Your Outdoor Wedding Reception – What’s Your Style?

Planning your wedding reception can be a daunting task. After all, most engaged couples have not had the experience of planning such a large and important party before.

To help with your planning process, I will cover some of the hallmarks of three popular types of outdoor receptions in this post.  At first glance all three may seem to be very similar to each other but there are definite differences in décor and style that really do help create a unique look and feel for each one.

The reception styles I’m including are Casual – Festive, Rustic and Garden.

Venue: Backyard, park, farm, and other outdoor venues.
Décor: Pom-poms, banners/bunting, paper décor and often decorations that hang from trees, fences, and the like. You can go with just “casual” or include more fun details for “casual-festive”.
Seating: Pillows, benches and simple chairs with or without pillows, sometimes decorated with ribbon streamers.
Tables:  Often long tables are used without tablecloths.  You can include place mats, table runners or tablecloths in simple fabrics such as burlap and cotton.
Centerpieces: Simple DIY incorporating candles and flowers in vases or in recycled jars and bottles.
Flowers: Simple in-season local cut flowers such as roses and daisies with baby’s breath and greenery added.

This informal style often includes colorful ribbons to decorate place settings, bottles, vases and chairs.

Hot Tip:  Even though  your reception may be casual, it is fun to add “designer” items such as vintage-style drinking straws, creative cupcake wrappers, cupcake toppers, styling tags, and other elements that tie together your color theme and help create a cohesive put-together look. The photos below help illustrate how this style can take shape.Casual - Festive Wedding Reception

Casual Wedding Reception

Casual Wedding Reception


Venue: Farm, park or backyard — sometimes in a large, rented tent or in a barn.
Décor: Burlap is often used, sometimes paired with lace. Mason jars are plentiful to hold flowers, candles, beverages and food.
Seating: Benches or simple chairs often decorated with burlap.
Tables: Picnic tables; round or rectangle tables without cloths or with burlap cloths.
Centerpieces: Simple DIY using Mason jars and recycled bottles and jars. Colorful marbles or stones are often used at the bottom of the vases.
Flowers: Lavender; sunflowers, daisies, dried flowers.  Dried wheat is often used in the decorations.

Bales of hay and hand-painted wedding signs can be incorporated in to the décor.

Hot Tip #1: If you love the rustic style but want your reception to be a little more formal, you can make the short jump from “rustic” to “country chic”. Country Chic combines rustic with more refined accessories, as shown below in the last two photos in the collage and the last single photo. In the last photo the burlap runners and yellow metal buckets are paired with white tablecloths and an elaborately decorated ceiling to create a unique and appealing country chic décor.

Hot Tip #2: If you want to make sure that your reception “screams” rustic, be sure to include Mason jars, lots of natural wood, burlap and informally arranged cut flowers.
Rustic Wedding Reception

Rustic Wedding Reception

Rustic – Country Chic:

Country Chic Wedding Reception


Venue: Public or private garden or most any outdoor space that will accommodate the reception
Décor: Lots of flowers, of course! The décor can be simple or elaborate but this style is usually refined in the accessories and décor used.
Seating: Simple, stylish chairs
Tables: Tables almost always include a tablecloth or elaborate runner
Centerpieces: Centerpieces are usually lush and include lots of flowers
Flowers: Flowers often include roses and other in-season local flowers and can be in formal arrangements.

While this style incorporates nature in its décor, its decorations
usually lean toward simple elegance.

Hot Tip: If you have the reception in a public garden/park you will have some of your decorations already taken care of from the lush surroundings and plantings that are already there.Garden Wedding Reception

Garden Wedding Reception

Garden Wedding Reception

Below is an example of all of the styles together so you can more easily see how they differ. Click the photo for a large version.Outdoor Wedding Reception Styles


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For more ideas see our Pinterest Boards:
Burlap Wedding Ideas
Mason Jars for Wedding Decor
Mason Jars for Beverages
Mason Jars for Food
Country Chic/Rustic Weddings
DIY Centerpieces
DIY Reception Ideas from Exclusively Weddings

Resources on This Blog:

How to Use Mason Jars at Your Wedding
Taylor and Andrew’s Rustic Wedding
Rustic Wedding

