Decorating a Wedding Reception

Next to the ceremony itself, the wedding reception is the next most important event of the day. Decorating the space used for this post-ceremony celebration is an important part of the planning process. This is a guide about decorating a wedding reception.
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April 27, 2016 Flag

This is a guide about decorating a barn for a wedding reception. With the right decorations an old barn can become a unique and charming venue for your wedding reception.

A barn decorated for a wedding reception.

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August 8, 2012 Flag

I'm getting married in 8 weeks and my reception is at the VFW. That's all I can afford. I have 3 kids, plus my sisters 3 kids, plus another teenager so we're poor! lol I need something way inexpensive to cover the wall with the flags on them. Someone please help. I checked out all of the web sites and everything is way too expensive. Any ideas anyone? Please and thank you.

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By Jennifer

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August 9, 20120 found this helpful
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You could try crepe paper streamers taped to the ceiling, twisted and taped to the floor - like we used to do for high school proms. Tape the streamers abutting each other so it looks like a solid wall of vertical twists in your wedding colors.

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August 9, 20120 found this helpful

Could you just hang sheets or table cloths down the wall?

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August 9, 20120 found this helpful

I agree with dusty--use sheets (you can use them later) or buy some tablecloths from the dollar store. If you can't afford that, just don't worry about it. People are coming to see the wedding and congratulate the two of you--they'll remember you and not the hall.

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June 24, 2016 Flag

My daughter's wedding reception will be in a church activity center that has exposed steel beams in the walls for a total of 6 - 8 beams. How can I disguise them? Thank you for your input/advice.

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June 25, 20160 found this helpful

Instead of going through the expense and sorting through ideas to cover them up, why not focus on drawing people's eyes toward other, prettier things? Flowers, streamers, tables / decor?

That said, you could measure the heighth and length then visit a fabric shop to see if they have anything which fits in your budget and matches your colour scheme? Borrow a staple gun ....

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January 3, 2005 Flag

My daughter is getting married in June 2005. We are having a simple reception (cake, punch, fruit/veggie trays, finger foods). We will be having the wedding/reception outdoors around noon (the time hasn't been set in stone as of this writing). The wedding will take place in a beautiful field.

My problem is I need suggestions on how to decorate the pavillions where the reception wil be held. I have suggested using tulle and fabric in her wedding colors (yellow/white) to drape the beams, even an ivy/flower combo. She is not very impressed with either idea. She has specific ideas about every aspect of this day except for the pavillion decor (She does, however know that she wants the tables to be dressed in white linen with a yellow/white gingham runner. She will also be setting the tables with simple daisy centerpieces)



I am running out of ideas and time. June will be here before I know it. I am open to and will appreciate any and all suggestions.

Amy

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July 15, 20080 found this helpful

I am planning a May 2009 wedding and it is going to be outside at a Country Club on the golf course. I need help with simple ways to decorate the outside. Our colors and ivory and taupe! Please Help! My email address is joeandmandi1 AT verizon.net so any input would be great!

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September 3, 20080 found this helpful

Does ANYONE have any good ideas in decorating above ground pools and a swing set that can't be moved for an outdoor wedding reception?

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January 9, 20090 found this helpful

Use the fabric to drape not only the post(beams) but also use it to go from the post to the center of the roof and drape in a swag form to meet in middle then use some sort of center piece to hang in center (like flowers on a round foam cover entire ball hang from center with ribbon) use Christmas lights to put in the fabric to set mood. I am having my reception in a barn and this is how I am going to decorate some. hope this helps. you can also use rented trees to set the mood(using lights on them to set the mood) have fun!

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June 10, 2004 Flag

I have another wedding question. Any ideas for outdoor wedding decorations, tablecloths and centerpieces? White and pink are the colors and I don't want them to blow away.

Thanks!

