Jan 20, 2021
Welcome to 2021, folks (or as I like to call it: 2020 Pt 2). By now, we’re all well-versed on the pandemic life and all it entails, which has now blessed soon-to-be-married couples with finding alternatives for their special day besides the usual “cut up a rug” style party. Who doesn’t love a good dancefest? I’ll tell you who, and her name starts with a C and ends in “ovid”.
I brainstormed and reached out to other vendors/business owners to really come up with some ideas that would be fun, safe, and feasible for you and your guests, whether you’re having an indoor or outdoor event. I know that providing a wonderful experience for your loved ones is important to you, and nobody wants a good time more than right now! #Forrealtho.
So the answer to your no-dancing-Footloose-era party is:
Lounges give you and your guests activities to do while safely socializing, plus provide a fun experience which is especially important in a time where traveling and activities are at a minimum. They can be themed to match your wedding colors or vibe, or just your general aesthetic as a couple. I recommend choosing anywhere from 3-5 lounges, but if you’re on a tight budget or your neurons are fried over the logistics, two would work too.
Here are some ideas for different types of lounges for your wedding reception:
This (obviously outdoors) lounge would/could include: a bonfire, s’mores station, and outdoor lawn games. Depending on the season of your wedding, you could have flannel blankets available for guests to snag (and take home if you’d like), true camp chairs (or tree stumps if you really want a rustic feel), and perhaps a cooler of beverages. You could even have a hot chocolate station with take-home mugs.
I’m all for a good board game that doesn’t last a century to complete. There are also plenty of games that allow for the participants to stay distanced while taking turns. Game ideas include: Jenga (the kind with the giant pieces are great), Dominoes (the Mexican Dominoes one is my faaaave), Connect Four, Chess (big thanks to Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit for bringing this back into style), Cards, or any other games specific to the newlywedded couple. There’s even a game called We’re Not Really Strangers which could allow your guests to get to know each other better (if they’re already acquaintances) or to make new friends.
This one is designed to be three separate stations- or you pick one as one station. You can check with your caterer to see if they can have a staff member act as a sommelier/guide/expert, or you can call to hire an expert from your favorite wine bar/brewery/distillery (if they provide it). You could even include snacks to pair with your drink of choice, such as chocolate, cheese or fruit. (If you want to keep it sanitary, you could even make little bags of chocolate or cheese to hand out to each taster).
I suspect these types of lounges would be pretty popular, so you might have to offer tickets to guests for the best time to come back for their own group tasting (unless it’s self-serve) to avoid overcrowding.
Following on the heels of number #3 is a non-alcoholic tasting station for your nondrinking friends and family. The Sober Movement is gaining momentum and this station is a great way to include those who choose not to imbibe in the fun of a new experience. Instead of hiring someone, you can also choose a willing family member or guest to help design and guide this station.
This lounge could have a radio/tv set up to to DIY the karaoke or can be paired with a live band (if you hired one) as suggested by Corinne from Canvas Weddings. Keep your fingers crossed for singers that can hold a note!
Ahhh, the obvious follow-up question. There are plenty of companies that offer rentals for lounge furniture, such as Pretty Little Vintage Co, North Country Vintage, and Hudson Valley Vintage Rentals all in the Hudson Valley area; or Dovetail Vintage Rentals, Fox & Finch, and Foxvale for northeastern PA and NJ.
But if you’re overwhelmed with planning and the thought of orchestrating this makes you want to jump off a ledge (and straight into a ballpit), I always encourage you to reach out to a wedding planner, such as Corinne from Canvas Weddings (mentioned earlier, based in the Hudson Valley), Angela from Elite Wedding Planning (HV & Catskills), Emily from Luna & Charlie Events (CT), Alison from Lifestyle Maven Events (NY & NJ) and Kristi from Weddings With Verve (NJ). Not only do they know the industry in and out in general and can help guide you through the planning with ease and thus take stress off your shoulders, but more importantly they’ve been doing this since the start of the pandemic, and will have the resources to get you to the other side with all of your hairs still attached to your head.
And that’s all she wrote, folks! If you’ve got more suggestions for lounges, drop them in the comments! HAPPY WEDDING PLANNING!