Photo Sources:
Casual-Festive Collage:  Etsy, Piccsy, Ariella Chezar, Troy Grover Photographers Photo 1: Holland Photo Arts Photo 2: Style Me Pretty Rustic Collage:  Lovely Little Details, Jose Villa Wedding Photography, Jose Villa Wedding Photography, Ace Photography Photo 1: Southern Weddings Photo 2: Krista Fox Photography Garden Collage:  Moments of Magic, Vanilla and Cinnamon, Jose Villa Wedding Photography, Jesse Leake Photography Photo 2: Belle the Magazine

Purple Wedding Color – Combination Options

Purple is one of the most popular wedding colors of all time. We’ve had quite a few brides-to-be ask on our Facebook Page which colors will work with purple for their weddings. To help make it easier to choose a color to combine with purple, we’ve compiled all of our purple-themed color-story collages in to this blog post.

As you can see from the collages below, purple with silver can have a totally different “feel” than purple with red. So if you know you want purple, start there and then consider the 2nd color and its impact on the entire color theme.

There are even more possibilities than what we have shown here. We’ll add more collages as we complete them.

Please click the images below for the large, full-size view (opens in a new window).

We’ll start off with just purple … Shades of Purple. Purple is such a beautiful color that it can stand on its own if you want to make it all purple!



Peacock Colors for Wedding

Peacock Wedding Colors

Purple and Pink Wedding Colors

Purple and Orange Wedding Colors

Purple and Yellow Wedding


Purple and Gold Wedding Colors

Purple and Silver Wedding Colors


Collages created by Sher Silver – Exclusively Weddings

Please click the images for the large, full-size view (opens in a new window).

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Photo Credits:
Anna Kim Photography,The Youngrens, deco & style, Annie’s Eats, Bombay Sapphire, Maggie Austin Cake- Purple & Turquoise:  Cake Central, Glorious Treats, Spotlight, Boho Weddings – Purple & Royal Blue:  The Wedding Handbag, Luna Photo, Flower Arrangement Advisor, Colin Cowie Weddings, 8FootSix – Peacock:  Tumblr, Etsy, Boho Weddings, Tumblr, Pinterest, Project Wedding, Weddingbee, Weddings Place – Purple and Pink:  Studio Cake, Ian Grant Photography, Lanier Star Photography, Weddingbee, Spotlight, Cean One Photography – Purple and Orange: Renee Landry Style, Project Wedding, Unique Event Design, Wedding Bee, Elizabeth Anne Designs, Project Wedding – Purple & Yellow: Kristin Spencer Photography, Taken Photography, Momentville, Style Unveiled, Cupcakes Nouveau – – Purple & Gold:  Weddingbee,Tim Chin Photography, Country Club Flower Shop, Tim Chin Photography, Rebecca Hansen Weddings, Tana Photography, Martha Stewart Weddings – Purple, Black & White:  Ken Kato Photography, Capitol Romance, Ken Kato Photography,,  Ken Kato Photography, Purple Wedding Shoes – Purple and Silver: Project Wedding, Ken Kato, A Southern Tradition, Project Wedding, Isari Flower Studio, Pinterest Archive – Purple and Silver:, Christine Chang Photography, Jill Thomas Photography, Off Beat Bride, NA, Pizzazzerie, NA,, Bakerella

How to Create the Perfect Wedding Reception Table Décor

Reception Ideas ThumbnailYour wedding reception is likely going to be the highlight of your wedding day. The ceremony is over and probably some of the stress is now gone and you and your guests are ready to party!

Planning your wedding reception is very much like planning a party . . . probably the most important party you’ll ever plan. Most of us want our guests to say “Wow” when they enter the reception venue and see the dinner tables decorated to show that you have thought of everything and that you obviously care about your guests.

Exclusively Weddings’ team recently did a photo shoot of a reception table to give brides some ideas on how various elements come together to create a welcoming and inviting table. The elements include candles, place card holders, flutes and favors.

(Click the images below for full-size versions.)

Candlelight is always a welcomed addition to a table setting. Here, our designers used our Damask Vellum Shades to create decorative lighting.

