Wedding Reception Tips and Inspiration

Wedding Reception Tips and Inspiration

Dear future bride and groom,

Being in the wedding industry, you get to see pretty much all the ins and outs at a wedding, from the beginning until the end. From dresses to decorations to shaky relationships, we get to see it all. Let’s face it, a wedding photographer could pretty much help plan an entire wedding after all the experience they gather.

Very often, we see things we absolutely love, but we also see things that make us cringe, just a bit. After attending so many amazing weddings, we decided to write this article about our favourite wedding reception ideas. We truly hope it would inspire you to go that extra mile for your wedding.

If an epic location surrounded by your closest family and friends is the most important thing to you, and it’s not about wedding decorations or name cards, then this article is not for you.

This post is for those dreaming about rusty flowers and copper candle holders with handwritten name cards on the tables. It’s for you if you love pinning (you can find us here)  lots of ideas for your dream wedding. If you’re looking to add a few unique finishing touches to make your day extra memorable, hope you find something you like here, too.

wedding details at Shustoke Barn venue in Warwickshire

Venue: Shustoke Barn | Flowers: The Lanes | Catering: Shustoke Barn

Why should you invest that extra money in wedding reception ideas and decorations?

Because you will have the wedding of YOUR dreams

Whether you choose to hire a wedding stylist or have friends help you organise it, make sure you have a good plan and plenty of accessories and flowers to decorate with. Unless your wedding theme is effortlessly minimalist (which can be done with great style if you put your mind to it and the venue has the same vibe), you need to make sure there’s plenty of decorations to fill those tables.

Why not use lots of branches and twigs or leaves? They are absolutely free and can look so beautiful as wedding decorations; the more the merrier. You could have them on tables, chairs, hanging from the ceiling or walls, the options are endless. Don’t be afraid to go wild with this. Let your personality come through.

branches hanged from the ceiling at reception
wedding flowers tied on the wall of a marquee at reception

Flowers: Jam Jar

It will actually save you time paying someone for this rather than doing it ALL yourself

I completely understand, there’s A LOT to plan for a wedding day, especially when it comes to wedding reception ideas. It can feel slightly overwhelming. There are place settings and place cards, centrepieces, wedding favours. Did I mention table linen and chairs yet? Yes, all of these (and MORE), all for just one day. But to be honest, once everything starts to come together, your heart will start to feel content and the wedding planning experience becomes all the more exciting.

If I had a penny for every time we see jam jars on the tables filled with a few wildflowers, I’d be pretty rich by now. But when you decide to invest a bit more thought (and possibly cash) into this, you end up with such beautiful results and wedding decorations, it is worth every penny.
Maybe you don’t want to invest so much in having so many flowers. What about a huge hand-written sign with a quote (or a Bible verse like the example here)? This Gloucestershire wedding had lots of beautiful touches like this and so many people commented on them!

bride and groom kiss at Priors Court Barn with a handwritten large sign behind them

Illustration & Calligraphy – Silver Quill Co | Flowers – Liberty Lane Flowers

You can have a memorable wedding, not one you’re happy it’s done

It may sound a bit harsh, but if we’re honest, we can probably all think of a wedding we’ve been to that not long after, we completely forgot what it was like? Conversely, have you ever attended one you absolutely loved and still remember it to this day?

I must say, some of my favourite weddings have been the ones where the couple have put that extra effort into their wedding reception. You can see here some examples of what I mean. Stunning wedding bouquets, beautiful and rich table decorations, unique accessories or fun wedding entertainment ideas for some more wedding reception ideas.

cards table decorations for wedding reception ideas
DIY set up by the bride

wild and creative wedding bouquet for outdoor wedding in New Forest

Flowers: Jam Jar

No regrets

Once the wedding is finished, that’s really it. Except for your wedding photos and a few things to remind you of it, there’s not much else remaining. Only a happy heart and a loving husband or wife, of course.

What you don’t want to be left with, though, are regrets. ‘Why didn’t I choose the photographer I really wanted?’ Or maybe ‘Why didn’t I invest the extra money to plan the wedding I always dreamt of and seen all over Pinterest but went for jam jars instead?’…

These are questions you don’t want to ask yourself AFTER the event has passed.

bar area with flowers for marquee wedding

Now that we covered “Why you should invest in wedding reception decorations”, let’s get to the next step

How to plan for the wedding of your dreams

Hire a professional

There’s nothing like finding a vendor you really love who shares your taste and vision. It can turn ordinary things into extraordinary ones. Also, the idea of having no stress whatsoever (the day of your wedding!) regarding the wedding decor is totally worth it.

Plan and gather

If you are the DIY type and see this as an opportunity to put into practice all those Pinterest boards you religiously gathered, then please plan far ahead and get help. Make sure you think of all the details while time is on your side and not on the wedding day.. Also, get help, you will definitely need it.


It’s such a unique time in your life and hopefully, once in a lifetime opportunity to fulfil the dreams you’ve had since you were probably little. Don’t just rush into organising things. It’s so important to take time to actually enjoy, breathe it all in and treasure this time dearly.

Here are some really fun and also some quirky wedding reception ideas for more inspiration.

branches for wedding decoration ideas
Decorations by Little Lillies

champagne glasses in a tree for wedding canapes
Decorations by Little Lillies

ginger bride holding a bouquet and a moon photo booth wooden wedding reception table

If you still don’t know where to start with ideas and decorations for the wedding reception, why don’t you have a look through our website? We’ve been lucky enough to witness some stunning weddings along the years, with gorgeous wedding decorations and ideas for different tastes and likings.

Also, some of my personal favourite blogs for wedding ideas and trends, are Junebug Weddings, Love My Dress, Magnolia Rouge, Green Wedding Shoes.

bridesmaids with bride and groom posing in front of a floral arch for family group shots

Florist – The Wilde Bunch Florist

We truly hope this wedding reception ideas article was useful and should you want to get in touch and ask more questions or simply say Hi, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Are you looking for some wedding cocktail hour games or some wedding cake style inspiration?
We constantly add more wedding reception ideas to help you plan the wedding of your dreams!


documentary cotswolds wedding photographer