Hope

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September 12, 20070 found this helpful

I am having my wedding in September 2008. I am renting a rather good size plaza on the beach for $670. My colors are red white and black (not relating to GA bulldogs) My bridesmaids are going to wear red dresses, groomsmen will wear black shirt and ties and me and my fiance will be wearing white! We are going to have the wedding inside around sunset, with the doors open to the beach breeze. The reception will be at night with the white Christmas lights around all of the railing on the balcony. We are doing our own catering. Instead of having real food because it will be around 7 or 8 we are having all deserts in our wedding colors. we are going to have black and white mini cheesecakes, two chocolate fountains(one white, one reg choc.) with marshmallows, strawberries,etc to dip in. We are going to have choc. covered strawberries and many other desserts. There are to small round side balcony on both sides of the main balcony. I believe we are going to have our first dance on one of those, while his uncle plays acoustic on the guitar. and we are going to have everyone light sparklers as we have our first dance so that it is fun for everyone and it will make the pictures very exciting. I am having trouble deciding what music to walk to as I hate the traditional wedding march and I need help coming up with decorations for the ceremony, I hate arches and balloons might look tacky!

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December 7, 20070 found this helpful

Nice! my wedding will be red black and white too, in September 2008, on a platform overlooking the sea at sunset. we've chosen an asian theme, so the bridesmaids will wear black asian style dresses with white trim, the maid of honor will wear black with red trim and they'll all wear matching shoes. the groomsmen will match them (in kung fu suits!) and my fiance and i will wear white. For decorations, i was thinking about putting glow necklaces in 100 bowls of water, maybe 3 to a bowl and putting red petals, or flowers in it as well, i'm toying with the idea of a floating candle as well or a tealight candle in a clear cup in the middle of the bowl. the place is beautiful so i'm not planning to do a lot of other decorations besides arches and petals, if u want to see it, go to www.negrilescape.com i'm going to use takeout boxes for favors as well, to carry off the whole theme, decorate it with ribbons and asian coins and fill it with fortune cookies or candy, not sure yet. I've designed my own invitations with a tori gate on the front, bamboo and English along with Japanese writing. Not sure i've given anybody any ideas but i just thought i'd post all the same.

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January 6, 20080 found this helpful

Our daughter is getting married in June 2008. Picnic themed Reception. We are looking for yellow & white gingham table runners. Any suggestions on where I may find them?

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January 13, 2006 Flag

I'm looking for a cheap way to decorate my hall and tables. Does anyone have any ideas for decorations and a center peice to go on the middle of the tables?

Stacey From Staines Middlesex

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July 26, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Stacey, every room can be improved with a touch of the Orient. I had this theme at a bash in my home. First, go to a shop that sells Asian-style goods. You can see, and get ideas while there. Maybe buy Asian-style banners. Cover tables with black silk,(or cheaper fabric) table runners. Use mirrors, glass, and light-catching objects to reflect energy. Another idea, is to use a Chinese decorative screen for a background. I would also take tall glass vases and fill with "Bird of Paradise" flowers. For favors, you could purchase inexpensive silk boxes in either red or blue, and also give out fortune cookies. A touch of the Orient will make your wedding unforgettable!

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July 26, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Stacey, here is my second idea for your wedding reception. First, envision what you want your reception to look like. I was married on Valentine's Day, so my reception had pink, with maroon tablecloths, and small pink votive candles along with small bouquets of deep red roses. There was "baby's breath" mixed in, but this was in the Eighties,(and out of style now!) If you are getting married in the Fall, you can use avocado green, and a light blue accent color. Buy light-blue fabric, and make your own placemats for each individual. Your flowers for the tables could be blue and green delphiniums and hydrangeas. For favors, give each guest some Jordan almonds wrapped up in light blue organza, and tied with avocado green ribbon.

Another idea for a Fall wedding is using small baskets for your favors-they add texture. On the cake table, place a small silver tea tray with chocolates( store-bought chocolates decorated with an initial in light blue) and this will delight your guests. Shop for chocolates at a candy "outlet" where the prices are lower. It is your day, so be as creative as you want!

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October 15, 20080 found this helpful

Stacey, we saved money at my daughter's wedding by using the favors as the table centers as well. Just use a footed cake plate or two (I would use two if setting 8'tables) place your favors on the cake plate and scatter rose petals around and on the cake plate. You can add candles if you like. We got our favor packaging at ribbonsandfavors.com and were really pleased with the boxes and put our own edibles inside we actually had a hard time choosing because they had such a nice selection.

