If you're a bride-to-be or intimately involved in the wedding planning, one of the biggest decisions you'll make will be about the reception decoration. Whether you've been planning the big day ever since you were a little girl or find the entire endeavor overwhelming, these ideas will give you a head start on creating gorgeous decor and lasting memories.
Stick with the classics
Floral arrangements and/or candle centerpieces will never go out of style. Make this look your own by adding a personal or whimsical touch. For example, potted plants look beautiful and double as wedding favors. Use stunners like orchids, geranium, gerbera daisies, irises, or lilies. Potted herbs create the same effect with a rustic twist: try using rosemary, thyme, or other leafy greens in groups. If using candles, wrap clear votives with colored or patterned vellum paper to infuse color and ambience. You can also use satin ribbon in varied widths for the same effect.
Keep it simple and sweet
Skip flowers altogether and opt for an edible treat instead. Consider a cupcake stand or tiered tray with decorated cupcakes or brightly colored macarons (which double as dessert and help offset the cost of wedding cake). A tin bucket or pot with oversized lollipops takes guests on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. For a simple, organic look, fill a glass hurricane or bowl filled with lemons, limes, pomegranates, or other vibrant fruit.
Think outside the vase
Use nontraditional containers like vintage tea or biscuit tins for your arrangements, or forego tradition altogether with curiosities, like a fishbowl with brightly colored fish. Picture frames filled with pictures, a meaningful quote, or song lyrics add a sentimental touch. For a nod to the past, decorate with vintage-style movie reels or card catalogues filled with index cards of fun facts about you and your fiancee. Or, use retro-inspired paper suitcases and a notecard of fun trivia about your honeymoon destination. Used books with titles like Pride and Prejudice or Like Water for Chocolate hint at romance and the first chapter of your new life together. If you're a fan of shabby chic, spray paint birdcages bought from thrift stores (to represent the newly-wedded lovebirds, naturally).
RESOURCES AND TIPS
View thousands of inspirational pictures on websites like theknot.com, weddingchannel.com, and marthastewartweddings.com, then hit craft or home and garden stores like Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or even Home Depot for supplies. Whatever final products you choose, keep these tips in mind to stay on track:
Pick a theme
A theme--the color yellow, vintage photography, coffee paraphernalia to honor the cafe where you first met --will tie everything together and streamline your options.
Scout your venue
Whether the reception will be outdoors or in a banquet hall, get familiar with the setting as it will be the backdrop for your decor. Also, check with the vendor about what type of outside decor they allow. Better yet, check what they have in-house--vases, tealight candles, or flowers--and see what can be negotiated into your contract.
Stick to your budget
This can be a tough one, but knowing your limit and sticking to it not only frees up your budget for other necessities, but also allows room for those creative DIY juices to flow.
Keep it personal
The decor should reflect a look that you love or something about you and your fiancee's relationship, personalities, or passions. After all, people will be there to celebrate you.