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27 Simple Wedding Reception Decor Ideas

Planning a wedding isn’t easy, to say the least. Between picking a venue, dealing with the caterer, and trying to impress your guests anything that helps simplify the planning process can make life just a little easier.

While you’ve been frantically searching for ideas and tips, we've put together a life line of sorts. A list of ideas that range from fall weddings to general decor. Compiled below are 27 ideas to help you create an amazing and unique reception. 

During the fall season, it’s hard not to feel those cozy vibes. A rustic atmosphere full of cozy warmth and a laid-back feel pairs so well with fall. Whether you have an upcoming wedding or are just looking for preliminary ideas, in this section you’ll find elegant ways of creating comfortable fall atmosphere.
1.  Roaring Fires
An outdoor wedding in the fall can get quite chilly at night. Light the night sky and warm guests by adding fires to your outdoor rustic wedding during the colder months. Keep reading to see how a fire can add an elegant touch while keeping with the rustic feel.
2.    Illuminate the Sky
If you want to go more upscale for your rustic or fall wedding, there are many options for illumination that pair well. You can hang crystal chandeliers from the ceiling of a barn to make for an elegant ambiance.
While chandeliers can add an elegant touch, not everyone will want to go for something so, well, big (or have your reception in a barn for that matter.) Consider hanging café lights on the ceiling or in trees for a less formal touch.

Hanging lanterns are another lighting option, and these add a particular flair no matter what kind of venue you’ve chosen. While traditional lanterns will add to a rustic vibe, and café lights add more to the industrial or vintage look, paper lanterns are great for creating either a playful, relaxed atmosphere… or, depending on the style of the lanterns, an elegant feel that is artistic and trendy.
3. Warm and Cozy
Whether or not there are roaring fires (but you totally should), consider creating a comfortable and cozy place for guests to sit. The fall weather will inspire them to wish for a casual spot to relax, mingle, chat and feel the warmth from the inside-out.  Use pillows, outdoor furniture and fluffed blankets in case it gets chilly out. This gives guests a place to unwind and relax from the party plus the blankets can double as a great keepsake gift!
4. Wood Ladder
Using tattered wood ladders is a great way to decorate while keeping with your rustic or fall theme. They can be used to display photos, guests’ escort cards, seating cards, small quilts, or simply decorated with flowers.

5. Fall Colors
Especially when fall is upon us, nature can be incredible at guiding the color scheme for a reception. BBJ Linen has some beautiful rustic ideas including using Earth tones from the surrounding landscape combined with a natural wood look for tables and chairs.

From pumpkins and other organic oranges, to hazelnut browns, bronze, deep organic reds and muted sunflower yellow… the range of colors that are available to accent your gathering are varied and rich.  -Including seasonal colors is a simple way to bring a fullness and sense of connection to your celebration.

