by Kacey Bradley of the Drifter Collective
Planning the actual wedding ceremony generally pales beside the magnitude of preparing a memorable reception. After all, the ceremonial part remains set in stone depending on the religious faith or lack thereof of the intended. The reception is really where the happy couple can let their creativity take wing.
The place settings selected for the reception dinner enhance the overall theme of your wedding. They create quite the impression on your guests and bring the rest of your decor together. Here are five ideas to get your creative juices flowing and design a table layout like a pro.
1. For Lovers of Whimsy
If colorful butterflies or clever combinations of patterns matches you and your spouse-to-be's quirky sense of style, create a whimsical place setting. The sky's the limit for this type of setting, so let your imagination soar.
Consider writing handwritten place cards for a more down-to-earth appeal. Choose a color scheme that matches the bridesmaids' gowns and combine different shades and patterns of that color in your choice of plates, napkins and more. You can easily create personalized take-home party favors on the cheap using items found in many dollar stores.
2. For Lovers of Tradition
Those opting for the classic elegance of a traditional wedding place setting do well to embrace classic black and white tones with subtle accent colors. Formal styles demand quality dinner plates, artfully folded napkins, sparkling silverware and real rose centerpieces.
Design these settings around clean lines. Many reception venues are happy to do much of the place-setting planning for you if you select this option, though they certainly welcome your input. Consider classical accents such as ice sculptures to pull together the formal theme.
3. For the Outdoorsy Type
Are you planning an outdoor wedding and reception? You'll want to create your place settings with durability in mind. Fortunately, outdoor receptions may cost you far less than other venues due to the ease of decorating.
Lace picnic tables with chains of your favorite flowers and add garlands to decorate each pavilion. Consider creating mason jar chandeliers to subtly illuminate evening receptions. Wooden plates and simple burlap-looking napkins complete the rugged outdoor theme.
4. For the Theme Wedding Set
Dreaming of a wedding straight out of the pages of your favorite novels? Make your place settings match your theme with a bit of creativity.
Those considering Star Wars-inspired weddings can incorporate futuristic elements like light-saber shaped name cards, metal or jet-black dining plates, and droid salt-and-pepper shakers. Those planning fantasy-themed nuptials, such as those set in the Seven Kingdoms of George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, can create place settings that mimic those used at the Red Wedding — only without "The Rains of Castemere" and the ensuing nastiness.
5. For the Destination Wedding
Those planning destination weddings can craft place settings in tune with the location of the event. Some destinations will suggest schemes to use, but most still allow for creativity and adding your own personal touches.
Beachside weddings match perfectly with tropical decor, from coconut-shaped tumbler glasses to palm-tree-shaped swizzle sticks. Couples choosing to get married upon a cruise ship can create place settings based upon a nautical theme. Those saying "I do" in the mountains can go with a skiing-inspired look with Sherpa-esque elements.
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more!