Planning

80 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials to Remember

Feeling a little overwhelmed by wedding planning? You’re not alone! That’s why we’re here to help you break down the big decisions into much smaller, less scary steps. We’re talking all things wedding reception, from decor to table plans, to help you work out what you need (and want!).

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Credit: Unsplash

80 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials

Table Plan

Because let’s face it, if it takes that many hours to organise, a table plan to be essential. 

Place Cards

Having taken the time to get your seating plan just so, make sure your guests know exactly where they should be.

Table Numbers

You could name your tables, but choosing numbers makes it super simple to signpost. Browse a pretty range of table numbers and holders to suit your theme here.

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Flavoured Favours

Whether you’re creating a candy bar or gifting traditional sugared almonds, edible favours are always a winner.

Table Runners

Continue reading below…

Why not colour and fabric coordinate them with your theme? Try hessian for rustic wedding, rose gold for a trendy take and lace for timeless reception style.

Menus

Get guests talking and their mouths watering with the delicious dinner to come.

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Table Linens and Cloths

A staple at every reception, your venue will often include table cloths in your package, and if you’re looking for something to tie in with a theme, Wedding Ideas offer a sparkly selection here!

Candelabra

Nothing evokes romance like softly flickering candlelight…

Vases

Another regular at receptions, vases are essential for displaying your fabulous flowers. You could opt for glass hurricane vases, mercury glass vases or even elegant urns.

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Centrepieces

Whether it comes in the form of flowers, a tree or even a stack of old books, every reception table deserves a centrepiece. This is the perfect opportunity to enhance your theme, too!

Table Confetti

A flurry of table confetti makes for a pretty finishing touch.

Log Slices

Can you really have a rustic wedding without one?

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: jenniferjanephotography.co.uk

Manzanita Trees

You probably didn’t know the name for these before you got engaged, but now manzanita trees are racing up the reception wishlists for affordable centrepieces.

Crystal Candleholders

A no-brainer for bling-loving brides.

Mirror Plates

Perfect for giving your reception a touch of glam. 

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: foxleyphotography.com

Chiavari Chairs

The perfect seating choice for a romantic or rustic wedding, go for stained wood for real romantic warmth or limewash for a feel of fairytale and whimsy.

Lanterns

Present your candles in lanterns for a fairytale feel.

Candles

One of the most popular of all reception essentials, be sure to double check that your venue allows naked flame candles or invest in battery-operated candles for a similar glowing effect. Want to take your candles to the next level? Invest in scented candles to fill your venue with a romantic scent that will forever remind you of your dream day.

75 essential wedding decor ideas
Credit: lindseyocker.com

Bunting

Brilliant for barns, marquees and village hall weddings.

Honeycombs

Intermingle hanging honeycombs with strings of fairy lights for Pinterest-worthy effects.

Sparklers

Perfect for a festive Christmas or winter wedding.

Want your wedding day to go out with a bang? How about having a sparkling send off? Here's how to plan a wedding fireworks display
Credit: da-photo.co.uk

Pom Poms

Get the same effect as honeycombs, but with a more delicate, peony-like ruffled style.

Ribbon Garlands

String one up as a skirt for your sweets table, or hang up ribbon garlands for a fun photobooth backdrop.

Chair Decorations

Those adorable Mr & Mrs signs have to go somewhere, right?

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!

Ribbon Garlands

String one up as a skirt for your sweets table, or hang up ribbon garlands for a fun photobooth backdrop.

Photobooth Props

Giant glasses, moustaches and top hats at the ready!

Flowers

Cascading down your cake, climbing around your candelabra or creating a dreamy top table backdrop, flowers are a must! On a budget? Silk flowers are the way to go.

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Credit: Unsplash

Candy Bar

Pretty up your pick and mix by presenting the sweets in decorative glassware and jars.

Instagram Sign

Create a live feed of photos from your day.

Welcome Sign

Cute and, if you’re crafty, pretty easy to DIY too!

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Credit: wearetheclarkes.com

Drinks Station

Try pimp your Prosecco, gin bar goodness or couple’s cocktails for themes.

Balloons

Go for a confetti-filled version for twice the wedding fun!

Show-stopping Cake Design

Coordinate your cake with your theme and it can be an edible centrepiece in its own right!

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: facebook.com/alisarobertsphotography

Postbox

Practical and a pretty cool keepsake after the big day.

Cards Basket

Ideal if you’re channeling a travel or vintage theme.

Faux Grass Table Runner

This will bring a rustic vibe to any venue!

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: julietlemon.com

Table Trivia

Take the pressure off your seating plan and add ice breakers to the tables, your family and friends will be socialising in no time.

Chalkboard

Ask your bridesmaid with the prettiest handwriting or learn calligraphy to DIY the dreamiest of chalkboard designs.

Frame-heart Guest Book

For a little bit of interactive fun, a guestbook gets everyone involved.