 Sash & Bow – Shanna Allen Photo

6.  Hayrides and Halloween
There’s nothing more fall than pumpkins, apples, barrels and bales of hay. Large bales of hay make a great addition to any rustic or fall wedding and can double as a place for guests to sit. Barrels provide a fun hi-top table, or a decorative piece on which to set florals or your delightful wedding cake.  Uncarved pumpkins, squash and apples add a great fall vibe too, but don’t use carved pumpkins as it’ll make your reception look like a place to trick-or-treat!
7. Seating
Whether you’re going for a rustic feel or a laid-back fall vibe, long farm-style tables create a more informal feel than round tables. This encourages a more casual atmosphere. If you’re outdoors or at a rustic setting, like a barn, long tables will keep with the overall theme of the reception.  Be sure to chat with your caterer about homestyle options that retain a sense of elegance but keep theme with the rustic as well!
8. Tapestry
Hanging tapestry or quilts will not only add to a cozy atmosphere or rustic vibe, but it can double as a way to display guests’ seating assignments. Check out The Lesser Bear for elegant hand-made tapestries.
9. Glassware
Ditch the formal long-stem wine glasses and opt for something that matches your casual autumn theme. You can be creative as there are many options to choose from. Glassware suggestions include using canning jars, mugs and old jelly jars for serving drinks.  Wrap them with a piece of burlap or quilted fabric – you can then pin nametags or a keepsake to the jar for an added touch.
10. Guest Book
Definitely opt to get creative with your guest book! It’s something you’ll keep forever and the more interactive the process, the more meaningful the messages that your guests will be inspired to write. A large wood framed canvas can add some fun, especially for a rustic wedding. Check out Flutterbye Prints for some framed guest book ideas.
11. Crates
Wooden crates are a great addition to any fall wedding. They can be used as a decoration, filled with florals or with personal items such as blankets, or brimming with apples both for display and for tempting your guests for a snacking option. They also can be used to display escort cards or a creative way to display guests’ wedding favors.
12. Hanging & Displaying Greenery
Whether it’s too cold or you’re not wanting to risk poor weather at an outdoor wedding, you can bring the fall foliage inside. Hang pine, fall leaves and other greenery to create a rustic, fall look for an indoor reception. You can use existing structures at your venue or find creative ways to decorate your space with greenery-such as adding greenery to hanging lights, decorating ladders, barrels or crates (as mentioned above)… or keep things simple by using canning jars as vases at each table, filled with fall foliage and greens.
13. Large Letters
Oversized letters with a wooden finish are a trendy decorative addition. They are great as accent pieces such as displaying fun combinations of you and your partner’s initials or newly chosen last name… or being used to designate certain areas such as the bar or the dance floor.
Tantalizing Tips for any Time of the Year
While fall weddings seem to be gaining popularity, whether it’s due to the wildly colorful foliage or crazes for more casual wear and coffee bars with pumpkin spice, every season has something unique to offer for a wedding. No matter if it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, these next tips can help you create a beautiful reception.
14. Table Runners
Whether with, or in lieu of tablecloths, consider using table runners to add some romantic décor to the table. Depending on the theme, the color you choose can add a nice accent to compliment the reception. Texture is also a trendy part of table décor these days!  …and table runners come in all kinds of different fabrics.  Just by adding these simple accents, you can change the entire ambience of your reception tables, so don’t underestimate this exciting (yet easy!) feature.

