Event planning trends change as frequently as fashion in New York City. To be on top of the latest trends and craft an unforgettable experience for guests, consider using some of these new ideas at your wedding reception. 1. Take Design Risks Decoration and design meld the entire vision for the reception together. To create a spectacular experience incorporate creative, novel concepts for a less staid feel. Chef’s tables (long tables that bring different groups together) are increasingly popular—for aesthetic and pragmatic reasons. Lounge areas with circular high-top tables and modular or linked furniture with charging stations help hold the party together as well. Lighting can enhance the mood too. For a cerebral, cutting-edge feel use cool colors (hues of blue, silver, white); for warm, celestial gatherings try red, orange and gold tones. Cool colors give brain synapses a boost making guests feel more creative but also give the retina a break, which brings about a soothing effect. Warm colors encourage appetite and enthusiasm because they reflect more light and stimulate the senses. 2. Transport Guests in Style Imagine being chauffeured in a vintage car or given a short sightseeing history tour by horse and carriage or double-decker bus. If guests are coming in from out of town, consider arranging transportation from the hotel. Best practice is arranging to have taxis or shuttles lined up at the end of the night. Creativity and courtesy in this regard go the extra mile to ensure guest satisfaction. 3. Think Like a Foodie In our culinary-obsessed culture, great food elevates a reception’s accolades considerably. Trends in food for the upcoming year include: small, flaky comfort foods like Southern buttermilk biscuit sandwiches with ham and jam. For a sweet variation try pumpkin spice chocolate chip biscuits with sage cream cheese. Kolaches, pastries that hold a dollop of fruit or meats and cheeses, is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Oysters are making a comeback, even with a new term (“merrior”) to describe the oyster’s native flavoring. Other up-and-comers? Lookout for the dark and bitter trend: coffees, teas, chocolates, collard greens and hoppy beers are all receiving more attention. The “buzz” around the bar is over honey-flavored bourbons, whiskeys and cocktails. 4. Bring in a Photo Booth or Caricature Artists Receptions can be the epitome of fun. A photo booth or caricature artist helps to capture the memory. Three more good reasons to include these at a reception? 1) Prevent boredom. The anticipation of getting the moment documented is priceless. Guests will be dressed up, too, which is more the reason to help preserve the moment. 2) They make for fantastic party favors. It gives guests the opportunity not only to have fun having their picture taken, but to also have a souvenir to take with them at the end of the night. 3) Caricatures and photo booths provide the opportunity for guests to loosen up and have fun. Props and silly faces, things which bring about laughter, stimulate our brain’s frontal lobe, which makes it more likely for guests’ to remember the event fondly. 5. Give Eco-friendly Gifts Giving back and presenting guests with meaningful gifts makes people feel thankful and appreciative. It also spikes our social reciprocity behavior: as a social construct, reciprocity means that in response to friendly actions, people are frequently much nicer. A few gift ideas? Candles from Prosperity Candle are made by women artisans who have recently resettled in the U.S. from refugee camps and are earning living wages making these beautiful products. New Hampshire-based Enviro-Tote will customize eco-friendly tote bags. Certified Benefit Corporation UncommonGoods has spectacular plant gift options. 6. Sprinkle in More Fun For after dinner fun, hire a comedian or light up sparklers outside. A dose of good humor is as good for the body as exercise. We stretch muscles throughout the body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues. Not to mention the phenomenal photo opportunities that both provide. For a reception that will create lasting smiles…and enviable/shareable post updates, follow these top 6 trends at your next wedding reception. Ready to plan your wedding reception in New York City? Contact us below.