50 Fabulous Reception Ideas

Make it a dream day! We invited top wedding planners to share their biggest, brightest ideas for your flowers, cake, decor and more.
Rachel Griffiths

Make it a dream day! We invited top wedding planners to share their biggest, brightest ideas for your flowers, cake, decor and more.


Mark Held, co-owner, Mark's Garden, Los Angeles, CA (marksflowers.com)

1. Dare to be different! Choose an unusual color for your flowers, like purple or lavender, which

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are definitely going to be the hot new hues in the coming year. Last year's trendiest bridal pick—acid green—is still popular, especially when combined with tropical-punch pink.

2. Don't mix too many colors in your floral centerpieces, as it will dilute the impact of the arrangement; more than three colors are probably too many. Consider using just one hue, or two shades in the same family, for a thoroughly striking look.

3. Instead of placing single-container centerpieces on each table, consider using a grouping of four or five flower-filled, matching vessels, each of a different height or size. This will create interest in the room.

4. If you want soaring centerpieces without the formality of those tall silver vases, create small "trees" using blossoming branches that are woven together at the base to form a "trunk." It'll look like the trees are growing from the tables.

5. While flowers are the focus of centerpieces, keep in mind that the vessels holding them are also important. Use ones made of blue- or green-colored glass, or simply wrap the vases in pretty fabric. Rectangular and square-shaped containers are also very attractive and chic.

6. Add a personal touch to your space by using flowers from a family member's garden to decorate the escort-card table.

7. Dust off that family silver! Creamers, pitchers and sugar bowls make charming containers for small flower arrangements.

Budget Smarts

8. To save money on centerpieces, think simple, sleek and small. Tulips and hydrangeas are reasonably priced blooms that look elegant and lush when tightly packed, even in small containers.

9. You don't need to place flower arrangements on every available surface—just the places where they will give the most visual impact. Spend money on the centerpieces, flowers for the escort-card table and a small arrangement for the bar. And don't forget the ladies' room!

10. Find a way to light your centerpieces. Pin lights—little spotlights that can be hung from the ceiling—are ideal, but if that costs too much, simply place votive candles around each arrangement. The light will bring out the flowers' colors, which means you can get by with fewer blooms.