DECORATING THE VENUE; Wedding Reception Decoration Ideas & Advice


Decorations can help to turn a somewhat typical function room into a breath-taking vision that dreams are made of. Whilst decorations certainly need to be sympathetic to their surroundings, if executed well, they can be used to add sparkle and fizz to even the most ornate and palatial venues.

Decorations are available in a complete range of shapes and sizes, and different combinations can help to create a range of various effects. Swags of tulle, clouds of white balloons and twinkling white fairy lights can give a dreamy ambience, whilst the same fairy lights used alongside candles and floral arrangements will help to provide a sophisticated timeless look. In short, whatever theme you are looking to create, a cleverly decorated venue is essential in helping you achieve it.

When decorating the venue, there are three areas of the venue that a couple may want to consider decorating; the room(s), the tables, and the grounds. Let’s now take a look at each one in turn.


Room Decorations

The prime concern when decorating any room is to work with what exists already. Whilst some couples will hold their reception in a modern building with relatively plain decor or limited character, others will opt for a historic venue with plush wall and floor coverings, deecadent lighting, unique features and stunning ornaments. To take such a venue and plaster it with 12ft banners would be somewhat of a sin! So rather than fighting against what is already there, assess your surroundings and work with them.

There are a number of areas in the interior of the building that couples may wish to consider decorating. These include:

  • Doorways, entrance and exits
  • Walls, windows and fireplace
  • The ceiling (Particularly in marquees)
  • Door handles and staircases
  • Any areas where the guests are likely to congregate, e.g. around seating areas, and the bar.



One of the first things any couple needs to do when planning a wedding is to decide upon the style of the wedding-in particular the wedding theme and the wedding colour scheme.

The theme and colours are central to the day and will flow through each and every part of it, from the outfits to the favours. Knowing your wedding theme and being aware of your colour scheme up front will help to make life easier when taking decisions for the dress, reception venue and much more, so it is essential you decide upon them sooner rather than later.

For many, the theme will be a traditional white wedding with many couples opting for a supporting pastel colour to complement the white gown, or alternatively a deep sumptuous red or purple depending upon the time of year for the wedding. For others, perhaps those who have a particular fondness for all things art deco, or to whom the orient holds great meaning, a variation on the traditional theme could be the order of the day.

The theme and colour help set the tone for the day and can also provide both the wedding party and all of the guests with a memorable and impressive experience. They can reflect your personalities, hobbies and interests and give your wedding the individuality and flair that it merits. Overall, choosing a theme and colour scheme that you are happy with early on in the planning stage will lead to a co-ordinated day where every aspect blends together seamlessly with one another, and in turn this coordination reflects the hard effort that that have been put into organising the day.



Choosing a colour scheme for a wedding can be quite tricky. Whilst some couples will have always wanted a certain colour or colours, others are literally starting with a blank canvas and lots of coloured paint pots from which to choose!

First up, we should say that choosing a wedding colour scheme is not an exact science – sure it’s easy to say that lilac is a good option if you are getting married in the summer and burgundy a decent bet for a winter wedding, but on the whole a colour scheme (if and when implmented well) can be suitable for any wedding, with any theme, at any time of year.

So where should you start?

Well our first suggestion would be that you choose anywhere between three and five colours. Of these, one should be a white/ivory or similar, one should be metallic (gold/silver), one should be your main wedding colour (for which you have a free choice) and then, if you like, you can choose up to two supporting colours that complement your main wedding colour. This ‘palette’ of 3, 4 or 5 colours makes up your wedding colour scheme.

Some of you of couse will be struggling already to visualise what colours work well together. If you are someone who falls into this category, a good idea is to pop along to any local DIY store and pick up some of the paint colour charts they readily have on display. Doing this will first of all help you to identify favourite colours and shades, and secondly allow you to see what colours are suitable matches.

Now for a few key suggestions to help choose your wedding colours:

  • Never lose sight of any theme that you have chosen for the wedding.
  • Always bear in mind the time of year that you are getting married in.
  • Work together as a couple to help pool ideas and thoughts (the bride may want the groom to wear a pink waistcoat and tie,

If you have not already, we suggest that you read the theme suggestions that we have put together which may give you some ideas as to what colours will work well with your chosen theme. Additionally, the various wedding colour articles we have put togteher will show you potential shades and suggest how and where to best use them.

Whatever you do when choosing a colour scheme, keep focussed on the fact that there is not a right and a wrong answer – it’s not what colours you choose, it’s how you well implement them in the day’s proceedings that is most important.


Floral Arrangement

Flowers are perfect natural decoration that can add colour and life to rooms, tables and the outdoors.

Because of their durability and the wide range available, they are perhaps the most versatile decoartive item around, and unless the Bride or Groom has a serious pollen allergy, then they are an essential item.

Let’s take a look at how they can be used all around the venue to add vibrancy and create that wow factor – for advice on particlar types to use, check out our Flowers section or speak to your florist.

In the rooms…

In much the same way as balloons, indoor floral arrangements really help to emphasis the colour scheme of the day.

A skilled florist will be able to design the arrangements in such a way that they complement the bouquets of the Bride and her Bridesmaids, as well as nestling seemlessly alongside any flower displays that were used in the Service venue.

The arrangements can be made to appear very traditional or highly contemporary, and essentially will be able to compliment any theme for the of day.

The most popular options are to place arrangements on plinths in corners of the rooms, or at intervals along bland walls. Flowers can also be used to highlight key area of the room such as the cake table and, of course, the bar! Flower heads strung on invisible thread and hung over windows, walls or even over doorways are a modern conception and such novelties will fit in perfectly with any eco-friendly wedding taking place.


On the tables….

Of all the decorative items used on tables, floral arrnagements are probably the single most striking element. They will typically reflect the style chosen for both the buttonholes and bouquets, and are meant to be seen and remembered.

When determining and designing the table arrangements, there are a number of things that should be considered.

Firstly, try to avoid particularly tall and dense arrangements. Whilst they may look pretty in practice, in reality they will impede the flow of discussion amongst your guests and often prove a real irtritant. Though two or three tall orchids won’t be a conversation stopper, but fauna-ridden beauties will ultimatley keep cross-table conversation to a minimum. Remember, the guests will want to chat with ease to everyone on the table, not constantly peer round the greenery to see who said what!

Secondly, even if you are keeping the arrangements below the average eye line, don’t make them too wide. Typically, try to keep the width of the to the size of a large dinner plate. This way, there will be sufficient room available for the plates, glasses, bottles of water and wine and everything else that needs to be on the table to allow your guests to enjoy their meal.

Next, keep an extra special arrangement for the top table. Due to the fact that the top table is normally rectangular, it is often necessary to have a totally different floral arrangement anyway, but even if it isn’t, still take this opportunity to elaborate somewhat.Swags of greenery, interwoven with flowers, that are pinned to the front of the top table are particularly striking. Alternatively, for a more contemporary look, short-stemmed flowers in small vases, alternated with tealights or votive candles, really make a super impression. A larger display in front of the Bride and Groom, is always a nice touch.

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  1. […] DECORATING THE VENUE; Wedding Reception Decoration Ideas & Advice […]

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