Preparing for that special day can be daunting, even with the most involved party planner on your side. When taking care of arrangements by yourself, the important thing is to plan well in advance and make everything as simple as possible to avoid any undue stress. Decorating for the reception should not be a massive undertaking; follow a few of these pointers to make the experience easy and even enjoyable!
1. Choose a simple theme. Simply using the dominant color of the wedding party attire can be a theme in itself. If the bridesmaids are wearing sky blue dresses, then consider going with sky blue decorations or another color that complements the attire. Look into pre-made decorations, such as centerpieces and wall hangings to cover large blank areas.
2. Cover! Tables should not be left uncovered at a wedding reception. Choose high-quality paper, plastic or Linen-Like table covers to spruce up refreshment tables, guest book tables, and gift tables. Many lines even include disposable table skirting to add to the formality of the event. By using plastic, paper or Linen-Like table covers, the need to iron or clean the covers afterward is eliminated, making for less work.
3. Designate areas. Make sure to have a small table at the entrance for the guest book and any other memorabilia. Many couples choose to display their engagement picture or other snapshots alongside the guest book. Or, perhaps there is a sentimental token, such as shells from the beach where he proposed or a baseball from the game where they first kissed. Decorating should be simple yet personal. Flowers are also a nice touch; using a bridesmaid’s bouquet on tables such as the guest book table is a great idea. Also include an area for guests to leave any gifts that might be in tow. Many will deliver or mail their gift before the ceremony, but there are always a few that bring them to the wedding.
4. Keep the focus on the happy couple. While candles, tulle and flowers are wonderful touches to any reception, remember to keep it in check. The decorations should not take away from the attention to the bride and groom. Do not overdo decorations, especially around the cake area. A lovely centerpiece or some scattered flower petals are a wonderful touch; candles are not such a grand idea, though. Remember that there will be plenty of activity around the cake, and candles can pose a fire hazard.
5. If there is to be music at the reception, remember to make room for some dancing. Chairs and tables can line a designated dance area and make some definite parameters.
6. If doing a sit-down dinner reception, consider assigning seats to guests. Using simple name plates will give everyone a sense of where they belong and will hopefully eliminate any unwanted seating arrangements. Table decorations for a sit-down reception can be as elaborate or as low-key as desired. Consider the time frame in which to create and set up any and all decorations.
7. Above all, HAVE FUN. Weddings are a celebration of love and happiness, and the entire process should be that way for everyone involved. Take a few deep breaths and smile!