ISWD Instants | 5 tips on planning wedding reception décor


1. If your budget does not allow for the hiring of luxurious crockery and linen, don’t despair. A simple trick to enhance a venue’s basic stock of white tablecloths and clear glass is to hire one item that enhances your theme, such as a coloured wine glass or an ornate charger plate for each place setting.

2. In a marquee, we recommend featuring high impact larger floral displays. Small ones can look really unremarkable in large spaces with high ceilings.

3. Consider hiring topiary, statues or water features in venue spaces where there are high ceilings and/or there is little decorative interest.

4. Lighting transforms a venue. Think about using spotlights or up-lighters to create ambiance, both in and outside a venue. Decorate garden features with cathedral candles in glass lanterns and fairy lights so that outside spaces remain inviting during the evening reception.

5. Factor in the transition from daylight to evening in your wedding day schedule. Find out what time sunset is expected and make sure that your event manager on site is briefed as to what time they need to be making the switch between daytime and evening lighting arrangements. This is particularly important if you have lined up a host of 300 candles to be lit in the garden for when darkness sets in. They take time to prepare!

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Images featured in this post are all photos from real weddings planned by ISWD. See more wedding inspiration here.

Photography credits (clockwise from top): Mike Garrard Photography, Olivia Shaw Photography, Duncan Kerridge PhotographyOlivia Shaw Photography, Bibi Basch Photography.


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