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Stylish Design Touches To Add To Your Wedding Reception

A Planning With The Pros guest post by Danielle Cartwright of Wright & Co.

Stylish design touches add so much flavor to your wedding design. Imagine this: your guests just eagerly observed you and the love of your life exchanging your vows at your ceremony. Then they mingled, enjoyed a few tasty hors d’oeuvres, and signature drinks at the cocktail hour. Now the anticipation is building, and they are officially headed to the party. While it’s true that the ceremony and cocktail hour set the stage for the event, the reception is the most memorable for your guests. Our job as planners and designers is to curate the perfect aesthetic and feel, while also keeping the guest experience at the forefront of every decision.  There are so many original elements or touches you can incorporate to set your wedding apart, so lets dive in! 

 

Elements That Make A Big Impact 

Design elements that make a big impact not only serve as the best use of your budget, but also tend to be show- stoppers! These are fun and thoughtful pieces often dreamt up by designers to wow your guests as soon as they enter the room. These catch the eye, and tend to be larger items that take up more space.  Some of these items may not even be that expensive, but may take a lot of logistical planning and careful consideration. 

 

reception set up in a clear tent at Lowndes Grove

 

Draping

There are so many unique ways to use draping to elevate and transform a venue space. There are also a lot of color varieties that allow you to feature pops of color or stick with neutral options to add some romanticism. 

 

Installations 

Whether it’s an escort card installation near the entrance of the reception or scattered floral installations featuring your color palette, these pieces are the easiest way to infuse personality into your day. It also doesn’t hurt that these larger scale items tend to blow guests away. 

 

 

Paper Goods

Whether its table numbers, menu cards, signage or place cards, paper goods as stylish design touches at your reception serve multiple purposes. They guide guests, while also pulling the design together so beautifully. 

 

Lighting

If we are being honest lighting is not something a lot of couples think about but it could make or break your celebration.  Guests tend to enjoy themselves and let loose more when you feature dim lighting while mixing in an abundance of candlelight to set the mood. Up lighting, gobo lights, or projections are not meant for every space but they could be carefully incorporated to add a classy touch to your special day. A fun lighting touch would be custom installations of chandeliers or modern light fixtures from rental companies to soften the light while also serving as a show piece. This normally works out really great over the estate table or dance floor. 

 

cocktail hour lounge area at Lowndes Grove

 

Lounge Areas 

Lounge areas help break up a space with some added texture. We love working in velvet, leather, and linen fabrics for the perfect balance. These not only help your event look high end, but they also serve a great purpose of extra seating for guests to mingle and hangout.  We love to situate these near the dance floor, or in areas that may look a little empty depending on guest count. 

 

Custom Dance Floor 

While this isn’t a must, this does make a big impact. Couples often choose to use the venues exiting dance floor so couples that add this on are going the extra mile with design. You can do pretty much anything here, work in a pattern, your wedding monogram or a favorite color. 

 

 

Small Elements That Contribute To The Overall Aesthetic  

Just because the items listed below are smaller components doesn’t mean they don’t make an impact. Details such as these work so well together to achieve the look and feel you are going for. These items also tend to serve a purpose vs. just being for show. 

 

Rental Chairs 

This is another element that could make or break your event. Most venues offer one style of reception chair and guess what? They are used over, and over, and over. This is understandable, but also means they might have seen better days. If you are spending a lot of money with a designer and not switching out the chairs to something that fits 100% with the aesthetic your designer is creating you are doing yourself a big disservice. Collaborating with your designer and selecting a distinctive option is key. 

 

scarves wrapped around chairs for a rehearsal dinner

 

Linens

There are so many options when it comes to these offerings, and this is where you can really have some fun.  We never shy away from a really great pattern even if it’s subtle. This is something that is probably needed but instead of choosing the standard poly-cotton catering option we push our clients to think outside of the box. Working in different textures and patterns is always the way to go here! 

 

Table Settings

Caterers provide standard options here such as white or black napkins, white china & plain silverware. Upgrading these options while considering your personal style helps each table feel welcoming and warm for guests. Some of our favorites here include textural napkins, chargers, modern flatware, and artisan stoneware plates. 

 

 

Favors

We’ve seen some really exciting giveaways such as hot sauce bottles, truffles, mini plants, homemade jam, etc. But these always feel so personal and on brand at each wedding. This is a sweet way to send your guests home with a gift to remember your day. 

 

Florals

As far as stylish design touches go, florals are a given. And of course, we are partial to florals but these help make the biggest impact. We love to include a variety of floral pieces at our weddings since it truly is artistry. It’s nice to mix up the centerpieces a bit with each table so each guest is viewing things with a different perspective. We love creating original design plans for each of our couples while working in creative ideas they have not witnessed at previous events. Some of these suggestions include smaller details that help with the events composition. 

 

 

We hope you’ll consider these recommendations for stylish and thoughtful reception design touches. Working alongside a planner and designer as you integrate these ideas will ensure your reception will be memorable for your guests for years to come. The Wright & Co team is always ready to create a unique space for your celebration!

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This is where I love sharing recent weddings and sessions, my travels, and life with my husband, and our three pets. When I'm not capturing a wedding day, I'm often enjoying the outdoors with Garrett, playing with our pups, or finding a new place to call home for the weekend. My passion is telling love stories, and I hope I get to fall in love with telling yours.

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