Sunday, January 9, 2011

Decorating the reception tables

One of the many things that I love about our reception venue is that in terms of decor, it is a blank slate. The walls are a neutral shade of ivory, the floor is hues of gray, the chairs are a grayish-ivory, and the table linens are ivory. I do not have any pre-existing themes or color schemes to work around. Perfect. I also love the chandeliers above each table. For weddings, they lower the chandeliers over each table, it really creates a nice abiance.

I am not planning to have a lot of decorations at the reception. My budget does not exactly allow me to, but at the same time, the space already has a certain elegance to it, and we really want that clean look. Our cake baker will be decorating the cake table, the gift table more or less will decorate itself, the same is true with the escort card table, and I have some definite ideas for the guest book table (more on that later). All that is left are the guest tables and the head table. I decided to start by figuring out the guest tables, and maybe that will lead me to how to decorate the head table. If not, well, I guess I have about 8 months to figure that out.

First things first, the guest tables are huge. Each one fits between 10-12 people. On the positive side, this cuts down on the number of centerpieces that I will need. On the down side, each table is this huge canvas of ivory that needs serious attention. To start, we are going to put a Victorian lilac table runners on each table. To add to the mood, each table will also have several purple votive candles as well. Each table will also have a seashell table number.

In regards to place settings, I have fallen in love with the picture to the left. Unfortunately, it is completely unrealistic to do this at our reception. We are having a buffet, so it would be useless to have chargers at each setting, and what would I do with 150 chargers after the wedding? For the same reason, the lavender napkins are also out. I would have to purchase them all, and I cannot think of a good use for 150 lavender napkins. So, my goal is to replicate the look, without the charger, with an ivory napkin, and a menu that I make on Vistaprint. We'll see how it goes. Each place setting will also have a candle favor.

As far as centerpieces go, this is where I plan to mix things up a bit. In an earlier post I mentioned that we were avoiding floral centerpieces. This is what I came up with in place. Half of the tables will have wooden sailboats that look like the picture to the right. They are 9" wide and 19" tall, which is the perfect size to add height to some of the tables, but still allow guests to have conversations across the table.

The remaining half of the tables will have handmade centerpieces. I wanted a way to incorporate seashells into my centerpieces without having them out on the tables where they could potentially come in contact with food. After looking online for some inspiration, this is what I came up with. The glass vase is filled with varying shades of green sea glass, sea shells, and a vanilla pillar candle. They are really simple to assemble, and, the best part is I was able to purchase all the supplies at the local dollar store. Each centerpiece costs me about $4 to make, and I have tons of extra shells left over to use elsewhere.

They look really pretty lit up too.

How did you decorate the tables at your reception? Did you make your centerpieces?

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