The wedding reception is the second time your guests should be wowed; the first is when they see your dress. The decorations at your reception are going to have people talking for months after the “I dos.” To keep the comments positive, check out these five fun ideas for table décor.


Instead of one huge wedding cake and lots of elaborate floral arrangements, make a simple round cake the center of attention at each table, says Sarah Beth Smith, a stylist and handmade crafter. Decorate the cakes with candles that represent the table number, colors and designs that match your wedding theme, and/or fresh flowers, and showcase the cakes on stands made with vintage glass plates and candlesticks.


For an exceedingly elegant look, submerge a single, striking calla lily or orchid blossom in a bowl-shaped vase, top it with a floating candle and surround the centerpiece with votives, says Andy Schmitz, an event coordinator at A New Leaf Studio & Garden, Chicago.


Adorn recycled milk bottles with handmade table number tags made from paper, chipboard, wood or copper foil and garden twine or ribbon, and then fill them with seasonal blooms, suggests Smith. Instead of numbers, you could also write words like “Love” or “Joy,” or include phrases or names of places that mean something to you.


For a lush, full feel, Schmitz recommends looking to affordable flowers with large heads, such as sunflowers and hydrangeas. Place a single stem in three cylindrical vases of varying heights to make a big impact.


“A popular alternative to cut flowers, succulents are cheap and easy to care for,” says Smith. She suggests placing them in individual containers (think small terra cotta pots or thrift-store tea cups), embellishing them with a simple ribbon and tag, and then arranging them in tiers (use cake stands), rows or a circle. Guests can then take them home as favors.

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