Three Tips for Maximizing Your Reception Budget

Styling and decorating a reception space can be an area of challenge for couples, but with the right inspiration and tools, it can be one of the most creative parts of your wedding planning process! If you are struggling to decide what areas of your budget to prioritize on reception decor, we are here for you! Below are three tips for maximizing your reception budget when it comes to the design and decor.

1. Take inspiration from the theme of your venue

As you begin dreaming and planning your reception decor, turn to your venue as inspiration. Although decorations will add to and enhance a reception space, no amount of decorations will be enough to transform your venue into a different look. For example, if you have booked an industrial venue with exposed brick and dark paint, linens and florals alone will not transform it into a light, airy, and French-inspired room. Lean into your venue’s theme for your decor! That industrial venue might not be able to handle French inspiration, but a moody vintage or rustic works wonderfully! This will help simplify your decision-making when you utilize the decor already provided to support your additions. Take the photo below for example. The couple wanted an elegant and bright, blue and gold theme and chose a golf club room to further help in matching that vision. If they had chosen dark tablecloths or heavy greenery, the room would not have the same feel. The reception appears much more cohesive by mirroring the blue tones in the carpet with blue linens. As you search for your venue, keep in mind the theme or ” feel” you and your fiancé are hoping for.

Photography: Colette M Photography

2. Look for opportunities to make an impact with venue features

If you have already selected your venue, chances are you picked it for a great reason or special feature! Our couple in the image below did a great job utilizing and accentuating this venue’s chandeliers by hanging greenery from them. They chose to add a focal point that made the reception feel very lush, without having to invest in a great amount of florals or greenery for the rest of the tables. By taking a portion of your floral budget to highlight features that are already in place, you can elevate your venue and your guest experience. The guests may not have noticed elaborate, towering centerpieces, but they did notice the couple having their first dance together under these blooming chandeliers!

Photography: Laura and Matthew Photography

3. Re-use your ceremony pieces at your cocktail hour or reception

When you meet with your florist, ask them about ways they suggest re-using certain floral pieces. They will have some wonderful ideas! Utilize your ceremony pieces for decor by assigning someone to bring them to the reception. It was important to our couple in the image below to have florals at every part of their wedding day, so we help make their vision come to life! The floral arrangements from the church doors and steps were paid for once and used three times throughout the day! Once on the front steps of the church, second for bride and groom portraits, and third at the foot of the head table. Please make sure to always talk to your church about their floral rules as some require that you leave any altar flowers in the church after the ceremony.

Photography: Colette M Photography

Florals: LB Floristry

Bonus tips!

Here are a few smaller-scale and practical things that you can do for your reception decor.

  • Choose ivory linens over white. Why? Pure white often will photograph with a blue tint, this includes wedding dresses and veils too!
  • Try and refrain from choosing wedding colors until after your church and reception venue is booked. After you look to your venue for inspiration, it will simplify your decision-making for selecting wedding colors.
  • Remember that bud vases may require fewer flowers, but they will cost you triple the time to purchase, set up, and pack-up.
  • If your caterer is providing linens, they are likely renting through a larger rental service and adding a surcharge. Renting your own linens a la carte may give you more access to larger color selections (if you are willing to put in a little more extra work)
  • If you are planning on sending flowers home with guests, keep in mind that the majority of traveling guests won’t be able to take them. Florals get thrown away or sent home with staff at more weddings than you might think! If recycling is important to you, consider donating your flowers to a nearby hospital, nursing home, or making them into keepsakes for your home.

This wedding feature was written, and submitted by Simply Sacred Events!  Mary & Joy are Catholic wedding planners and coordinators based out of Indianapolis. For more of SSE’s work, visit their profile on the Catholic Bridal Collective. To submit to be featured on our blog, visit the submissions page on our website!

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