Do You Really Need
Wedding Reception Table Decorations?

Wedding reception table decorations will usually consist of bunches of flowers or maybe some floating candles. They're pretty, but most of them start to look the same after a while. In fact, some are so mediocre that you don't even notice that they are there. The question is, do you really need wedding table decorations?

The answer to this is going to depend on where your wedding reception is. My wedding reception was held in a restored barn. The floor was polished concrete, massive glass windows looked out onto mountain ranges, and giant rustic beams of wood held up the roof.

The tables were made of worn-looking chunky wood. It was not the kind of place that you really needed to add anything to.

When the venue manager said she had arranged white covers for the tables and chairs I thought she was a little bit crazy and told her to cancel it. Why go to the trouble of having your wedding in a beautiful location like that and then cover it up with lots of white linen and tulle bows?

If there is already plenty of character to your wedding reception then leave it be. If your setting is plain, then you are going to want to dress it up a little. Don't worry; there are plenty of ways to do table decorations that aren't going to send you to sleep.

Sticking with Traditional Table Decorations

Photo cubes with comic strips

Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Personalised printed paper table runner

There are quite a few elements that go into creating traditional wedding table decorations. Each table has its own centrepiece, which is usually floral. If you have square or oblong tables then you will likely have a table runner. There is also a table number, or table name that will be on display.

There are place names for guests, along with favours. Let's not forget the things that guests need to actually eat. Place mats, cutlery, napkins, the list goes on. Sounds complicated, right?

Well, it doesn't really need to be. If you don't want your wedding reception table decorations to be that complicated, then they don't have to be. Simply have as much or as little as you like.

Different Ideas for Wedding Reception Table Decorations

Fabric flowers

Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Mismatched plates

Don't just look at other weddings for ideas for your table decorations, keep your eyes open at any events you visit. Often corporate events are put together by professional designers, so get inspired by other nifty ideas you see.

Not all of your centrepieces have to be uniform. Each table can have its own, individual centrepiece.

One idea I have seen used is vintage items. Now I say vintage items, but retro, second hand or even car boot items have been termed 'vintage'. One bride I knew visited markets and bought a range of second hand birdcages, each of these had an item from a country she had visited with the groom.

A wedding I went to a few years ago that had a retro theme had 1950s condiment containers in pale blue and pink used, each was filled with sweets the guests helped themselves to. Another unusual idea I've seen was a fish tank on each table, complete with fish.

Many weddings are opting to have edible table decorations. Elaborate displays of sweets that guests can pick at, freshly cut (or whole) fruit, and cupcake towers have all made appearances.

Plants, herbs and other potted plants are also making an appearance as wedding reception table decorations, instead of the usual floral displays.

And household items such as books, bowls of pin wheels, origami paper sculptures and wooden bird ornaments have been known too.

Keeping it Simple

I really think the best approach to wedding table decoration is to keep it simple. Less is always more. Stay away from clutter, and please, stay away from the floral or candle thing, unless of course, it's done with originality.

One perfect way to simplicity is to let the crockery do the talking. Use mismatched plates, either retro style or bright bold colours to be your wedding table decorations. Who needs anything more?

Here are some great inspirations to decorate your tables with.

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