Your reception should have a little drama – not the kind where your Aunt Julie decides to fight with your Uncle Mike, but the kind that takes your breath away when you walk into the party. Some event spaces have built-in drama with beautiful chandeliers, marble floors, and large windows overlooking a spectacular garden, but these are often beyond the budget of many brides.
To create a dramatic space on a budget, start with a simple background. If the walls in the reception hall are an unacceptable color or have unattractive artwork, consider using “pipe and drape” to cover at least three walls and the ceiling. This system of gathered white fabric creates a uniform background for your decorating.
Lighting is one of the best tools for creating drama. With “pipe and drape,” you can choose your own color to flood the walls and ceiling. For example, a raspberry shade will add instant drama. Up-lighting plants, the cake table, or individual centerpieces can also add sparkle. Don’t forget the power of candlelight – the use of small votive candles placed throughout the room can add warmth and ambiance.
For centerpieces, you don’t need huge, complex structures. Instead, choose one variety and color of the flower and use it in abundance. For example, in our reception room we’re creating, we’ve draped the room and flooded the walls and ceiling with raspberry lighting, scattered votive lights everywhere, brought in masses of raspberry-colored peonies, and simply placed them in vases of different heights. This creates a breathtaking effect.
Choose table linens, napkins, and possibly chair covers in the same color as the lighting, or add a pop of color to make the space sing. It’s best to limit your color palette to one or two shades for a cohesive look.
Share your ideas with your florist or party planner, and together you can create a magical experience for your guests.