It turned out really nice, and none of our footed cake plates matched, as we begged, borrowed and purchased. It looked even better for it as the favor boxes tied it all together. We also set a little note at each place to let our guests know that it was okay to take apart the table centers. You could also have your MC announce that as well - bonus - less to clean up.

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January 20, 2011 Flag

I'm using a fire hall for my wedding reception. I'm having trouble trying to find an inexpensive way to cover 2 11 foot X 50 foot walls. I was thinking to use "S" hooks on the drop ceiling and attaching PVC piping to have it suspended and attaching tulle. I wanted to know how much tulle I would need to conceal the lockers and trophies since tulle is so sheer. Does anyone have any other suggestions on an inexpensive fabric or another inexpensive way to cover the walls?

By Danielle from Baltimore, MD

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

As an event designer, I actually field this exact same question from a young lady who took my Wedding Chic on the Cheap class last fall.

Here is what I suggested. Tulle will be very labor intensive to get enough to cover, approximately 4-5 times the width. So, I would have a wooden frame made (it's very simple and really inexpensive) from 1x2 in 8-10 foot sections. This will make them light enough to install and can be easily moved in case of emergency. Make sure to have cross bracing in the corners. Then I suggested using Charmeuse fabric which you can by in bolt. Stretch the fabric across like a canvas. Then for more drama use uplights (floor spot lights) to add a glow.

You can use really any fabric. It will look great stretched or bunched. Don't be afraid to hang pictures, lanterns, flowers, wreaths, or set trees, pedestals or curly willow, etc in front of the fabric.

Another alternative is to create large painted canvas frames. It's a similar wooden structure as described above. The difference is you will use plywood (luan) to cover the frame. Then you can paint it or wallpaper it for a dramatic effect.

Pipe and draping can be rented from most rental companies for very little and offer colored fabric in lots of colors.

Don't be afraid to break up the wall in sections (like creating decorative panels in different colors or textures. This will make the wall a real feature.

A word of caution about the S hooks and PVC pipe as it may not be strong enough for some fabrics. The tulle would be okay or if you were using it to hang accent items, but be careful about the overall weight from other fabrics.

I hope this helps. You can always contact me with more questions. I wish you the best of luck in your planning and congratulations on your wedding.

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Anonymous Flag
January 21, 20110 found this helpful

Okay, maybe silly of me but I have a sense of humor so why not take advantage of it being a fire hall and simply decorate with a fire fighters theme in mind that they would protect you both when a fire breaks out between you and your future spouse for a lot less money and effort? Wedding receptions don't really have to be serious and the best receptions I've ever been to have been light hearted. ;-)

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January 23, 20110 found this helpful

We recently had a reception in a fire hall that had a similar situation. We bought a roll of tablecloth from Oriental Trading along with a banner with their names and date on it. The wedding was in the fall so we picked up some fake leaves at the dollarstore. We taped the cloth up, just running the roll to the end of the glass trophey cases and then a second row at the bottom as it wasnt long enough. We then decorated the tablecloth with the banner and leaves. The whole thing came out under $50 and everyone thought it was great! Most firemen take their gear out of the lockers and place with the trucks during events as they dont want to intrude on your big day by running in to gear up. Hope this helps!

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August 8, 2011 Flag

I am stuck on decorating my garage for a wedding ceremony and reception, since it is suppose to rain and outside is out of question. How do I decorate an empty garage for a wedding ceremony and reception for 20 people? My theme colour is all blue colours.

By Patricia D.

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August 9, 20110 found this helpful

For background, cover the walls with sheets; tacked to long wood slats that can easily be hung (and taken down) over nails. Add to the trousseau later.

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August 9, 20110 found this helpful

If you know that rain is in the forecast, this must be happening pretty soon! I was thinking about somethink like what EGGZ suggested. You could also find some miniature Christmas lights and gently tack them along the tops of the walls. Just be sure not to pierce the wiring! We have craft supply stores that have Christmas lights year-round. Good luck with the wedding!

