A Reception Space from Start to Finish

When your guests walk into your reception space, whether it’s an outdoor tent or inside of a ballroom, you have a unique moment to really set a scene that truly captures the theme and overall feel for your wedding in ways that your ceremony and personal florals aren’t necessarily able to create on the same scale.  

head table with bud vases and fancy vases with votives at brittland manor

Each table can pull in not only your floral color palette, but also lighting, decor, and a feeling of minimalist/maximalist design that matches your style as a couple.

What shape table works for you?

One of the first items on your list to think about is the debate over round versus rectangular tables.  It’s been known to lead to notepads full of pro/con lists and scattered post-its of trial seating charts, though sometimes the decision is made by your venue! 

Round tables are loved for creating conversation, though rectangles can create more unique layouts with the ability to connect multiple tables. 

Honestly, we love a mix of both styles, as it creates a lot of visual interest in your reception space and provides more options in who + how many you need to plan for seating together!

What about linens?

Once you’ve chosen your shapes, there are linens to consider as well. For rectangles, maybe you’ve chosen wooden harvest tables and don’t need much in the way of linens.

Don’t forget that an accent color on your napkins or a runner can go a long way! Thalia + Colton’s wedding at Hazelwood in PA is a perfect example of this.

But, for traditional style rectangles or rounds, there are a plethora of choices out there!! 

Solid colors, textures, tonal patterns, full-blown floral… so many fabric books to flip through with your rental vendors!  Whichever you choose, make sure you let your florist know as it can affect the overall table design in your reception space.

Centerpieces and what they bring to the table:

Just like with using different shapes of tables, we also LOVE to use multiple styles of centerpieces to create visual movement in the space! 

centerpiece with compote filled with fall flowers

Even if you end up with all rounds or all rectangles (or even squares!), having more than one type of floral design takes it to another level. 

Some of the overall categories include classic floral arrangements (from rounded low dishes to asymmetric compotes), tall pedestals, scattered vases, and greenery garlands; but don’t let your imagination stop there! 

We’ve created everything from white planter box-style arrangements that run the length of a 16’ table…

blue and white flower box on white rectangle table
reception tables with white linens and blue and white box flowers

… to mixed bud vases + candles with loose greens tucked around the base, and everything in between!

round wedding tables with greenery and pillar candles
round reception table with colorful flowers and taper candles

How do you take the first steps?

Sometimes we’ll get sent a Pinterest board full of *those* photos of harvest tables with lush tablescapes running the full length – you know the ones – and brides saying:

“I love this look but how do we get there?” 

– Our Brides

Our brochure of floral services covers a wide variety of options as a starting point – so when filling it out, keep in mind that we’ll have a phone call to go over details and your vision before sending over your custom proposal. 

reception tables with compotes filled with pastel white flowers and rose gold votives

This is where we LOVE to provide all the options that fit your vibe, and let you pick and choose which ones to keep!  I won’t get too far into candles here, as we have tons of info on that over in this blog post.

A Coastal/Eastern Shore Vibe

Say you’re looking for a coastal vibe with a light and airy feel for your big day:

Let’s start with a narrow greenery garland winding down your pale wood harvest tables, tuck in a few mini bud vases, and scatter our locally collected driftwood down the length for a Pinterest-worthy look!

Bonus points for using a pale blue patterned runner or napkins!

Moody Jewel Tones are for me!

How about moody jewel tones on your harvest table?  Use a thick and lush greenery garland built with a variety of shades and textures to provide depth.

wedding harvest tables with fruit and candles
greenery garland on reception table with taper candles

Add in rich metallic accents with vases or your eclectic collection (we’ve seen candelabras, vintage books, or even brass + crystal doorknobs!).

Maybe dried orange slices and richly colored taper candles in gold holders to add height and drama… the options are limitless!

Bright and Wild Colors

One more example, before I go down a tablescape rabbit hole that lasts a whole week, bright and bold florals! 

Perfect year-round, but especially shining in spring and summer, we’d start with a moss runner to create a meadow feel, adding flower stems in small frog-pin dishes clustered down the length with colored glass bud vases, or even incorporating potted plants!  Bright, happy, and unique.

What to do if your venue only gives you one rental option?

What if your Pinterest is full of rectangular layout tables, but your reception is entirely round tables?  This situation comes up often, or even vice versa, and there are always ways to incorporate the feel and design from one into the other! 

pink flowers and greenery with table setup

On the coastal vibe table from a few lines up, we’d take the driftwood to create a rounded base, add greens tucked in and around them with a few vases, and our floating candles in the center. 

reception table with drift wood and green and white flowers

We’ve used hammered copper compote dishes to create floral centerpieces for moody jewel tones, and larger frog pin dishes with moss to create a bright summery look on a round table as well!

moss frogs on table reception rectangle table
moss frogs on table reception rectangle table

A Show-Stopping Sweetheart Table

Let’s not skip over where you newlyweds will be sitting!!  Whether it’s a sweetheart table for two, or a head table for twenty-two, this table design can either match the rest or be unique and lush! 

This is often the place where couples choose to repurpose their ceremony florals (check out our blog post on this here!) or have vases ready for bridesmaids to place their bouquets once they take a seat that doubles as decor. 

Alternately, coming up with a look that epitomizes your color palette, design vibes, and any non-floral themes (in a floral way, of course) lets you shine in the spotlight!

At the end of the day, or rather the end of the night, your reception space is where you and your guests will spend the majority of your time during your wedding, so you want it to feel like it reflects you as a couple. 

scattered vase on sweetheart table with bright florals

Don’t ever be afraid to send us your wildest inspo photo and ask to bring it to life – we love thinking outside the standard and after all, it’s your day!

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