

Group Dances for Your Reception

It’s a moment in the wedding reception that everyone looks forward to, when all your guests can jump up and get their groove on regardless of age, relation or dancing skill. Yes…it’s the time-honored tradition of the group dance! Also known as line dances, these are great energizers for your party, providing the more reluctant dancers a chance to lose themselves in the crowd while reliving popular moves they’re all familiar with – or learning some new ones with the help of everyone on the floor. With such a wide tradition of group dances, it can be hard choosing which to include. We’ve thrown our favorites together on a list to give you some ideas.

  1. Chicken Dance—Beloved by young and old and easy to learn as shaking a tailfeather, the Chicken Dance has been enjoyed at weddings for generations. It’s a perfect opportunity for children to dance with their grandparents in a fun, silly way that gets the whole room squawking and rocking! 
  1. Macarena— Just try to keep your head from bobbing when you hear the bouncing rhythm of this 90s classic. The lyrics issue a friendly warning that, while Macarena is showing you how to dance, her interest is fully innocent. Once you’ve learned the moves, it’s hard not to bust them out anytime you hear a snippet of the song—or any song with a similar beat!
  1. Electric Slide — There’s nothing quite like seeing a room filled with partygoers dancing in unison, and few dances get everyone in sync like the Electric Slide! Just try to stop them all from chanting the “IT’S ELECTRIC…boogie-woogie-woogie” refrain every time it crops up. Interesting facts: the 22-step dance was created in 1976, though it gained popularity as a wedding dance in the 1990s.
  1. Cha Cha Slide— It’s practically impossible to get this one wrong, since the song literally spells out the dance moves for you—in order! It’s an easy and fun dance for parents of young children to do alongside one another, listening for their instruction of “Two hops one time – two hops two times!” And the freestyling that happens at the break is a spectacle not to be missed.
  1. Conga Line—The whole room becomes a single snaking chain of celebration, kicking and shuffling around the dance floor when the DJ calls for a conga line! It’s such a doable dance that no one needs to be left out of the good times. Try a classic version of a conga tune to get things rolling, or opt for a more contemporary take, such as —you guessed it—“Conga” by Gloria Estevan and Miami Sound Machine!

There’s no reason not to include a few group dances in your special evening sprinkled among the slow dances and the all-out thumpers. It’s a great way to encourage friends, family and strangers to come together all at once to celebrate your special occasion. And with so many possibilities available, you can make sure everyone gets a chance to hit the floor dancing with a group dance that suits their abilities. In fact, you might have trouble getting them all to stop when it’s time to cut the cake!

Alternate Venues for Fun Weddings

Your wedding can take place literally in any locale you want it to, which sounds amazing…but it can also make choosing a venue that fits the occasion something of a challenge! If you can’t afford to rent an actual castle to bring your fairytale to life in and the idea of a church ceremony sounds a little too traditional for your sensibilities, why not get a little creative with your venue and think outside the chapel? Our favorite alternative venues are listed below, places that may surprise you at first, but with a bit of imagination, these spots can make wonderfully memorable spaces to celebrate your most important occasion! 

  1. Brew Pubs

A quaint corner pub nestled in the heart of a central downtown corridor makes a perfectly charming background for an intimate, personal wedding. In addition to providing warm corners for your guests to huddle in, you have a ready bar and potentially even catering services that suit the theme right on the premises, offering sampler flights of local concoctions and bringing community businesses a bit of needed exposure. It’s a special choice for couples with a fondness for craft ale and the cozy comfort of beloved neighborhood bars. 

  1. Museums and Galleries

For a striking setting that’s sure to elevate the vibe of your wedding, research the availability of museums and galleries in your area; many offer their spaces as event halls and wedding spots. Think modern art for a vibrant, contemporary backdrop, or something more classical to surround yourselves with age-old romance. And for an extra stroke of whimsy, check into a science museum or an interactive exhibit that will lend a sense of kinetic fun to the evening!

  1. Libraries

An obvious choice for book lovers, a marriage among the stacks can turn an ordinary library setting into something unexpectedly magical. If the library in your town happens to occupy a building of the historical sort, you can add to the atmosphere with dramatic lighting and choose a picturesque stairway or glowing wooden archway for the ceremony. And don’t forget to schedule your photos among the volumes…a few shots of you and your beloved reading sonnets to one another would make classic and elegant images for your album.

