So you have booked the perfect venue for your wedding reception, now all it needs is decorating, to bring it to life.
But what areas do you decorate? What do you focus on?
All venues are different of course, some are small therefore more manageable, and some have a larger amount of space. The size of tables differ, a variety of chairs, different features are situated in different places, and there's different lighting to contend with. But all venues will have one thing in common which is having those 'essential key areas' that you and the guests will be using.
The Welcome Area
This is the first area your guests are going to encounter so it is important to make them feel welcome and check they are in the right place. A personalised welcome sign is a great idea. You can also make a display around it with crates, lanterns, candles, whatever you fancy to greet your guests to give them a warm welcome as they walk in, this will immediately set the tone of the reception.
Ceremony Focal Point
Decorating your venue, will depend on your goals and budget. If you are not planning on covering the whole of the venue in decorations you may want to concentrate on key focal points you are using particularly a place where photos will be taken. Such as where you are signing the register and if you would like a backdrop for your ceremony to take place.
The Top Table
This is the table all the very important people will be allocated so you want to make it extra jaw dropping. It need a little something extra than your regular guest tables. Perhaps more decor on the table like flowers, a backdrop behind the table to make it stand out, or add chair decor to make it extra special.
When your guests find their seat they want to feel welcome and comfortable. Give them a feast for their eyes making them want to touch everything, which is the highest compliment. Build up your tables with linens, centrepieces, charger plates and napkins, but be careful not to overfill as this can start to look overcrowded.
Make sure to think about your cake or dessert table ahead of time. Don't leave it to the venue as the standard procedure is to just put it in the middle of a table looking lost all on it's own. This is another highly photographed area so remember to treat it the same and create a display to really show it off.
Cards & Guest Book Area
This is one of the most active areas of your wedding, before the dinner and especially after as your guests are mingling around more. Your guests will most likely have a card or gift they want to drop off straight away for you, so I would highly recommend making a feature out of the situation. Have a place for your guests to write their well wishes to you in a book with plenty of pens to go around. Or better still have an alternative guest book which will make a feature all by itself.