Get some inspiration from some of our real brides and their wedding reception details and decorations. Here are just a few of our favourites, from traditional venues to beautified tipis…
Becky and Paul opted for a ‘less is more’ approach to decorating. “The hotel was so stunning, we didn’t want to clutter it up and overdo it,” Becky explains. The tables were simply decorated with confetti and table centres made from jam jar wrapped with paper ribbon and filled with flowers.
The country theme at Emma and Luke’s wedding came to life with miles of handmade bunting in purple, green and yellow, made by Emma’s mum, and shabby chic signposts made by her dad. “I saved jam jars and wrapped them with hessian and string of heart-shaped buttons to use as vases for the table flowers, and made a seating plan using a small ladder, with guests’ names written on plant tags in pots of lavender and placed on the rungs,” Emma explains.
Anna and Derek’s venue was dressed in a vintage style, with birdcages and wicker hearts, with flower arrangements in old watering cans and tin baths. “The main feature was the fire pit surrounded by straw bales,” says Anna. “We lit the fire after the meal so guests could sit around and chat if they didn’t want to dance. We also put a bottle of whisky on each table in honour of Derek’s Scottish roots!”
Beach lover Joanna and James decided on a seaside theme for their reception. “We spent a lot of time making our own decorations, including messages in bottles and seaside windmills,” Joanna says. “We used a fishing net to create a ‘catch of memories’ with old photos attached with pegs, and decorated with sea shells and pebble-style chocolates in mini buckets. We also used sandcastle flags in our buffet, and named our tables after famous beaches around the world.”
A handmade touch
Sara and Mark’s homemade theme evolved along with the wedding plans. “People thought we were made not to have a specific colour theme, but I ust wanted our day to reflect us as a couple, as I knew it would all come together,” says Sara. The talented bride turned her hand to making the table decorations, hessian table runners, the table plan, personalised signs and card box. “When I saw everything set up in the marquee, all the hard work was worthwhile,” Sara adds.
Amy and Harry went back to nature with their relaxed and rustic wedding theme. “We wanted it to be quirky and fun and fit in with our personalities,” she explains. The couple decorated with oversized lanterns, candles and homemade bunting, and dressed the trees in the field with paper chains, paper hearts and ribbon. Creative bride Amy made signs out of wood slices and hanging lanterns from jars and bamboo canes. “I also bought lots of blankets from charity shops for people to sit on,” Amy adds.
Eve and Glen chose a romantic theme with lots of flowers and a soft colour palette of blush pink, ivory and mauve. The details included mini milk bottles with stripy pink straws for the children’s drinks, and mason jars filled with pink and white hydrangea on the end of each row of chairs. “We also had lots of chalkboards displaying our table names and dotted around the venue with different messages,” Eve says. “My favourite was the one in the ladies’ toilet, which said, ‘You look great… Now get out and dance!”
Hiring a marquee meant that Rebecca and Oliver had the perfect blank canvas on which to create their wedding vision. The couple decorated with tissue pom poms, lavish flower arrangements and scattered pearls on the table. “We put little aprons made by my mum on each of the flowergirls’ chairs to protect their dresses from spills, and also hung a ribbon with pegs attached on one wall so our guests could hang up their hats,” Rebecca adds.
Kirsty and Ben spent the months leading up to the wedding stocking up on shabby chic accessories including paper pom poms, wheat sheaves, bay trees and olive trees decked with fairy lights, and a signing board instead of a guest book. “We also had an old-fashioned sweet cart with 15 varieties of sweets, which was very popular,” adds Kirsty. The bride even travelled in country style, arriving in her brother’s Land Rover.
Classic garden party
The marquee at Jennifer and Stephen’s wedding was decorated with tea lights and chandeliers, and the couple hired potted olive trees to bring the garden feel indoors. “We also planted 900 daffodil and tulip bulbs ahead of the wedding, and dressed the willow tree with candles in jars, which looked beautiful as night fell,” Jennifer adds. The table flowers were displayed on glass cake stands, and the place names were held in champagne corks. Stephen’s father creatively made a rustic cheeseboard out of a log slice and candle holders from branches!
Holly and Lloyd’s reception was a riot of colour with its rainbow theme. “The tipi was already decorated with fairy lights, and we added multi-coloured lanterns and lots of bunting,” Holly explains. “My mum handmade all the tablecloths in pink and yellow fabric, and our table centres were flower arrangements in funky teapots.”
Find out what else is bang on trend for your wedding reception here, and if you’re planning a vintage reception, we’ve got the best things for you to buy or hire for an amazing finishing touch on your big day.