15. Display Photos
Guests truly enjoy having the chance to see all the love that has led up to Your Special Day. Explore a variety of creative ways to display photos of you and your partner… and even some of your families and friends – guests also will love to find themselves featured in your special montage!  Digital frames allow for a seemingly endless array of images, or there are a variety of artistic display ideas as well.
16. Upgraded Table Numbers
There are creative ways to display table number or names that blend well with whatever theme you go with. Consider using personalized bottles of craft beer, flags in mason jars, photo markers, tag trees, or almost anything you want! Check out Save on Crafts for some trendy ideas.
17. Photo Booth
Create a backdrop that adds to the décor of your reception, but still makes for festive and unique photos. Companies that rent out photo booths can help you create the perfect backdrop and fun activity for guests.  There are many options these days as far as interactive photo booth experiences go, so be sure to shop around and ask lots of questions!
18. Focus on Flowers
Flowers are a timeless addition to any wedding. A simple and easy way to make your centerpieces stand out is to use tall vases for flower arrangements. Believe it or not, height is one quick way to add to the design scheme of your reception!  Then of course there are the other wonderful elements to consider when it comes to options with florals:  color choices, the style of flowers (wildflowers add that sense of charm, while deep red roses say “Classic Love” at a glance!)…  Accents with regard to how your florals are presented or displayed…  Check out Sweet Blossoms for some great ideas on how to make your flower arrangements pop.  And be sure to take into consideration what will happen with your florals after your party is over:  will you take them all home?  Will you give some away?  Will you donate them?  Planning ahead will save you time in the long run!
19. Balloons
Balloons can add a festive touch without breaking the bank. They can be used to create backdrops, arches, non-floral displays, signage, add a fun flair to formal weddings or help create a laid-back vibe. Consider Shop at Nyeas for balloon related ideas.
20. Sugar Rush
Who doesn’t love dessert? Better yet who doesn’t love candy? Whether with, or in lieu of, a cake, consider a buffet of candy for guests to enjoy. We're Sweet for You can help you create a candy display that also doubles as a party favor. Simply provide some colorful or customized bags for the road… and you’re all set with the keepsakes for your guests!
21. Elegant Drapery
Hanging drapery or fabrics can add an elegant, sweeping or colorful touch to your wedding reception. They can be used to cover up unimpressive walls or add glorious accents to the ceilings. With uplighting, fabric backdrops can shine, sparkle, alternate hues, spotlight monograms or signage and more…  Check out Event Drape Rental for more info!
22. Make Your Wedding Sparkle
If part of your wedding can be outside or your wedding reception is outdoors, using sparklers is not only a fun activity for guests, but can create magical photos that will last a lifetime. Take a look at Grand Wedding Exit to see what fun their sparklers can add to your festivities.
23. Cup Your Cake and Personalize the H&%@ out of it
Many couples are opting for cupcakes instead of a large, single wedding cake. Cupcakes allow you to create beautiful displays and offer up multiple flavors to please every guest. Our CupCakery offers cupcakes in all sorts of sizes, flavors and can account for various dietary restrictions.  And a great keepsake idea?  Cake in a jar, (a personalized jar to commemorate the Special Day!), with a lid and ready to go!  Guests can even pick and choose from various flavors to add to the fun!
24. Flowers from Above
Although we’ve already discussed hanging greenery, you can use the same creative ideas to hang flowers from a ceiling. Enchanting!  You can also decorate existing structures or hang potted centerpieces instead of or in addition to tabletop florals.  The wow factor, exponential!
25. Chalkboards
Chalkboards can be used throughout your reception to create a different look that your guests might not be expecting. Chalkboards can be used to designate a gift table, used as a welcome sign or as a menu at the bar.  Your calligrapher or invitation specialist may be able to help with beautiful lettering and colors to make the most of this fun and versatile idea.
26. Tie a Knot
Ribbons can be a great, low-cost way of adding to your decorations. Ribbons can be used instead of chair covers as well, offering some savings while keeping your reception looking elegant. Believe it or not, the array of styles and textures available in ribbon these days is amazing.  Check out the options online or in your local craft store for inspiration!
27. Bunting
Bunting, long strings of triangular shaped flags, is becoming more popular these days. It’s relatively inexpensive and has a variety of uses. It adds a festive flair to a vintage wedding or adds to the laid-back feel of an outdoor fall wedding.

While a wedding is all about celebrating the love of two people, who have decided to come together and commit to a life-long relationship, of course you also want to enjoy a setting that provides a beautiful backdrop to Your Special Day.  Whether modest or epic, the décor that you choose can add that much more to the uniqueness of your wedding day.  Make the most of the occasion, get creative, and have fun with it!



Fun Decorative Accent for Your Reception

image courtesy SLC Marriott University ParkThere are so many exciting choices for your Wedding & Reception decorative accents!! How do you possibly choose?? Are you sticking with themed accents... or accents by color? Or just going with what strikes your fancy? ...Or deferring to the ideas of your wedding planner or design team?  Whew! Decisions, decisions!!

This string of battery-operated roses caught our eye at the Salt Lake City LGBTQ Wedding Expo on October 13th...  Simple, elegant, and such a nice touch.  The strand at each table can be handed out as gifts to special wedding guests.  Beautiful for the day-of, and a lovely keepsake.  EnJoy finding your own unforgettable accent pieces!

(image courtesy of the #SaltLakeCityMarriottUniversityPark, proud host of RainbowWeddingNetwork's recent LGBTQ Wedding Expo!)