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August 9, 20110 found this helpful

Satin sheets, tulle, ribbon, flowers and an imagination! Sheets usually have a hemmed edge, easy to slip onto rods! Have fun!

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June 10, 2010 Flag

My wedding theme is the perfect pair "pear" wedding. I am trying to get cheap ideas for wedding decoration for the tables and the hall all together. Does anybody have any decorating ideas?

By Camilee

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June 10, 20100 found this helpful

If you get some paper napkins with a pear design then use this to make some stencils of different sizes you can carry on your theme onto the tablecloths (put heavy paper ones over the linen) stencils these. Paint tea light holders which are very cheap from IKEA with pairs of pears and use the lovely idea above about the Ivy which in the language of flowers is very romantic and symbolic to decorate the table centres.

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June 10, 20100 found this helpful

If "perfect pair" is the theme I would use prints of other perfect pairs such as dance partners like fred astair and ginger rogers. You could tape cut outs of shoe prints leading to each "perfect pair" photos, you could follow this around the room and finish it with your own photos:)

If "perfect pear" is the theme, find some baskets and fill with pears for the guests to munch on. You could add some pretty wedding themed ribbons and some mylar filler. Or you could do several different pear desserts and have a different one at each table. Good luck.

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June 22, 20100 found this helpful

Camilee: Whether you use "pair" or "pear". You can do all sorts of wonderful things. I like the pear theme using the soft colors of pears which could be piled in the silver or gold "Revere" style bowls (you can buy them made of plastic) in the center of the tables or golden fruit baskets. Filler in the bottom of containers can keep the sumptuous look. One wedding I worked used the fruit bowl centerpieces and then gave people small baskets to take home some of the pieces, another donated the extra fruit to a homeless shelter. I am also attaching a website that shows "perfect pair" place cards that look delightful and attach to the glasses. Have fun. You can do it without spending a fortune. Check out this site it is loaded with great stuff and ideas that are very creative. It also depends on the time of year/and place you are getting married. http://www.save … afts.com/es.html

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January 21, 2011 Flag

I am having a wedding reception at our home in July. We have a pool and a large yard off to the side and will rent a tent, etc. I would like some ideas of decorating the tent and around the pool area, maybe something for in the pool to float. No color has been selected yet, but I can go anyway with that.

By Mary Lou from Harrisburg, PA

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

Pool floats or a pool fountain would be great - just remember to put the balloon bouquet weights on them to keep them in the pool. The tent rental shop will have decorations like ivy, florals, etc, big vases, pillars, etc, you can rent to decorate with as well. Check out the local garden centers for plants. Green always look great! Once the couple have selected colors and theme it will be much easier. I learned from experience; make sure to rent a tent with windows that open on all sides. Tents get very hot without cross ventilation.

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

Floral garlands are pretty wrapped around poles and posts and draped along doorway, fence deck rail, etc. Ferns are attractive on stands, hanging planters or placed on the ground to decorate and are large and fill up space.

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

Just don't put balloons in the pool. We did that when my mom & step-dad got married & all through the ceremony we could hear balloons popping, it was very distracting and funny, although my mom didn't agree with me!

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February 8, 2013 Flag

My wedding colors are yellow and pink and the walls of the venue are blue and white. How can I cover that on a tight budget? Help!

By Erika

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February 10, 20130 found this helpful

You cannot cover up the blue walls on a tight budget. Consider changing your color scheme for the wedding, or run the risk of a pink, blue and yellow color scheme that can ruin the look and come off like the Easter bunny came to the reception.

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November 11, 2014 Flag

Who is responsible for decorating the reception area? If it's me, how do I do it?
My daughter is getting married 450 miles away from home.

By Kathy

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February 6, 2014 Flag

I'm planning the decorating of a large metal barn for a May wedding for my granddaughter. (We live in OK). I want to use cheesecloth to drape off a 20'x40' section for the reception for eating and dancing for approx 60 guests. I have handy man who can do the hanging. I need thrifty solution! Can I use the grade 10 cheesecloth? I can order it online by the bolt from fabric store.com

Sharon

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