Wedding reception table decoration ideas
Save money by making lovely centerpieces to decorate the tables at your wedding reception.
Your wedding reception is a joyous social event that offers friends and family an opportunity to join you in celebrating one of the most important days of your life. Add to the festive flavor of the day with easy, make-ahead decorations to adorn the tables at the restaurant, club or reception hall.
SOFT AS SILK
If you think of tacky plastic when you think of silk flowers, think again. Today’s silk flowers are soft and realistic, with textured surfaces on petals and leaves, colors that match those found in nature, and stamens that almost invite a bee to buzz in.
* For a traditional look, purchase inexpensive glass vases at your local craft or discount store and loosely fill them with decorative moss. Into the vases, insert silk flowers in colors that complement those worn by the wedding party. Clip the stems to various lengths, putting the tallest blossoms in the center of the arrangement, with smaller, shorter blossoms going out to the edges. Tuck babies’ breath into any bare spots. Cut long lengths of ribbon to tie around vases, and allow streamers of ribbon to trail down the center of a buffet table. To save money, don’t buy vases, but collect round containers (like those that hold oatmeal), cover the containers with white paper, then place the container in the center of a large square of inexpensive lace or tissue paper and pull the semi-sheer covering up to the top. Finish by wrapping with ribbon as described for vases. Leave the lace or paper gathered at the top for a soft look.
* Achieve a feeling of elegance by laying long-stemmed silk roses directly on the table. Group the roses in an even number and then divide in half. Place the blossoms in opposite directions with the stems intertwined. Wrap a ribbon around the bunch of stems at the center. Around and over the rose bunches, loop yards of craft pearls, trailing from arrangement to arrangement.
* Votive candles are so popular that a smart shopper can find holders and candles for a very reasonable price. Twist silk flowers and greenery into rings and place around small glass votives filled with scented candles. The candles will provide a soft light while emitting a wonderful fragrance. Place trails of silk ivy or other vines between arrangements on a buffet table.
BACK TO NATURE
* If silk flowers don’t appeal to you, go with houseplants. Choose dainty African violets, small ferns, or any plants that strike your fancy. Don’t be afraid to ask friends who have a green thumb to loan you a plant or two. For a casual look, leave the plants in an assortment of pots. For a more pulled-together look, wrap the pots in coordinating fabric or tissue paper and tie with ribbon.
* Arrangements of dried flowers create a simple, understated look of natural beauty. Take a walk in the woods and collect flowers, pine cones, moss – and even interesting weeds. Pick up a drying agent at your local craft store and create materials for many lovely arrangements for next to nothing. If you don’t have access to a wild area, just take a walk down the aisle of any craft store. Dried flowers abound. Sprinkle potpourri around the base of the arrangement and from centerpiece to centerpiece on a buffet table.
HIT THE BEACH
* Are you planning a casual summertime wedding? Perhaps you are going to Jamaica for your wedding and holding a party at a later date. For either of these cases, shells, sand – and goldfish – make fun decorations. Once again, hit the craft store or discount store and pick up small glass bowls. Put two goldfish and a handful of aquarium gravel into each bowl. Place the fish bowls in the middle of each table or down the center of buffet tables. Between and around the bowls, sprinkle white sand and an assortment of shells. Invite the guests to take home the goldfish. The kids will love it.
PARDNERS FOR LIFE
* For a country wedding or one that has a western flair, forget the lace hankies and pull out the bandanas. Pick up numerous bandanas in traditional red or blue or choose from a rainbow of available colors. Then, round up an assortment of heavy, earthenware coffee mugs. They don’t have to match, just choose cups that look rugged. Pull the center of a flat bandana down into a point and stuff the point into the cup, leaving a “blossom” sticking out the top. Around and between arrangements, place loops of rope or twine.
* Borrow the idea behind a May pole to create a unique table decoration. In the center of a round or small square table, place a tall candlestick and taper candle. Starting at the top of the candlestick and below the candle, begin wrapping a bunch of ribbon in assorted colors. When you reach the bottom of the candlestick, separate the ribbons and drape each length out to and over the edge of the table. Place the ribbon so that it falls between guests’ chairs, but not in their laps.
LOVE IS A GIFT
* Wrapping paper and curling ribbon is so pretty that sometimes it’s a shame to have to open the present. Take advantage of these lovely colors and designs to decorate your tables. Buy the most colorful wrapping paper you can find (or better yet, save the paper that your bridal shower gifts were wrapped in) and shred them to pieces to make confetti. Sprinkle tiny pieces of confetti on the table, and top with mounds of curling ribbon. After curling lengths of ribbon, make two slits at the top of each length and tear down to create thinner strips and a more delicate look.