Sunday, May 1, 2011

Games We Play: The Year's Best Reception + Contest

We get invited to quite a few weddings every year--I'm not sure why.  I guess we know a lot of people, but you'd think one day we'd run out of friends and family getting married.

We went to 7 wedding receptions in March.

Yeah...doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon.

Anyway, we appreciate wedding receptions that look and feel and are like the people who are getting married.  Receptions that are a not-your-typical-Utah-wedding-reception line.  Receptions that are fun, stylish, or quirky.

Definitely not a typical Utah wedding!

This game actually started with one of my roommates, A.  It was wedding season and we were headed to our hometeacher's reception.  We got there and were blown away--the bride's father owned a local antique shop and they had furnished an empty space with gorgeous antiques, had great food, and a little 4-piece jazz band.  There wasn't a receiving line--just dancing, relaxed mingling, and congratulating of the couple and their families.

Notice anything unusual in this picture?

A and I deemed it the best reception we'd been to that year. We compared and weighed other receptions against this one: if another reception happened to out-do the "best" on our list, the current leader would get replaced.  Simple as that.

Lee and I found our "best" last week when we attended the reception of our good friends, H & E.

First of all, we walked into this fun sight!  I wish I got a better picture of E's navy blue seersucker suit and H's beautiful, tiered dress.  You can kind of see it in this picture (sorry, these were taken on a Samsung Fascinate).

Those are strips of fabric hanging from the rafters

And look at these cakes!  Cake topper--love it!

Cakes three ways!

There was a funky band, who were dressed in suspenders and skinny ties, playing tunes throughout the reception. We enjoyed the single-serve berry creme brulee (amazing!).  Even the space, Pierpont Place, was inviting and comfortable.

What really put this reception at the top was all of Heather's photographer friends taking pictures of the guests with their old school polaroid and instant film cameras.  One photographer friend posed us, told us not to smile, and snapped this picture of us. 

We are so serious!
 Strong work, H & E!  We loved it!

As you know, we like to pair a contest with our Games We Play posts, so here it is:

Just answer the question below (comment on the blog post itself) and we'll pick someone at random to win $20 worth of gift certificates to Smashburger (they're everywhere, so enter!). You can take your honey out on a date!

"What is the coolest/funnest/greatest thing you ever encountered at a wedding reception and why?"

Entries are due by Friday, May 6 at 11:59 pm.  Remember to comment in the blog comment section.

Take luck!


  1. when we walked in we grabbed funny costumey hats and had our pictures taken. the wedding cake was like 5 tiers of different levels from super mario brothers with mario and peach as cake toppers. the grooms cake was a storm trooper helmet. reception goodies were movie treat style. and it wasn't cheesy at all.

  2. My favorite had to be when the groom was an aspiring screenplay writer, and as you waited in line, the story of their courtship was written out like a screenplay with old 1930 style pictures. At their getaway, they took off in an old 1930's convertible, and totally looked the part. Super cute, and totally matched their real life style.

  3. Ice-cream cones handed out at an outdoor summer wedding. It was the perfect thing to cool the heat before a delicious Thai-style luncheon.

  4. A wall of meat at an ethiopian wedding. When you walked into the reception hall, there was a large wire rack with all cuts and types of meat hanging from it. You chose what you wanted to eat, and they took it and threw it over a spit. The wall of meat is definitely tops for me.

  5. Coming right after your last post, it kind of looks like Lee is making a habit of photo bombing you... :)

  6. (There aren't any smashburgers near me, but that's okay) The best reception I ever went to in Utah is what I compare all the others to and tried to duplicate at my own reception. There was no line, it was just a picnic up Provo canyon. The dads were grilling burgers and it's the first time ever I had a pastrami burger, yum! The kids were running around playing with a ball that fell in the river and the groom jumped into the river to get the ball for the kids. I LOVE the picture they took of you guys, it suits you both :)

  7. I wanted to do things differently at my own wedding reception, but my mother was not found of the idea, and since they were paying for the wedding I kind of had to stick with doing the typical Utah wedding. I love that people are doing things so differently now. Yay!
    Some friends of ours got married a couple of years ago and they didn't have a wedding reception. They just had a wedding luncheon with close family and friends. The bride and groom introduced everybody in the room. While we were eating they walked around and gave out handwritten personalized notes to everyone. They had the flower arrangements on the tables designed to be easily taken apart, so that everybody got to take flowers home, and they shared their wedding cake. I felt a little guilty walking away from a wedding event feeling so loved and appreciated, but it definately made it very unforgettable.

