Skip to content, or skip to search.

15 Standout Reception Ideas

Tiers of iced cupcakes, each with miniature bride-and-groom picks.  

13. Make dessert as important a course as the rest.
Pass mini-desserts on trays during late-night dance sets, or have a mini sweets buffet. Caterer Abigail Kirsch does one with pistachio French meringues, lemon raspberry tarts, carrot-cake towers, layered parfaits, hand-dipped chocolate strawberries, and custom-colored cotton candy (from $15 per head; 212-696-4076). In other news, the cupcake-tower trend is not going anywhere soon. Decorate each cupcake with mini bride-and-groom picks (from One way to personalize the typical tiered wedding cake? Custom-design your cake topper. Says one New York bride: “We sent this company, Patch NYC, a picture of us and my dress, and it turned out fantastic. We keep it under a glass cloche at home” (from $500; 212-807-1042).

14. Don’t let guests go home hungry.
The caterer might have done a great job, but if you have an awesome band, there’s a good chance your guests are going to be famished by night’s end. Offer late-night snacks as they exit: Set up a scoop-and-serve candy station, or a custom cookie bar by One Girl Cookies (from $1,200; 212-675-4996). Some prepackaged options that double as favors include caramel apples (from or New York-themed cookies from Eleni’s or Zaro’s New York Bakery in takeout boxes. Or, rent a street-food cart for pretzels or hot dogs (from $995: National Food Cart Rentals; 800-891-0223). As a last resort, there’s nothing wrong with putting on a show for Saturday night revelers and stopping into your favorite 24/7 takeout fully gowned and tuxedoed.

15. Have an after-hours plan.
Transform the area you used for cocktail hour into a nightclub with dramatic lighting, lounge furniture, and a D.J. Or, roll to a new venue. Planner Karen Bussen recommends the Hotel on Rivington’s 105 Riv Bar, a snug, sexy, 50-person lounge, or an elegant party room at the St. Regis Hotel.


Spot an error in a listing or want to suggest an update? Contact us.

New York Weddings issue app ad
Order the Weddings Issue Today

Cover of New York Magazine's Spring 2017 Wedding issue

Order This Issue