  1. The Woods

Nature is always welcome at a wedding, provided the weather cooperates. If you’re an outdoorsy couple, you can choose a nearby forest cove to add a little festive lighting to; if you’re a bit more reserved, you can opt for a woodsy garden setting exploding with blooms to provide natural flower arrangements. Both of these options provide plenty of opportunity for enchantment when it comes to both the ceremony and the reception. An added bonus: a sunset ceremony leading into a reception beneath the stars will add a touch of cosmic spectacle to the occasion.

  1. Theater

Since weddings are something of a production to begin with, why not opt for a literal theater as your venue? If you’re a film-loving couple, explore a movie locale during off-hours and throw a Golden Age of Cinema-themed wedding that makes use of the screen as a cinematic backdrop. And if you’re lovers of live theater, seek out a community theater that will provide all the staging and seating for a wedding production that suits your tastes to a T – complete with a chamber orchestra to provide sonic inspiration in a space tailor-made for just this sort of wonder!   

You get the idea now…a wedding can take place practically anywhere you decide it should (as long as it’s available). The more creative your choice, the more personal your event will feel. Just remember: no matter where you decide to have your wedding, as long as it reflects your personal interests and your sense of fun and romance, you’re bound to have the evening of your dreams!

Wedding Colors for 2021

Color coordinates the visual elements of your wedding like nothing else can. It sets the tone, creates the mood, and establishes the overriding vibe for the space, from the entrance to altar, leading right through the reception hall – and even to the cake décor! You may have a favorite color scheme in mind that captures the perfect romantic atmosphere for your special day. But do they match up with what the trends are? And if you haven’t chosen a color set, are you ready to explore the most up-to-date possibilities for the 2021 wedding season? Well, we are…take a look at the five most striking color sets for weddings this year and see if they strike your fancy! 

  1. Naturals

Tans, chocolates, rusts, and other subdued tones of nature are a timeless palette that impart a sense of class and subtlety to your wedding. Natural tones work well with a variety of textures, whether you’re going with a modern-cut silk wedding dress or a vintage design trimmed in lace – and they’re perfect for neck ties and bridesmaids dresses to tie your wedding party into the affair. For an added touch of flair, think beyond the expected tones into washed-out blues, greens and lilacs. These tones fade to effective naturals without losing their personality. 

  1. Brights

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll find sunny, vivid colors splashed throughout your wedding décor an equally viable option. Tropical tones like Caribbean blue and mango orange used in moderation add energy to your wedding space and indicate that you’ve come to celebrate in a bold way. Expand the color set to include leaf green or orchid purple for your place settings to lend an eclectic touch that carries the sense of fun into your reception hall.

  1. Grays

Artful and classic, grays are always an elegant choice for a wedding palette. But until you truly examine the color, you won’t realize how many different grays there are to choose from. Cool grays tend toward the blue end of the spectrum, while warm grays carry a shadow of red, sepia or gold. It’s a subtle difference that can pull together a look that speaks of your favorite bygone era – think stylish 1940s looks or a vintage sepia-toned photograph brought to life in modern shapes and settings. Your guests will be starry-eyed at the nostalgic feel grays can bring to your wedding.

  1. Neutrals

There’s never a time when creams, taupes and tans are wrong for a wedding palette. These colors shimmer with graceful undertones and make for a perfect companion to classic black tuxedo choices, and even table settings and cake décor. To dial up the style a bit, choose a soft color like sage green or dusty pumpkin to accent boutonnieres and bouquets without overpowering the neutral base tones and you have a recipe for stunning wedding color everyone will appreciate.

  1. Rose

Rose is an entire palette unto itself and can be paired with so many other colors to create an array of beautiful color sets. Go with rose coral for a bright, inviting shade that will compliment purples, oranges and greens, bright red rose for a full-on black-tie affair, or opt for a dusty rose to keep with a more classic shade that always plays nicely with greens, golds and chocolates. And, of course, if your flowers will be roses, you’ll have no trouble aligning the colors across all elements for an instant match.