  8. The wedding reception of J&J takes the cake(pun intended) for me. It was carnival style. Including but not limited to: a GIANT wordsearch for the guests to complete, a cakewalk, a rubber duck pond, basket lunches, throw the ping pong ball in the fish bowl, caricature aritsts, and so much more. We ran around playing the whole time. It was fun and so cute.

  9. We've been to maybe 3 or 4 'none' Utah style receptions that had lots of dancing and good food. It's always nice to not be stuck in what we call 'the line' where you put you gift on the table, walk past the wedding party, get a cup of bunch and slice of sheet cake and then sit quietly and eat until you are done and leave. I've been to funerals more lively than many receptions I've attended.

    When we got married budget really put a crimp on what we did. We had two receptions because we had a lot of friends who couldn't come in the morning. So we did the small luncheon after the wedding and then later we had a Halloween theme (got married 3 days before Halloween) pot-luck complete with carved pumpkins and ice hands and face floating in the punch. It was fun.

  10. We never did give them the award for best reception, but they earned it! I am not certain the coolest, funnest, greatest thing I ever encountered at a reception was, but I recently found the uncoolest, unfunnest, ungreatest thing... Brian was invited (along with the whole family) to go to the wedding and luncheon of a doctor he had just finished rotating with.
    He was marrying his nurse, who had left his wife for. It was a very small wedding and was basically just family (small non-Utah sized family) co-workers, and for some strange reason us. Awkward because all the women their work and I was a stay at home mom and pregnant,no one seemed to like the bride, there was some anamosity amongst the co-workers, and I knew no one and they all knew each other very well. And guess what, he did not want to take time off of work to go on the honeymoon. His employees scheduled it off for him. Worst reception I have ever been to and definately the worst way to start out a marriage! Do you think I should send them that award? Probably not!

  11. Amber, that does not sound awesome at all--weird and awkward!

    Yeah, we totally should have given them an award--it was awesome!

  12. I lovelovelove that polaroid pictah. One thing that immediately comes to mind is a reception I photographed (direct link: Right when you walked in, there was this CUHRAZY rolled-up paper formation thingy. It was awesome. They'd spent hours and hours rolling up the paper and sticking it in chicken wire.

    Viva Smashburger!!!

  13. I once went to a wedding that replaced the usual sign in book with Jenga pieces. They loved Jenga, so every time they played Jenga after their wedding, they got to read sweet messages from their guests on every tile.

  14. At my brother's wedding, he and some of the guests (and my dad) drank from a beer bong. It was a tribute to a popular thrash metal song that my brother had written and sung the lyrics to while in the band Atrophy. -Kevin Zimmerman

  15. I agree with Dave.... The wedding cake piñata and cookie bar were cool too. Thanks wifie J for planing a great party. husband J

  16. I went to a previous co-workers reception who LOVED parties. They had a carnival a church gym with the blow up things and everything all crammed in there. The entire family was invited, they had cotton candy and glass jars full of all kinds of candies they gave out. There was face painting, and everything involved in a carnival (minus the scary smoking carnival workers of course). It was pretty amazing!

  17. It seems carnival receptions are more common than one would think. The one I attended even had a kissing booth, though I was much too chicken to do that even though it was just a kiss on the cheek. I really liked the cotton candy and the soft serve ice cream. The party hats were fun too. The reception was held in a huge backyard and the bride and groom wandered about greeting their guests.

    A fun touch I had never seen before was the life size cardboard cut out of the bride's brother who was unable to attend the wedding; I guess there's always some way to have everyone in the family at your wedding.

    There was also my sister's wedding: a BBQ and touch football, definitely the most unique thing I've ever done at a wedding and fun too.

  18. I know this is a little late, but we don't have a Smashburger, so it doesn't matter. I seem to remember a wedding reception I went to where they served Russian food, and the bride threw fruit instead of a bouquet at the end.

    1. That was you, Rachel! I was excited that I caught an orange...and glad I didn't catch the artichoke!


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