Personalizing Your Wedding Reception Space

wedding reception space

Personalizing your wedding reception space for an exceptional experience!

For someone planning a wedding, it can sometimes feel as if every idea for a reception or theme has already been done.  The country wedding, the city wedding, the beachy wedding; the standard routine of cocktail hour, dinner, cake. And yet, the last thing any bride or groom-to-be wants is a wedding that can be described as “forgettable” or “basic.”

wedding reception space

More than ever, brides and grooms alike want their personality to show through– the popularity of monograms and wedding hashtags is proof of this. 

If you’re struggling with how to make sure your wedding both stands out and authentically represents who you are, here is a guide for how you can use your wedding reception space to the fullest– and thereby avoid the dreaded cookie-cutter wedding.  

Step 1: Finding the right reception space

A wise planner will choose a vendor that is willing to work with you to customize your wedding.  You will find that some reception options will lend themselves toward this goal better than others.  For instance, while barn weddings have been very popular in recent years, a reception in a barn can bring with it the added challenge of needing to bring in your own extra tables, chairs, serveware, lighting, and catering, all of which have separate costs that can add up quickly. 

Other types of vendors, like the Lumber Exchange Event Center, will have some of these items included with their venue. It’s worth doing a bit of research to compare and contrast the cost and effort your chosen venue will bring to the table.  

reception space

Step 2:  Choosing the perfect theme

Narrowing down your theme can be a challenge:  How does one keep from ending up with a cheesy or cliche theme?  Answer: By spending time considering who you and your partner really are and making sure your choice is authentic to that.  The important thing is to avoid the mistake of forcing a theme just because it happens to be trendy. Instead, think carefully about who you and your partner are, both as individuals and as a couple, and go from there.

What is the story of your relationship? 

Perhaps you are both obsessive cinephiles (movie theme), literary aficionados (books), world travelers (destinations), or you met at the county fair (carnival).

Research your theme options by spending quality time with Pinterest to make sure you have a wide variety of inspiration to draw from.  Whatever your chosen theme, if it’s something that truly brings you together as a couple, it won’t come off as forced or cliche.  

Step 3:  Pulling it all together

Flowers—  The bouquet is a staple of any wedding, but that doesn’t mean yours has to be generic.  Infuse your blooms with meaning by incorporating sentimental items into the mix: perhaps pinned charms, a locket, or a bow fashioned from lace from grandmother’s vintage wedding dress.

flowers for wedding reception

If you want to get more creative with your bouquet, consider alternatives to traditional flowers:   

  • Succulents, which can be planted and kept long after the wedding 
  • Jewelry-inspired flowers made from brooches, pearls, or french beads 
  • Flowers made from sheet music or pages from your favorite book
  • Dried flowers for a vintage feel 
  • Flowers made from fabric (perhaps gauze or burlap), pom poms, leather, feathers, pastel buttons.  

Or, you and your bridal party could carry something different than a bouquet altogether: think balloons for a whimsical carnival theme, fans for a vintage wedding, or old fashioned lanterns or woven baskets for a vintage wedding.  

Lighting— Get creative with your lighting options by researching ideas for ceiling installations.  There’s a light out there for just about every theme: think stars, japanese lanterns, string lights, sheer umbrellas, light-wrapped trees or tree branches, chandeliers, stained glass, snowflakes, faux candles, and mason jars. Also, feel free to play with color. The right lighting can make even the most bare venue feel magical.  However, it’s important to vet your wedding reception space to make sure they can accommodate your lighting needs. You’ll find that the Lumber Exchange Event Center has a variety of lighting options that will enable you to perfect the vibe.  

Windows and Walls– Using sheer drapery is one way to transform a basic space into something stunningly unique.  Windows, walls, and wedding backdrops look light and romantic with the right use of fabric. Along with drapery, we are also seeing flowers being used for walls and ceilings (Kim Kardashian made a splash for her use of flowers as her ceremony backdrop).  Again, choosing the right wedding reception space is key here: make sure your venue has features in place to make your draping options happen. By elevating bare walls with fabric, flowers, and chandeliers, you’ll be able to take your wedding photos and selfies to the next level.  

Personal Touches:  Here are some ideas of how to add tasteful dashes of your personality and history into your wedding reception space:

  • Signage:  Use a meaningful quote or words that allude to your theme
  • Repurpose a family keepsake to create the ring pillow
  • Have a friend ordain the ceremony, or a family member provide the music  
  • Display trivia cards or fun facts about the bride and groom at each table
  • Exhibit old family photos to honor people who can’t be there to share the celebration
  • Compile a music list that speaks directly to your theme or to the relationship itself  
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