Reception Décor: You Decide | Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center

Reception Décor: You Decide

October 4, 2017 Dan Patch Hall reception décor

Once the wedding ceremony is over, attention turns to the reception. And, whereas the wedding ceremony can be more formal and focused on the couple, the reception and reception décor are more geared for guests and celebration. As you think about your reception, consider some basic décor ideas.

Match the Reception Décor to Your Space

Before you settle on a theme or materials you’d like to have at your reception, you’ll need to select your venue. Once that’s done, you’ll have a better idea of what décor options will match your space.

If, for example, your reception space has high ceilings like our Dan Patch Hall (pictured at right) you have many more options for dramatic draping and hanging elements. You could hang:

  • Swaths of cloth to soften the rooms angles
  • Greenery or flower arrangements overhead to add visual interest
  • Paper lanterns or balloons
  • Strings of lights
  • Streamers of ribbons or other fabric

With a lower ceiling, anything hanging will have be suspended much closer to the ceiling, but you can still work wonders with fabric, lanterns, lights or other decorations.

Settle on Your Theme

Once you have chosen the venue—whether modern, classic, rustic, or something else—you’ll be able to envision a layout into which you can incorporate your theme.

Themes can involve elements such as:

  • Color—the color of your table linens or favors or centerpieces or cake, etc.
  • The overall vibe of the event; that is, traditional, or casual, or kitschy, or beach-inspired or bohemian, etc. Whatever type of event you want, you can reflect it in your overall theme.
  • Accessories—Tied to the vibe of your wedding, accessories can be anything you can imagine. For instance:
    • Your guest register could be anything from a traditional paper bound book, to a Polaroid camera with instructions to shoot selfies and write messages, to a wall with paper shapes onto which guests can write anything they want, to an old typewriter with sheets of paper onto which guests can type messages.
    • Unique drinks or snacks that are meaningful in some way can be served at their own “bar.” A Wisconsin bride might like to have a mac and cheese bar. Her groom might favor a home brew beer bar to share his passion for the privately concocted beverage. Find more reception food bar ideas in this article from
    • Favors for your table guests can follow a theme based on location (sunglasses and sunscreen for poolside or beach receptions), or season (premium hot chocolate in a customized mug for a fall or winter wedding), or something meaningful to the couple that guests would appreciate.aged metal bottle and wood containers
    • Other elements can also signal your theme (like the country inspired décor pictured at right) or unique table decorations like a pile of old books, or table numbers made out of lego blocks, or jars of shells, or even mini bathtubs filled with ice and beverages.

Express Yourself

While a wedding ceremony generally follows certain expected social rules, receptions give couples far more scope to express their unique style. From colors to special decorations to personal gifts or activities, the choices are up to you. As you consider your options,

  • Find the venue that can accommodate your vision.
  • Learn what the venue can offer in terms of WiFi or AV you might want, recommendations for other vendors, set up services, etc.
  • Work with your partner to make sure the reception has items or décor that you both like.
  • Make a list of all the elements you’d like to have, and prioritize. Once you know what everything will cost, the list may have to shrink.
  • Finally, don’t forget to have fun!

If you are looking for a Twin Cities wedding or reception venue, check out the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center. Located close to the Minnesota River in south Bloomington, we have classic and modern spaces, beautiful grounds, free parking, built in technology and helpful staff to help you realize your vision. Visit us online at or call 952-948-6502 to schedule a tour.

Reception Décor: You Decide

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