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So it's official. You and your handsome groom are ditching a hometown wedding and taking this show on the road. After all, a destination wedding is romantic, private and best of all - the honeymoon starts the second you say, "I do". But what about all of your adoring friends and family members back home who have been waiting years to celebrate your nuptials with you?
It's true they won't see you gracefully glide down the aisle to your beloved groom, but that doesn't mean they can't party with the happy couple after the honeymoon. Why not throw an unforgettable post-wedding party that's so great it has your friends and family recounting the memories for years to come. We aren't talking about a pastel mints and bird seed reception. No, this gathering will be one for the ages.
Still not sure what to do? Take a look at some of our ideas for creating a unique destination wedding reception:
Cater to Your Crowd: Who's coming to your wedding reception? Are you expecting to see every long-lost aunt and cousin's cousin at the gathering or will it just be close friends? Throw a reception that accommodates the interests of those in attendance. For example, if the gathering will be primarily young 20-somethings who would rather have a drink in their hand than cake in their mouth, throw a party at a trendy bar or hotspot. On the other hand, if a large number of your guests are old enough to have served in the Korean War, you may want to opt for a polite, outdoor brunch.
Wedding, Take Two:So maybe a few people are particularly bitter that they can't come to your destination wedding. Why not recreate the big day with a wedding destination-themed reception? Are you going to tie the knot on the beach in a tropical locale? Host a poolside party, complete with palm trees, a steel drum band and delicious pina coladas. Similarly, if you and the husband eloped in Sin City, host a casino night with blackjack tables, roulette and cocktail waitresses galore. Oh, and don't forget the sprawling, Vegas-style self-serve buffet.
Put on a Show:No one ever said receptions had to consist of mediocre bands and The Electric Slide. Give your guests a reason to come by providing some entertainment that defies expectations. Instead of hiring a tired wedding DJ, phone in a stand-up comedian or a magician. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, why not host a mystery theater? Watch your guests skeptically scramble to find out who stole the wedding rings!
Please Yourself: Ultimately, your reception is about you and your new husband. If the two of you share a common bond, celebrate it. Are the two of you Chicago Bears fans? Organize some friendly flag football and have your guests wear Bears colors. Serve up some tasty Chicago deep-dish pizza while you're at it. On the other hand, perhaps the two of you are animal lovers. Throw a pet-friendly outdoor reception with heart-shaped puppy treats and be sure to send everyone home with a doggy bag!
With these suggestions, you'll be sure to throw a reception that, 12 years later, still inspires people to utter, "Hey, remember that one time at Bill and Jane's cocktail party reception…"