Damask Vellum Shades for Wedding Candles

Our Baroque picture frame, which comes in a choice of black or white, works perfectly for use as a place card holder, table card holder or as a favor. Black Baroque Frame and White Baroque Frame.

Baroque Wedding Place Card Holder and Photo Frame

And for your edible favors, Two-Piece Favor Boxes offer so much versatility. You can dress them up in a multitude of ways. They are perfect for holding candy or other goodies. A lot of brides mix and match them by buying two different colors and using the top of one and the bottom of another to create a custom look.

Two-Piece Wedding Favor Box

Personalized Ribbon
is an accent that never fails to make an impression! It can be personalized so that the name and date will appear on the streamer ends of the ribbon or it can be “continuous” and appear from one end of the ribbon to the other. In the bow below, the names and date look best when they appear on the ribbon streamers. The Organza Bag (available in 17 colors) is filled with our Premium Sugared Almonds.

Personalized Ribbon

One of my favorit
e items is this pair of Crystal Wrapped Flutes. An artist in Oregon designed the crystal wrap using the highest quality Austrian crystals just for EW.  She hand applies the crystal decoration on the flutes as well as a complementary knife and server set. They can be used solely for your first toast together or you can also include them for your head table guests/wedding party as an exceptional keepsake of the day. The flutes and Serving Set come in 8 crystal-color combinations and of course they can be used for many years to come to celebrate anniversaries in grand style. Oh, and they can be personalized, too!
Austrian Crystal Flutes

Voilà … the completed reception table! All of the elements have come together to create a welcoming and dazzling tablescape for your wedding guests. Our design team chose to create a black-and-white-themed table; however, it would be easy to add a third color and still keep the basic design. Red, pink, purple, lime, yellow, orange, turquoise, and royal blue are just some of the colors that look great with black and white. The Printed Menu wrapped in Ribbon (available in 23 colors) adds the final finishing touch. A flower arrangement that is of minimum height assures that the guests can see each other easily to talk and laugh and enjoy the festivities!
Reception Ideas - Exclusively Weddings


Your Wedding Color – Pink

PinkPink! It can’t be denied … pink is a “happy color”! And since it is often referred to as the “color of love”,  it is no wonder that it is a classic and popular color for weddings.

And pink is versatile. It can be paired with a myriad of colors such as black, brown, orange, turquoise and more. And it looks great with and accent of silver or gold.

There are so many shades of pink that as you go from pastel to vibrant, you will achieve a totally different look. On the colors shown in the first photo below, you can see the wide range of shades of pink … from the softest blush pink to intense pink that is almost red.

As you choose your shade of pink, be aware that some pinks tend to be warm due to having a bit of orange in them while cool tone pinks have some purple in them.

The colors below are just a few of the pink choices available!The Many Shades of Pink

Pink is a great color for bridesmaids dresses as it is flattering to just about everyone. In the photo below Ali’s bridesmaids look adorable in their hot pink dresses. Vibrant pink is perfect for these vibrant, fun-loving gals. (Read more about Ali in an earlier blog post.)Pink 2

Pink 3

Pink 4

A luscious orchid tree is breathtaking in pink.Pink Orchid Tree

Check out our Pinterest board for more ideas …..
Pink Wedding Ideas and Inspiration

Photo Credits and Links to Exclusively Weddings’ Products:
Collage 1:
1st photo: Kelly Rae Stewart Photography; 3rd photo: twiggi;
4th photo: tinywhitedaisies, 5th photo:“Celebrate” Wedding Invitation;
7th photo:“Heart Garden” Personalized Hershey’s Bar. – Collage 2: 1st photo: The Creative Party Place; 2nd Photo: Vintage Rose Garden; 3rd photo: “Sweet Hearts” Wedding Invitation; 4th photo: The Cake Girls – Project Wedding; 5th photo: Personalized Napkins – Collage 3: 1st photo: Etsy; 2nd photo: Icing Designs (Instructions included); 3rd photo: Wedding Cake Cookie; 4th photo: Paper Lantern – photography by Kelly Rae Stewart; 5th photo: Bouquet Cuffs; 6th photo: Project Wedding; 7th photo: Ice Bucket – Large Photo of Orchid Tree: Hollywood Candy Girls