Getting down on the dance floor is as much a wedding tradition as a bouquet toss or cake cutting. But many of today’s couples (38 percent) are taking receptions to the next level with out-of-the-box entertainment according to The Knot 2018 Real Wedding survey.

“Couples today want to move away from the predictable, and surprise their guests with a night to remember. Years down the road, they want guests to remember the pieces that made the day over-the-top,” says Laura Emiola, a professional aerialist. “After all, this is the biggest party you'll likely ever throw! It's shouldn't be like everyone else's.”

Need some party inspiration? Here are seven ideas for creating a wedding reception your guests will be talking about for years to come.

1. Aerialist

Take your wedding reception to new heights with a professional aerialist. Emiola, for example, offers a variety of acts for weddings, including choreographed performances and aerial bartending. She even serves as a “flower girl,” dropping petals from the sky.

As an added bonus, aerial acts are highly customizable. “The best thing about including aerials is they can really embody your colors, theme and vibe,” she adds.

2. Magician

Want to leave your wedding guests in awe? Book a magician. While the thought of a magician may conjure images of corny kids’ parties, professional magicians can actually bring an element of mystery and sophistication to your event. It’s a perfect way to engage and enchant guests of all ages during the cocktail hour.

3. Fire Performer

Heat up the dance floor by hiring a fire performer to light things up. From dancers to juggling, these pyrotechnic performers can add an element of excitement with their daring moves. Just be sure to check that your venue has the proper outdoor space for this type of act.

4. Caricaturist

Forget bottle openers or bags of candy. Send your guests home with a favor they’ll actually want to keep by hiring at caricaturist for your reception.

“Live art brings value to a reception on many levels: it engages and entertains the attendees through the fascination inherent in the creative process, it creates community by providing a shared experience, and provides a lasting memento,” says Lothar Speer, owner/lead artist for Faces in Focus, an art event company in Chicago that offers caricatures, Victorian silhouettes and live art services.

5. Live Painting

Another way to capture the scene of your big day: a live painter.

“Guests are in awe to watch the process from start to finish. Most guests are overjoyed to find themselves and others in the painting itself. Not many people can say they’ve been captured forever in a painting,” says Laura Welch, live wedding and event painter for ARTISTIC i Wedding, LLC.

6. Silent Disco

This is a fun, modern and maybe a little silly twist on the traditional wedding DJ. Rather than having one song played out loud for everyone to hear, guests can choose between various channels playing different DJ sets on headphones and rock out to their own beat.

7. Carnival Rides

Invite your guests to embrace their inner child by renting carnival rides, such as a Ferris wheel, carousel or big slide, at your reception.

Not only are these ride this big fun for everyone, but they also make for great photos, says Darren Janesky, owner of Big Round Wheel Amusements, a carnival ride and game rental company.

“With the bright colors and lights, along with the glow from the guests and their moments of enthusiastic glory, the photos and videos will reflect the magical day for many years,” he adds.

©CTW Features