Finding the Right Wedding Theme for Your LBGTQ Wedding

Madcap Cottage | Theo Milo Photography | Curtis Kennedy Films | Out of the Garden | Ohh! Events


It’s time to throw tradition out the window and celebrate with style.

Here are some wedding theme ideas that move away from traditional, gender-norm ideas and incorporate elements that show off the love between you and your significant other.

You Know You Want to Look Fabulous

Whether there are two grooms, two brides, or you’re so fabulous you’ve thrown traditional gender-normative wedding terms right out the window, your wedding is a day you want to look your best while expressing love in your own personal ways.
Go with what feels right. There are really no rules when it comes to your wedding -- just traditions -- of which you are free to follow as much or as little as you’d like.
Are you two brides about to tie the knot? One or both could don a traditional wedding gown. Or consider something more alternative, such as color coordinated outfits exploding with personality. Check out some ideas from Dangerous Mathematicians.
For dashing gentlemen about to make their way down the aisle, make way for options. A more traditional approach involves a suit or tuxedo. Color coordinated suits add elegance to your wedding, but allow each groom to add their own personal flare to what they wear on the special day. Matching suits with differing ties and/or pocket squares create a subtle, yet eye-popping look.
Having a beach wedding, or casual event?  Why not ditch the formal wear altogether? Shorts or khakis with button down shirts and lively ties or vests can be worn as a play on traditional wedding attire. Untucked continues to be a fave!

Pride-Full, Yet Elegant
Your LBGTQ wedding reception could fly towards traditional, perhaps even rustic -- or step through to a modern, colorful theme.

Living coral is a “bright and joyful” color combination, according to an article by BBJ Linen. Living coral creates a bold, life-affirming statement for your LGBTQ wedding. It’s a color in full bloom during the spring and summer, that pairs well with other exuberant shades like teal.


Bonus Tips for Your LBGTQ Wedding

Make your wedding uniquely yours!

Guest books can make for a great keepsake to remember your LBGTQ wedding day long down the road, but why not do it your way? Flutterbye prints has some creative ideas: One is to use your own and your partner’s fingerprints on a large print for a guestbook alternative.

Add a statement of pride to the wedding with a rainbow cake, spectral floral arrangements, rainbow wedding favors or even sport some rainbow inspired clothing or accent wear such as multi colored boutonnieres, cummerbunds, footwear or earrings.

Even the smallest details can make a big statement. The right type of wedding cake topper can go a long way in showing the world love in all its forms. Whether you are two brides to be, two grooms or two people so in love that you want a cake topper to surpass gender norms, there’s more options out there than you might think.

‘Peace’ Out

Whether it’s sticking to traditions or making your own, LBGTQ weddings are still in their early years -- allowing for so much creativity and positive vibes. Consider making a bold statement for your LBGTQ wedding or adding your own elements in subtler ways. No matter what you choose to do, it’s a day to celebrate the love that brings two people together. Make the day uniquely yours!


Image courtesy: Madcap Cottage | Theo Milo Photography | Curtis Kennedy Films | Out of the Garden | Ohh! Events



"Spam Blockers are No Joke!"

"Spam Blockers are No Joke!"  -One of the exhibitors for our Atlanta LGBTQ Wedding Expo made this comment last week, with regard to having trouble receiving email communication from us, the event producer... and it struck me:  the same is true for couples!  And so I thought I would take time to mention this very simple issue:  nowadays of course it's commonplace to reach out to a wedding vendor via text or email, instead of making a phone call.  Easy, convenient...  Right?!

Well yes, unless your email never reaches them... or, their reply email never reaches you...  Spam blockers are indeed getting stronger every day.  But they're not necessarily getting smarter.  And they don't always block what we want them to.

