A post about planning for a DIY wedding reception.
You might remember that my son Cullan and his then fiancé Diem went to Hawaii in February and tied the knot in a simple elopement ceremony on the beach. We all wanted to travel over and soak up the Hawaiian sun for a bit and be a part of their wedding- but they wanted a simple, intimate ceremony with just the two of them and so, we stayed home and watched the grand dogs so they could enjoy a couple weeks honeymoon.
Though they decided on an elopement, they wanted to do a reception with friends and family and so, we are knee deep in preparation for that with it being just a few weeks away- and as such- this month on the blog is going to be full of ideas, tips and inspiration & tips for special occasion celebrations.
DIY Wedding Reception
Whether doing a reception at a venue or right in your backyard- there is a lot to plan and a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Diem and Cullan chose a venue that was centrally located between both of their immediate families and some extended family like grandparents and cousins. They wanted it to be a simple and easy event to attend without a lot of travel chaos. The venue is simple with a rustic modern kind of feeling.
Since it isn’t a sit down dinner kind of reception- we are going a tad casual on some things and a bit more classic on others.
There will be 8 farmhouse tables set up for guests. They are simple, rustic tables with classic cross back chairs. Much like this look in a styling I did several years ago- except the tables are dark wood.
Since it is a more stop in and say hello, grab a bite and dance kind of evening- we aren’t doing place settings and assigned seating- but are decorating the tables. And the look the new bride chose was all about baby’s breath flowers and a breezy, romantic look- which I happen to love too.
On each table, we have runners, floating candles and beautiful baby’s breath garlands. I am custom ordering the garlands from a favorite vendor at the flower market- and will add some white roses in to them when they arrive. For their sweethearts table- we are creating a centerpiece and I will also make a few simple roses and baby’s breath arrangements for the bar and cake tables.
I also love including some eucalyptus whenever I work with romantic flowers. The soft sage color and pretty drape are a perfect compliment to the baby’s breath.
This simple styling is on top of a whiskey barrel that is turned over. It is just a Eucalyptus wreath with dollar store candles set inside- even though it is simple- it is absolutely charming.
If you have my book Inspired Gatherings- you know I am a big fan of whiskey barrel tables. This styling under an oak tree was perfect for a little spot to sit with a cheeseboard. Find more about my book HERE
Whiskey barrels are such a rustic charming look and you can style to be more elegant or play up that rustic element if you choose to. For this setting- we were playing with different ideas for the sweethearts table- which is simply a table for two where the bride and groom sit.
The table has a garland runner and one of the whiskey barrel tables with a wreath and candles was tucked off to the side. Simple and sweet. It will probably be a similar type set up for the reception- but with baby’s breath instead of the eucalyptus.
Diem has requested a rustic cake with lots of layers and flowers to go along with a more traditional Vietnamese cake which her mom is planning to have made.
We haven’t quite finished the design plan for the rustic cake just yet- but I am imagining roses and layers of pretty white cake and frosting.
The venue provides the overhead chandelier lighting and some candles and we will bring some floating candles for the tables to add a little bit of ambiance.
The floor runners and other details like mirrors and architectural elements are all part of the venue and so, we will work with what they have to use.
For now, we are finalizing plans by next week and then- it will time to order everything. I will share the BTS of the reception and how it all comes together soon. And stay tuned for More inspiration for backyard weddings, event decor and small gatherings with special touches coming your way this month. You can see more of the inspiration so far on my Pinterest board HERE -will keep you posted on the finalized look and direction!
Shop the Look
Click the links and book photos below to shop the look.
Now if I could just find the perfect reception dress – I might be almost ready. haha. I have about a dozen of them in my cart currently… maybe will have to do a wedding reception dress post and have you help me choose.
Happy Entertaining planning all.
*Some affiliate links. I work with Balsam Hill but all opinions are my own.