For an institution so deeply steeped in tradition, there are plenty of wedding trends that move in and out of favor year after year. Some years the dresses are big and the hair is flat, other years it’s vice versa. Right now, we’re less interested in the trendy wedding colors and themes and more interested in trends for the wedding reception. Here are a few of the reception trends that we see popping up over and over this year.

wedding_reception_ideas_1_01062014

“Foodie” Stations

Many wedding couples are forgoing the traditional sit-down dinner and even the buffet line for stand-alone stations that serve bite-size (often organic/locally sourced/haute cuisine) morsels. We’ve seen this trend apply to the bar as well: instead of a red wine, white wine, and beer option, more couples are opting for beer or liquor flights from local providers. It’s a cool way to bring hipster cred to your wedding ceremony, and sure to satisfy your more adventurous “foodie” friends and family members.

Late-Night Snack Trays

This is definitely an idea whose time has come. If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you know there’s that one point during the reception where the dance floor empties out and everyone kind of slumps into a chair with a piece of stale cake to try and get their energy back up. Usually, given enough booze, there’s a ragged rally back to the dance floor, but everyone looks much the worse for wear. You don’t have to suffer a 9 o’clock slump at your reception, though; just arrange for late-night snack trays. We’ve seen pizza, tacos, s’mores, and plenty of other food options pop up right at that witching hour. You could even consider hiring a food truck to roll up just when everyone needs it most.

“Yacht Rock” Bands

Okay, so we’re still not convinced this is an actual thing, but it keeps popping up in all the wedding blogs, so there must be something to it. Apparently the hottest trend in wedding bands is the “yacht rock” band, a cover band that dresses in 70’s apparel and covers lite-FM tunes from that decade. Think Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Steely Dan–the kind of music that your dad used to listen to when he thought you were in bed. Supposedly people are doing this non-ironically, but we definitely remain skeptical. Everyone knows the greatest era to have a cover band cover is the 80’s.

Interactive Wedding Favors

For decades, couples have been giving their guests the same boring keepsakes as wedding favors. This includes customized beer mugs, candle holders, and even personalized picture frames. Instead, consider handing out fun items that will actually make your reception more enjoyable such as sparklers for weddings, bubbles, or even confetti cannons. Your guests will have an even better experience, and they won’t need to hide their wedding favor in the back of a closet until you happen to swing by for dinner. 

Champagne Towers

For the polar opposite, good-taste-wise, of a yacht rock band, look no further than the other big trend to make resurgence, the champagne tower. By that we mean your caterer stacks old-school champagne glasses (not the modern flutes) in a pyramid with a single glass at the top, then pours champagne so that it fills the glass on top, spills over, and fills the glasses underneath it, and so on. If you’re having a roaring 20’s-themed wedding, or just an extraordinary opulent wedding, it’s the perfect capper to your reception dinner.

Whether your wedding ceremony is trendy or traditional, don’t neglect those little touches that make it entirely your own.