Styling and Decoration for Wedding Receptions16 May 2017
Your wedding reception is a chance to celebrate your love with family and friends. With a few finishing touches and styling elements, details and decoration, and a little planning, you can make your venue look really impressive…
Getting the Basics Right
We’d all love an impressive wedding reception venue in a beautiful stately home. But if your venue or your budget isn’t as grand as Downton Abbey, there are a few ways to perk up your party venue without spending too much. Linings are more commonly associated with marquee weddings, but you can also use them to provide a blank, white canvas in underwhelming function rooms. Ensuring you don’t have to work around the room’s less desirable decoration or underwhelming pictures, curtains and colours when styling your day.
Getting the Basics Right
Once you’ve a compelling enough canvas, lighting should be your next focus, given that it allows you to establish ambiance, and dictates practical considerations like whether there’s enough light for guests to find their way to the dance floor. You can also use lighting architecturally too, to create a focal point; hire large chandeliers, create ambiance on your table with candles – which can double up as favours – or perk up a dull corner with freestanding illuminated letters spelling a word like ‘love,’ or better still, your names.
As any florist will tell you, floral design is limited only by your imagination and by your budget. A free-standing arrangement and table arrangement for your top table or for each guest table are baselines. However, you can also ‘line’ the edge of your top table using a longer garland. Otherwise, create garlands for your ceilings, topiary rows leading into your reception, floral arrangements on the backs of your chairs, hanging floral displays over wedding reception tables (floral chandeliers) or displays up your staircase. Other ideas include a floral arch over the doorway to guide guests into your reception. If all of those ideas sound expensive, remember that florists can accommodate modest budgets with the use of ‘feature’ flowers and cheaper filler blooms and foliage.
Sweet Little Touches
A sweet cart in addition to your wedding cake will look impressive at your wedding reception. Fill it with bright macaroons, lollies and other treats. You can scale back your wedding cake budget to accommodate one, especially on the basis that younger wedding guests might be keener to grab a lolly or two instead of waiting for the cake to be cut. Alternatively, we’ve also seen Pimm’s carts and vintage ice cream carts for ‘summer fete’ weddings.
A new industry has emerged with the trend towards vintage weddings, hiring props and other styling elements for your day. From rustic bicycles and bird cages (great for outdoor floral displays) to massive mirrors, to candelabras and gramophones for quirky decoration as well as village fete props. You can use ornate frames for your table plans or when they have built-in blackboards, you can write a welcome message to your guests. If sourcing and purchasing accessories for your venue is too expensive, try hiring them instead.
Don’t underestimate the potential uses for bringing your own personal history into your wedding, by way of cheap and quirky decoration. Baby photos and images from the early days of your relationship will look great. They can also enable you to theme your guests’ tables with the names of your schools and colleges, holidays you’ve been on, or your favourite songs with accompanying photos from corresponding eras.
Smoke and Bubbles
And finally… if you’re really looking to create an impressive scene, you can ‘decorate’ with smoke machines, laser displays, indoor fireworks and bubble machines to create an impressive reception ambiance…