Tips for styling a beautiful wedding reception

While the most important part of your wedding day is the ceremony itself, the place where your guests will spend most of the day is often the reception.

If you’re struggling to pin down how you’d like your reception to look, and what the best way to style it is, we are here to help. While style is an incredibly subjective idea, and your style will differ from other couples, the tips we’re about to give you will help you recognise what you need to focus on to make sure your reception looks exactly how you’d like and fits with your wedding theme.

Research your venue

First things first, when considering how you’re going to style your reception, it’s a good idea to research the venue you have chosen beyond what it looks like on a daily basis. Make sure to find as much imagery from the venue as possible, especially any images of previous weddings that they have hosted.

This will show you what has worked well in the past for the venue, and what aspects of previous wedding styles may appeal to your own personal style. You’ll be able to see the styles of their tables and chairs, how many tables can fit in the space, the tablecloths they used, and details about the table arrangements.

Beautifully presented wedding reception venue

Consider how you can work with the room’s décor

You’ll have chosen your venue because it suits you, is in a style that you like and believe will complement the style and aesthetic of your reception. Although, if there is anything about the venue that you don’t quite like, such as the carpet, or the wallpaper, you can style your event to draw attention away from those aspects instead of considering it a deal breaker.

For the carpet, focus on oversized arrangements to draw the eyes up and decorate high ceilings. For the wallpaper, make sure the style draws on bolder colours and more eye-catching details, such as quirky table centrepieces or display boards that cover the walls. Find out what would work well by taking photos and overlaying your details in a mood board before making any decisions.

Find out what the venue can provide

Many venues who host weddings and other events will often have their own events company that provides their tableware and chair covers. Find out what they provide and whether it will work for you. Many venues will have tablecloths of some kind, but it depends whether they’ll complement the style you’re going for.

Floor length tablecloths will hide exposed table legs and make sure that attention is focused on the pretty table top details and the floral centrepieces, as well as the other decorations around the room. Alternatively, if it suits your venue and style, you could opt for exposed tables.

Don’t forget the lighting

Whether you’re having a day event or one that stretches into the evening, you’ll want to make sure that the lighting at your venue complements the rest of the aspects of your reception. Make sure you visit your venue at the time of year and time of day that your reception will be held so that you can see what kind of light you’ll be working with. For a dimmer room, you’ll want to use stronger colours or metallics, whereas for a light room you can stick with blush and pale tones.

For a venue that doesn’t get much natural light, make sure that the lighting systems in place are complementary to the style you’re aiming for. At The Brewery, our rooms don’t rely on natural light to illuminate spaces. Our LED systems are tailored to enhance the mood of your event or fit a specific colour scheme so that you don’t need to worry about a dim room or bad lighting on your big day.

Incredible wedding venue lighting

Think outside the box

Creating an impact is a great way to make sure that your guests are talking about your stunning reception weeks after the event. Think outside the box when it comes to table centrepieces and key items: you could use almost anything as a vase – teapots, jars, bottles etc. – or could go in a completely different direction, eschew the vase of flowers and display your arrangements in birdcages or on top of a pile of books, or even nestled in hampers and boxes.

If you don’t want to use the provided, most likely neutral-coloured, tableware then you can really make a statement with a different coloured tablecloth or napkins. In the same way, instead of using plain glassware, coloured glassware can really stand out and draw the eye.

Remember some stylistic rules

When styling your wedding reception, there are a couple of rules of thumb that you should probably remember. Firstly, when arranging items, they often look best grouped in odd numbers like threes or fives. The reason for this is that it both echoes symmetry and also allows for them to be positioned with a central point. With tall items, position the tallest one in the middle and gradually decline the height as you move away from the centre.

Also, if you want to introduce a hint of a colour but don’t want it to be too overpowering, try including it in a few of the flowers in the table arrangements, or in the colour of the napkins. That way you can play around with how it is positioned to keep it subtle yet visible.


If you’re considering holding your wedding reception at The Brewery, and need some help with styling your event, our Event Design team would be more than happy to help! They understand the unique dimensions of our spaces better than anyone and can help to make sure your wedding reception is as beautiful as it can be.