Of course, color is such a personal choice that you should always go with your own taste, and any color palette you choose can be made to work with a bit of creativity in your color placement. And if there are too many options that you love for you to decide easily on a set that makes your heart sing, you can always consult a wedding professional for guidance. They’ll be happy to help you figure out exactly what color will bring the love to your auspicious occasion!

Songs For Your First Dance

The traditional first dance of a bride and groom is a guaranteed focal point of your wedding reception. All eyes turn to the happy couple for their inaugural spin around the dance floor, and the music chosen symbolizes their bond and the promise of the next chapter of their fairy tale. There’s a whole trove of legendary first dance songs, romantic tunes that set the tone for such a meaningful and emotional moment, each with personal meaning for the couple who chooses them. With so much promise held by this peak moment of your celebration, we’ve gathered a list of potential tunes to suit the occasion perfectly.  

  1. Time and Tide – Basia

A breezy mid-tempo groove from the 80s, this jazzy tune lends a happy, hopeful energy to your romantic spin along the dancefloor. And the lyric “nothing and no one can stop us now, for better or worse…” reflect the strength of your union in no uncertain terms. 

  1. At Last —Etta James

This timeless showstopper resonates with love and gratitude from the first striking note. A classic slow-burner that fills the room with Etta’s pitch-perfect delivery of an arrangement that’s never gone out of style, you’ll feel the power of your total commitment to your truest love as you take your first musical steps as a married couple.

  1. Honeybee – The Head and The Heart

An unexpected song about belief and how love can change your heart, this minimalist pop ballad gives a modern twist to your first dance, and the lyrics state without any doubt that “we made a garden of the love we found” no matter what it took to get there. A stirring tune to set you spinning into your happy ever after!

  1. Like A Star — Corrine Bailey Rae

The overwhelming romance of finding your once-in-a-lifetime love comes through in Corrine’s hushed tones and plaintive, shimmering guitar and electric piano, creating a jazzy vibe that brings equal parts mood and sunshine to your first dance. It’s a captivating blend that presents love as a complex magic, a fantastic start to the celebration yet to come. 

  1. Fidelity—Regina Spektor

This quirky tune expresses the wonderment of discovering the perfect someone and how things could have easily gone another direction but didn’t, and how that reality inspires “music…and it breaks my heart”, but in the best possible way. You’ll be dancing your way into forever to the happy sounds of plucky violins, bouncy piano chords and the happy promise of being inspired by such a powerful phenomenon as true love.

  1. Like Real People Do—Hozier

This almost-choral folk song speaks of acceptance and holding onto the moment with its chorus of “we should just kiss like real people do” will give you the feeling of being the only two people in the whole world despite being watched by a roomful of friends and family members celebrating your most auspicious occasion. And isn’t that what true love is all about? 

  1. I Choose You – Sara Bareilles

Sara gives us a song custom-crafted for first dances. From the proclamation of its title to its “tell the world that we finally got it all right” chorus to its gentle pop-samba guitar-and-handclap delivery, you’ll be swaying joyfully in the glow of true love, and your guests will be bopping along in their seats as they watch your happiness unfold.

  1. Blessed – Thomas Rhett

This country/R&B throwback tune lends a waltzy bounce to your first dance, the descriptions of deep dedication and the idea that being “lucky just ain’t enough” when describing a love so powerful. It’s a honey-sweet introduction to your reception and a glowing invitation for your guests to celebrate your union with some happy dancing of their own.

  1. Overjoyed—Stevie Wonder

There may be no more perfect lyrical summation of commitment than this R&B classic from a musical genius like none other. “Over time, I’ve been building my castle of love, just for two…” It reads like a romantic ode from another era, but it plays like a swelling ballad of ultimate commitment to love that allows for a gentle slow dance beginning and a triumphant call to total jubilation by the end.

  1. Endless Love – Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

“My love…you’re every breath that I take…” This classic emotional duet will bring happy tears to everyone in the hall as it begins tenuously and tremulously like every true love does and slowly builds to that wondrous pinnacle of commitment. As a song for your first dance as man and wife, you can’t do any better.

What are your favorite choices for first dance songs? We’d love to hear what’s on your list. Connect with us on social media, on Instagram @allegrostl and Facebook as Allegro Entertainment and tells what tunes you’ve got cued up for your first wedding dance!