Planning a wedding reception is a big job in itself, let alone having all the other wedding planning decisions to make. But planning for your wedding celebration can be one of the most fun parts of planning your own wedding.
You know that by the time everyone is enjoying themselves at your reception, the hardest part (the ceremony) is behind you and hopefully you can start to relax a bit.
So plan your wedding with this in mind! If time allows (and it should) build in a cocktail hour before dinner begins. Let the guests mingle and visit and you can too.
Or your bridal party can all gather in one room for a short time and relax a bit together before the reception begins.
You will already have decided on your wedding theme and so make sure to use this throughout the reception area. Even if you are in a rented hall for the evening, you can still make it look beautiful!
The head table should be the focus of the room and special attention should be made to decorate it. Make it more elaborate than the guest tables; it is special and it needs to own it . Having a raised dais for the head table is a special touch that always looks better.
Guest tables are another focus of the room. Some special attention paid to the guest tables can make or break the whole look of your reception.
Using wedding napkins to help set the decor theme
Remember your theme and work with it. Choose table centerpieces with the colors you’ve chosen. And now dress the table around those centerpieces. And don’t forget to take the tablecloths and napkins into consideration.
White wedding napkins? Colored wedding napkins?
Good question. And it’s one you should be asking yourself. Right after you decide on your centerpieces.
Use your tablecloths and napkins to visually pull the whole room together. And, some wedding receptions do call for white tablecloths and also white cloth napkins. Super formal weddings do.
And a room full of white can look beautiful, but it really needs at least a pop of color in other areas right?
Look at the room. It’s too….white. This room deserved more. Thank goodness there is a jar of red jelly at every setting or the whole guest table would be white. Multiply that by even 5 or 6 tables for a small intimate wedding. That’s a lot of white.
The head table is the focus of the room and that is only because it has one garland of greenery.
Granted, a lot of people might like the room and table decor above. But….
Use the Napkin as a Pop of Color
Most catering companies only rent white tablecloths, so that will likely be your decision. Unless you want to spend extra money on your own cloths.
So look for another way to add some color onto your reception tables. Use the napkins.
You’ve got your centerpieces figured out (or at least the basics of them). Get one made and starting playing around. Add the white tablecloths. See how the two look together.
Now take one color from your centerpieces. NOT the main color. One of the background colors.
Use that color for your wedding reception napkins. Or a lighter shade of that color. Look at this photo and you can see what I mean.
Here the party napkins are matched to one of the colors of the table centerpiece. The small blue votive candle? There’s that blue, lighter than the blue of the centerpiece. That blue table runner is the focal point of the whole table.
But the color is picked up in a lighter shade by the candles along the table. Then that color is mimicked in the cloth napkins.
This is the kind of small detail that can make or break the whole look of your wedding tables. Use the guest napkins to really set off the appearance of your guest tables.
Using this trick will really make your guest tables pop visually. Since you will have six or eight guests around each table, this means those colored napkins will really look fantastic.
And when guests first walk in, the entire look of the room is gorgeous, because of all those small pops of that one color.
If you like the idea of personalized wedding napkins, see if you can find them in a complimentary shade to your centerpiece. You could then arrange to have the writing or graphics on the napkins in yet another color that is echoed in the table centerpieces.
If you want white tablecloths and white napkins
Here the bride has chosen to go with white tablecloths and white cloth napkins, but has used the guest gift favors to add that pop of color to her guest tables. What a difference that makes.
If you think carefully about your reception hall, tables and all the other decorated pieces you can come up with a way to really emphasize your main color, while also using various shades of that same color.
Come up with your plan and then get some feedback from your bridal party as to what they think.
Play around with material or colored paper to visually check out different ideas. Get one of these color kits to make it easier for you. Set up a mock guest table and try different things. Sometimes it helps to to just leave a setting in place and look at it over several days.
You will find that you can add a lot of beautiful details to your wedding celebration, often for little money. Take some time and do some brainstorming to come up with your perfect wedding reception decor.
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Read about how to start planning your wedding here.