Wedding Decorations & Accessories

Reception Table Decorations & Centerpieces

Reception Centerpiece Ideas

  • Edible centerpieces! Instead of a buffet table, arrange colorful foods on platters and place at the center of the tables. Incorporate flowers or greenery amongst the food.
  • Place a balloon cluster at the center of each table. Make sure it's high enough so guests can still see each other.
  • When in doubt, a beautiful vase of flowers (real or silk) will do the trick.
  • Suspend groupings of paper bells from the ceiling directly over each table. Again, position them just high enough for guests to see one another, but low enough so they appear to be part of the table decorations.
  • Purchase straw hats, or cowboy hats and fill with flowers.
  • Take 1.5-foot wide flat terracotta pots and place one in the center of each table. Fill the pots with green moss and put a variety of white or ivory pillar candles into the moss. Use 8-10 flower heads for decoration around the base of the candles. This idea is stunning for an evening or garden wedding.
  • If you have long rectangular tables for your reception, place bows of evergreens, green foliage, rose petals, or votive cups down the centers of the tables. Work in a few pretty flowers or ribbon here and there.
  • Purchase large bowls made of clear plastic or glass. Place one bowl at each table and surround it with flowers. Fill each bowl with water and put in three to five floating candles. Light them just before the reception begins.
  • Take 54-inch wide bolts of white or colorful tulle and gather it down the center of each rectangular table. Nestle votive candles in glass holders at various locations in the tulle. Make sure the tulle does not contact the flame.
  • Place 1 or 2 gallon fish bowls on small-framed mirrors or mirror tiles. Fill with water and add live fish or shells. This one is great for a nautical theme wedding.
  • A large bowl of fresh fruit and flowers is simple and elegant.
  • Place pretty bowls of fragrant potpourri at each table.
  • Rent large candelabras with pillar candles for the center of each table. Some can be very formal and hold flowers amongst the candles. Check with your florist and rental shop to discuss these options.
  • How about a gingerbread house or miniature Christmas tree for a holiday wedding?
  • Freestanding topiaries make wonderful centerpieces by adding height and drama. Decorate them with flowers, fruits, ivy or ribbons.
  • Use a wicker basket as the centerpiece. Fill with raffia or other filler material and place your wedding favors on top. Decorate the basket with ribbon or flowers in your wedding colors or use white ribbons and let colorful favors take center stage.
  • Balloons can be incorporated into a variety of flower arrangements or unique centerpieces. Check with your florist.
  • Add white taper candles to your floral centerpieces.
  • Buy rolls of pretty metallic wrapping paper and bows in your wedding colors and wrap some empty boxes (Wedding or Christmas paper). These make very inexpensive centerpieces in any size and color you like.
  • Borrow cowboy boots or buy from a thrift store. Fill them with flowers and use them as centerpieces.
  • Place 3 large pillar candles of the same width but different heights onto a framed mirror. Put flowers or shells around the bases of the candles. The mirror will reflect the centerpiece and make it appear twice as large.
  • Hang large Christmas ornaments from the ceiling with ribbon or fishing line. Tie a bow at the top of each ornament. Hang in a staggered pattern directly above the tables.

General Ideas

  • Scatter a unique confetti that coordinates with your reception theme, season or colors.
  • Beautifully folded and pressed napkins add an elegant touch to the table. This site shows you how to create many popular napkin designs.
  • Make or purchase napkin rings to match the formality of your event. Wrap a single silk rose around a napkin or use small cookie cutters or decorative beads as the ring. The ideas are endless on this one.
  • Place a small vase with a single rose at each place setting. Give them as favors.
  • Cover reception tables with white or colored butcher paper then lay inexpensive curtain lace over the top.
  • Wedding favors add that final touch to your tables and can be created in endless shapes, colors and themes. A simple, yet elegant, favor is to take five sugared Jordan almonds and wrap them in tulle circles. Tie with a beautiful ribbon and put one at each place setting.
  • Skirt your tables to the floor for an elegant effect. Rented white or ivory table linens work best and show off the table accessories and centerpieces.
  • Place small bowls of colorful confections such as chocolate, hard candies or mints on each table.
  • Decorate picnic tables with red checked tablecloths and baskets of blossoms (sunflowers work well). Use hay bales for seating.
  • Picture frame place card holders are popular, functional and can be given as wedding favors.
  • Place card holders can also be as simple as a pear or apple slit to hold the place card. Decorate each one with ribbon or natural materials. This idea is great for outdoor garden themed weddings.

Design Note

Candles can be adapted to almost any setting and are perfect for sites where the walls or surroundings are somewhat drab. Be sure to check with your site representatives to make sure the use of candles is accepted. Faux tealight candles are a good substitution.

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