Frame Guest book

Calligraphy Signs

Calligraphy adds a romantic, classic element to every wedding.

Craft Beer Cart

Move over bath tub of beer, we’re getting sophisticated!

Fairy Lights

Canopies of fairy lights can be a cost effective way to add the wow-factor in a flash.

Calligraphy Signs Calligraphy adds a romantic, classic element to every wedding. Craft Beer Cart Move over bath tub of beer, we're getting sophisticated!
Credit: da-photo.co.uk

Oversized Letter Lights

Use giant letters to zone areas and pretty up empty spaces, be that your dance floor or bar.

Illuminated Dance Floor

For a party that really pops!

Up-lighting 

Be sure to coordinate the lighting to match or complement your core colour scheme.

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: da-photo.co.uk

Lego Favour Boxes

Indulge your nostalgia with this quirky favour idea.

Martini Glass Flower Arrangements

Tall and elegant, your florist or venue might have a stash of these iconic vases available to hire.

Blossom Trees

These decorations are great for adding height (read: wow-factor) and can easily be repositioned from your ceremony to your reception.

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: jessicaraphaelphotography.com

Just Married Sign

Today’s the only day you can use it, so why not?!

Decorative Ladder

Fill it with your favourite trinkets or family photographs from weddings.

Disposable Cameras

Let your guests get snap happy, then enjoy the hoard of happy photos after the day.

Cookie Bar

Guests of every age are going to love this affordable but delicious treat.

Confetti Basket

This is best positioned by the exit to your ceremony room, so family and friends can collect confetti in perfect time for your iconic confetti photo.

Floral Chandeliers

Architectural flower installations have taken the wedding scene by storm, adding bags of romance to rustic barns and modern marquees alike.

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: junejoubert.co.za

Garden Games

Giant Jenga, croquet, chess are great fun for all ages – and gentle on your budget, too.

Photo Wall

This can be as simple as pegging up some Polaroid pictures, sharing your memories and love story with family and friends.

Pimp Your Prosecco Stand

The garnishes may change, but our passion for Prosecco is here to stay!

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Origami Backdrop

Pretty paper cranes, whether all white or multicoloured, make for a dreamy decoration. Enlist your craftiest bridesmaids to help with all the folding involved!

Advice Coasters

What nuggets of wisdom will your family and friends share?

Flower Wall

Think these have to cost the world? Think again – just check out faux flower wall panels are the perfect solution.

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Confetti Cones

Worried your guests won’t remember to throw the confetti up and not at you? Confetti cones make nailing your confetti shot a breeze.

Flip Flops Basket

Everyone will be happy to rest their tired feet, so have flip flops ready to slip on and the party doesn’t have to stop.

Ceremony Signs

Want your guests to pick a seat and not a side? Or maybe you’re going unplugged for the ceremony and want a fun but informal way to let people know? Simply read the signs!

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Credit: Unsplash

Flower Garlands

Tie them to the back of ceremony seats, suspend them from beams, entwine them around staircases…

Jigsaw Guestbook

Another fun touch to get your guests involved.

Order of The Day Signs

Happy guests are those who know when they’re going to eat, drink and dance next.

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: da-photo.co.uk

Dance Floor Rules

There’s no excuse not to be up and dancing with a dance floor sign.

Festoon Lighting

Strung up inside or out, there’s a nostalgic, funfair feel whenever festoon lighting is around.

Wooden Crates

Wooden crates make beautiful rustic replacements for vases, with the benefit of being portable so they can move from ceremony to reception as you do.

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: jessicaraphaelphotography.com

Window Sill Pot Plants

Quirky and super cute, there’s no last-minute flower arranging required when you use blooms that are still growing!

Wishing Tree

Ask each guest to tie a thought or good wish to the tree, then read them and reminisce the next morning with your new spouse.

Floral Canopy

Combine fairy lights, flowers and foliage for breathtakingly beautiful results.

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: claretamim.co.uk

Giant Balloon

Whimsical props to make your couple’s portraits ultra pretty.

Balloon Letters

A budget-friendly backdrop can be all you need to transform your cake table into a decoration in its own right.

Beaded Plate Chargers

Okay, so people will keep telling you not to obsess about the tiny details, but…

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: colinnichollsphotography.com

Creative Cake Toppers

Look for laser-cut designs that can be personalised, then get creative!

Building Blocks Guest Book

Why not use your guest book as a way to surprise your guests? We’re pretty sure a building block book won’t be what they expect!

Wellington Boot Vases

Easy for your florist to fill and perfect for a country theme.

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: andyhook.com

Mr & Mrs Game

No one will ever call speeches boring again when a game of Mr & Mrs is on the cards!

Test Tube Flowers

If you want your big day to be trendy and a touch on the quirky side, you’ll love this way to present your flowers.

Wooden Name Initial Letters

You could buy plain letters and decorate with glitter, paper flowers or even chalkboard paint!

75 of the Best Wedding Reception Essentials!
Credit: claretamim.co.uk

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