Many people think the Junk Folder in their email software (such as "Outlook") is where those blocked messages get trapped.  Not usually so!  These days you have to take the extra step to log in to your email browser's back-end, and check the spam folder there.  And occasionally, incoming emails are blocked even before this point... and the average user has no way of ever finding them.

The solution??  If you feel like there has been a lapse in communication, get old-fashioned and pick up the phone!  Don't assume that the wedding vendor you were hoping to hear back from has acted unprofessionallly or simply forgotten to respond to you.  99% of the time that is not the case at all - the culprit most of the time is the issue of the emails getting blocked somewhere along the way.

Additiionally, if you have relied on a digital format for your save-the-dates or invitations, don't always trust that the message has gotten through unimpeded.  If you use an app or professional wedding software, those are usually reliable.  However, at times those too can get blocked.  So keep this in mind when researching which digital applications are going to work best for your wedding planning needs.

And again, when in doubt, just pick up the phone!  It's still the best way to ensure a deliberate, personalized and successful connection!



To My Valentine... Inspiration for the Sweet Holiday

by Marianne Puechl, co-founder /


Some of the best gay & lesbian relationships are built on elemental cornerstones; eternal ideals that can be simplified down to the very basic.  Keeping them in mind for the upcoming holiday of romance, as well as year-round, will serve to maintain a partnership that is dynamic, tender and fulfilling.

“I will pour more into my love than I expect to get out of it...”
  Finding tender ways to enhance day-to-day interactions with your partner will multiply and ultimately reflect back to you, almost magically.  Begin making it a habit to ask yourself every morning what you can do that day to make life a little sweeter for your special someone.

“I will remember to let go...”
  Remember, in grade school, when you and your friends would argue there would be just an hour or perhaps a day gone by and the anger was completely forgotten?  Allow yourself to recapture that childhood talent.  Let any grudges or frustrations you have concerning your relationship or your partner’s eccentricities simply slip away.   -The release will truly make you healthier.  How to do it??  Keep in my mind that, at the heart of it all, you love and trust and respect your partner:  that's at the foundation.

“My partner has a different style than I do…”
  Every individual is wired with different ways to tap into strong emotions.  Find out what most captures your lover’s attention:   Does he need to hear, verbally, that you’re committed for life?  Does she need to be showered with little gifts every so often?  Does he need physical closeness when you express your love?  Does she need you to share time discussing her goals or plans, so that she is reassured of your devotion and genuine interest?  Also be sure that you communicate your own needs when it comes to displaying intimacy:  your relationship deserves your honesty and clarity!

“My partnership is dynamic…”
  Try not to regret the fact that those first sparks of newly-found love are no longer at the heart of your relationship.  Over time, the bond you create will mature and deepen – it’s only natural.  But that doesn’t mean your love is any less passionate!  In fact, the wonders of a long-term commitment are highlighted with facets such as Understanding, Shared Vision, Interconnection and oftentimes Heartfelt Awe as you witness one another grow through the years.

“Every day is a new beginning…”  An optimistic outlook always does wonders!  Remember that any given moment is a chance for a fresh start, on both a small and large scale.  As human beings, we have the potential to enact personal change within an instant; keeping this in mind as much as possible will serve to lighten your relationship.  That, in turn, will accent the romance and the joy you share together!

“Remember Valentine’s…”  The idea of a love note may seem silly, especially after you’ve been married for several years.  But sometimes it is those simple little displays of affection that really touch our hearts most of all.  Allow the familiar traditions to inspire you:  a box of chocolates, rose petals in the bedroom, a recited poem over dinner, a love song and secret dance in the darkness…  Sometimes these small gestures are truly the most meaningful of all.

It will never change:  creating a fulfilling and lasting relationship is solely your own responsibility.  It is also one of your great joys… and in the eyes of friends and family it may be one of your great gifts to the world.  Love inspires.  Passion transforms.  Allow your partnership to thrive, wholeheartedly.  Nourish the connection you share with your partner and it, in turn, will utterly nourish you.