Culture,  Fun

10 Ideas for Setting Up a Perfect Wedding Reception Area

Are you and your perfect half ready to tie the knot? Are you already envisioning all the little details that will make your wedding reception uniquely yours?

Then you’re most certainly ready for your wedding! But before you fast-forward to that part, first, you need to take care of the planning and arrangements for your big day. Most couples want to ensure that their day reflects their personality as a couple, so they try to customize the décor as much as they can, making sure that the reception is not only within budget but is also beautiful, impactful, and attainable.

If you’ve already hunted down unique San Diego wedding venues and are now looking for creative ideas for setting up the perfect wedding reception area, then take a look below!

Drapes on the Ceiling

Wedding ceiling decoration

Adding yards of your favorite fabric can transform the appearance of your wedding reception! Just a little bit of fabric can shower the venue with elegance and gracefulness. But if you want to add playfulness and cheekiness to your wedding, go for some bold color. With this technique, you can complement the dining table linens, or go for minimal decoration on the tables themselves.

*Pro tip: Match the fabric with the color of the bridesmaids’ dress!

The Portrait Stand

Wedding Portrain Stand

The exchange of vows can go quickly during the wedding ceremony itself. A moment like this should be preserved and captured in all its timeless beauty!

Before heading to the wedding reception, and greeting your guests, make use of a backdrop for your wedding portrait. Use drapes, flowers and fairy lights (if it’s a nighttime wedding) to ornament the picture stand and record this endearing memory forever.

Create a Direction Area

Direction Area Decoration

It’s your wedding and you can have as much fun as you want! If you love flowers, colors, and vibrancy, then create a beautiful, customized ‘welcome area’ with a wedding signpost. Not only will this look stylish, but it will also guide the guests down the pathway to your indoor wedding venue, or outdoor reception area.

Escort Cards

Escort cards

Do you have a large guest list?

Are you famous among friends for your organizational skills?

 Then this is the perfect reception decoration idea for you! Having an escort table is very helpful, especially if your unique wedding venue is a bit away from your reception site. But you don’t have to stick to the traditional tabletop design—add in your own twist with escort cards!

To pull this off, title each card with the guests’ table number and a short welcoming note from the two of you. This sweet gesture can really impress your guests and make them feel warmly welcomed.

Suspend the Flowers and Greenery

 Hook-up flower decorations

One of the best ways to make your ceremony look absolutely lavish is by creating an outdoor effect in an indoor venue. Most people like bedecking the wedding tables with seasonal flowers. But you can take it to the next level and suspend your flowers or plants from the ceiling lights, which will add a touch of richness to your wedding! The best part about this type of decoration is that the focus is on everything natural, which keeps your reception room low maintenance.

Use Sign Boards


Whether you have a funny message like this one or just want to welcome your guests, using sign boards is the best way to go about it!  You can write a short or long message, personalize it with the frame of your choice, match it with the dominant color of your wedding theme, add garlands, and be as creative with it as you want!

Lighten Things Up

Lightings at wedding

Do you want to add some spark to your reception?

Then set up the tables with scented candles! Scented candles enhance the overall appearance of your table. Plus, they fill the air with recognizable and inviting fragrances, adding another element of enjoyment for the senses.

The best part is that if your wedding package includes an evening or night reception, then using candles can be a smart decision to illuminate the tables. You can also use lamps, but they can end causing wiring or battery issues. So if your wedding venue will allow, candles are the perfect reception decoration idea for you!

Clear Glassware

Wedding table Decoration

Whether you are a minimalist or just looking for sheer elegance, clear or transparent glassware can really enhance the overall look of your wedding reception. If you’re playing with colors, lights, and drapes, keeping the glassware toned down is the best way to complement the whole set up. And if the tables are lushly draped with flowers, then the clear glassware will really enhance the overall décor!

Set Up Impressive Cutlery

Impressive Cutlery

Whether you plan on making your wedding simple or extravagant, using impressive cutlery is eye-catching and will set your event apart. Depart from boring silverware and move onto something more sophisticated—gold cutlery!

*Pro Tip:  You can arrange the cutlery in the order of utensil usage, place it on top of a beautifully folded napkin and present it to your guests—they will be blown away by your attention to detail!

Make a Photo Wall for Memories

Photo Wall for Memories

There is no better way to give thanks to all your guests than to dedicate a photo wall to your friends and family members! Start with the top row for your parents, the next for your siblings, then friends and so on. Everyone who is a part of your life will appreciate this little gesture of thankfulness!

When it comes to your wedding, everything should be about you and your beloved. But making your friends and family — people who you love and care about—a major part of your wedding will make your big day feel all the more special!

While you’re researching wedding packages, make sure to keep these creative reception area ideas in mind, as they will help you plan your wedding in a fun and sophisticated way.


Author Bio:

Annalisa is Sales Manager at Harbor View Loft, a San Diego wedding venue well known for its 360-degree view of Coronado, the San Diego skyline, and the beautiful harbor itself. Annalisa books weddings, events, and corporate functions at this breathtaking location, and working with clients to find their ideal event package. She enjoys blogging about tips and trends in the wedding and event industry and sharing her perspective with others.

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