You’ve said yes, the ring is on your finger, and you’re getting ready to start planning your big day. We know how exciting this is… but we also know how easy it can be to get overwhelmed during the wedding planning process. Wedding and special event planning is what we do best, and we’re always ready to help recently engaged couples navigate the chaos of planning (while still having fun!). To get you started, we’ve compiled some of our favorite easy and budget-friendly wedding reception ideas to consider in your planning phase.


One of the first things that most brides do is choose their color scheme. Doing a quick search on Pinterest will reveal this season’s favored wedding colors, but really, your color scheme should be a reflection of you and your sweetheart, so don’t worry if your color scheme isn’t exactly “in season”. Selecting your color scheme is important because you’ll be basing your flowers, table settings, bridesmaids’ dresses, and many more items around them.

Don’t have any idea of where to start? Some of the most popular colors currently are gray, ivory, champagne, or sunset tones.

Gray, Ivory, and Champagne

This color pallet has a naturally rustic feel, lending itself to the shabby chic look that many brides love. This color combo can be accented with just about any light pastel tone. Recently, sky blue, seafoam green, and salmon have been popular colors to add to the neutral base of this color scheme. We have a lot of linen colors that you can rent – just take a look!


Usually, orange color-tones are reserved for fall, but they’ve found themselves in the spotlight this year. The sunset color combination has a range of orange to salmon to scarlet, out to deep rust, and can be accented with light yellows, ivory tones, and even light touches of dark purple. If you’re planning a vibrant summer wedding, this might be the way to go.

Colors are important, but it’s what you do with them that is critical. After you select your color scheme, you can figure out the rest of your decorations.

wedding reception ideas

Wedding Reception Decoration Ideas

Wedding receptions are a big part of the memories that are made on your special day. You’ll want to ensure that your florals, your focal points on each table, as well as your cake are all color coordinated to create that picture-perfect look you are likely going for.

Table Centerpieces

The centerpiece at each of your tables is one of the first things your guests will notice when they walk into your reception area. But don’t worry! You can create a beautiful centerpiece without breaking the bank. Quick tip: many pieces can be rented from Parties To Go to save money in your budget.

  • Shabby chic styling could include a cluster of candles in mercury glass holders or hurricane glasses using shades of your color scheme set on wood rounds.
  • Modern and high contrast styling could include deep colors and clear glass cylinder trios filled with color-coordinated marbles and floating candles. You could also do clustered cupcakes on each table in matching raised platters.
  • Rustic styling works well with the sunset color scheme. Mason jars, burlap, and chalkboard signs are staples for the rustic look.


Although wedding photographers are incredibly talented, it’s impossible for them to catch every single moment at your reception. With Instagram being so widely used, utilizing your guests’ personalities and their individual photographic styles is a must. Find an unused hashtag and display it on a chalkboard sign. When your friends and family post on their Instagram accounts, you’ll have hundreds of wedding photos to create a memory book later on.

wedding reception ideas

DIY Wedding Reception Ideas

For some brides, it’s easier to have everything prepared by professionals. For others, the act of creating their own decorations with their bridesmaids can be a fantastic memory on its own. A quick internet search gives plenty of ideas for projects to try with your friends to create memories and save money.

Check out some of our favorites:

  • This Dusty Rose Wreath is made from embroidery hoops and silk flowers and would look beautiful hanging around your reception hall, or dangling from trees for an outdoor reception.
  • On your chairs or tables, you can create this simple, but beautiful Burlap Chair Tie on each one to pull in color and texture.
  • This Floral Ring Backdrop is perfect for creating a photobooth station. This is a great base to build onto, and it uses inexpensive dreamcatcher rings, floral tape, and silk flowers.
  • Guestbook Rocks are a fun alternative to a traditional guestbook. Have guests write words of encouragement that would typically go in a guestbook. When the wedding is over, arrange them into two or three vases around your favorite wedding photo.

All of these links will take you to more ideas and concepts to try. Just find a few that match your wedding aesthetic, and color range, and have fun! If they don’t work perfectly, try again.

wedding reception ideas

Wedding Favors

Today, couples are trading out traditional thrown rice for more environmentally friendly options.

  • Seed Packs – Packaged with a clever phrase of “Watch our love grow” or “Seeds of Love”, these seed packs are cute and memorable. When your guests plant these flowers, they’ll remember your wedding. If you fill your seed packs with pollinator-friendly seeds, you’re also helping the environment by encouraging the health of pollinators in your area.
  • Homemade Jelly or Jam – Using fresh local berries, and mixing and matching glass mason jars, you can make jelly or jam to share with your guests. Find recipes online, and label them with a cheeky “Jam Packed with Love” or “Love is Sweet” tag to remind guests of your appreciation as they eat their morning toast. You’ll want to buy new ring seals for any used jars to ensure that your treat seals properly.
  • Succulent Plants – We don’t anticipate an end to the succulent plant trend, and it’s with good reason. Variety, easy maintenance, and sheer cuteness are all factors for keeping them around. Sedums are a perfect option, as they’re easy to take care of and come in a variety of colors and textures.

Incorporating your aesthetic and colors will pull all the pieces together for a cohesive magazine-worthy final look. However you choose to decorate, there are plenty of options for you. Using the resources around you, and a little time and creativity, you can create your perfect wedding, while still staying within your budget.

Parties To Go is here to help you plan and decorate your wedding. If you have any questions, or need some inspiration, come in and talk to our staff and check out our showroom. We have rentals for tents, tables, catering equipment and so much more. Just give us a call or stop by!