Reception Decoration Idea
This article was sent in our Cost-Effective Bride Newsletter
on February 26, 2001. If you would like to receive helpful
articles and money-saving tips for your wedding, subscribe here.
Reception Decoration Idea
As I pointed out in my last newsletter, the reception
is generally the most expensive part about a wedding.
Feeding any amount of mouths can add up very quickly.
With the expense of the meal, it can be difficult to
justify spending a lot of money on making your
reception a place that is visually appealing. But
wouldn't it be nice to have a room with a romantic aura
about it? So, how can you decorate your reception
facility in such a way that it takes your guests breath
away but doesn't cost an arm and a leg?
The answer, I think, is craftiness. Now, don't panic.
I know many of you probably think that you don't have a
creative bone in your body. Well, I say that's not
true. We all have our gifts and talents, and thank
goodness, if yours is not craftiness, I can almost
guarantee that someone close to you does possess this
talent. Others of you are about to complain about not
having enough time. To that I say, hogwash, when
something is important we find a way to make the time.
With this in mind, I will share with you an idea on how
to decorate your reception facility.
So....what makes a room romantic? Lighting, no?
Here's what I suggest - first, decide what your
reception decorations budget is going to be. It is
important to stick to this, because things can quickly
get out of hand. Set your limit and don't go over it.
Next, you are going to need to have an estimate of how
many tables there will be at your reception. Don't
forget to include the cake table, gift table and any
other tables that you might want to place your
Here comes the fun part - head to your local craft or
candle store and check out their candle selection.
Don't get too wild, simple tea lights or votive candles
will do. (I found 10 tea lights for $1.95 at
Candle Factory Products*) You might want
to pick out your wedding colors, but if not, off-white
or white candles are always great. You will want at
least one candle for each table, but if it is within
your budget and you are looking for a good favor idea,
you could also get one candle for each person invited
to your wedding.
For a more brilliant effect, but generally more
expensive, buy hurricane lanterns and candles in place
of votive candles. (If you don't know what this is,
ask one of the craft store personnel, they are
extremely knowledgeable and helpful.) You will only
want one of these per table, so this is not a great
idea for a favor, but you can consider making a game
out of giving these away. For instance, you can place
a sticker or index card underneath one plate at each
table, and when dinner is almost complete ask everyone
to lift their plates to see who has won the candle.
Another candle option is to buy glass votives for
floating candles. Fill the votives with water and
float the candles for a shimmery effect. These can big
or small, so choose according to your budget and how
important it is to you. You can also give these away
Now, before you leave the craft store, you may want to
see if they sell mirrors. No, I'm not talking about a
hand-held mirror, I'm talking about a flat mirror that
you can place the candle(s) on. This will reflect the
light throughout the room and lend to your romantic
atmosphere. One round mirror per table will suffice.
If you are going to give the candles out as favors, you
can place 7-10 of them on the mirror or around the
mirror. Plus, you don't necessarily need to light them
all, so you could just light one in the center and
place the rest on each individual table setting.
Next, head to your favorite grocer's floral section.
(If you are hiring a florist, you could also talk to
him or her about this.) Ask if you can order rose
petals. Specify the date of your wedding as the pickup
date (make sure you have someone who can pick them up
for you) so that the petals are fresh for your
reception. The petals are to sprinkle around the
candle on the mirror. This adds depth of color and
texture to your centerpiece and is extremely eye-
catching. Consider choosing petals the color of your
bridesmaids flowers if you have white candles or white
petals if you chose candles the color of your
bridesmaids dresses. This will produce a color
contrast, also appealing to the eye.
Now there's always the logistics. Don't forget that on
your wedding day, YOU are not going to have the time or
energy to put the love that is needed into making the
room look spectacular. You are going to have to trust
a friend or family member to do this for you. Let your
reception facility know that this person or persons
will be arriving a couple of hours early to place the
candles on the tables - you don't want her to be locked
out. She is also going to need a way of transporting
the candles safely. Make a list for her of all of the
preparations that she is going to need to be concerned
with and make sure that she understands what is
involved. You may want to demonstrate for her how you
want the candles to look, but try not to insult her
intelligence. Also, if she is a close friend or
family member, she is probably going to want to attend
your wedding. Make sure that there is enough time for
her to both attend your ceremony and place the candles.
Last, but not least, be certain to turn the lights down
a bit low, so that the focus of the room is the light
of the candles.
I hope that you have enjoyed this idea, but don't
forget to be creative - you can come up with variations
of candles to better suit your personality! In two
weeks, look for tips in The Cost-Effective Bride on how
to be more crafty with your candles as favors. Till
then I wish you much luck on your planning and
happiness in your life!
Kelly Kons, Editor
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