From Tabletops to Marquees: Our Favorite Wedding Reception Décor Trends of 2023

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The wedding reception is the most time-heavy parts of your wedding, it is where you and your guests will spend most of your wedding day, sharing laughs, happy cries, and lots of cheers.

For us, as wedding planners and designers in Thailand, it means that we need to pay particular attention to the reception design. The coming season will see some exciting trends developing, and we can’t wait to share them with you.

Creative structures

While we love an outdoor wedding, we equally love creating stunning temporary structures. There is a special sense of intimacy and cosiness, regardless  of the size of the event, that comes through the skillful use of these. Marquees, tents and glasshouses — the range of choice is certainly impressive.

The structure frames the dinner area, serving as a skeleton for the overall design, and the destiny of the final look rests quite significantly on the quality of that main set up. If you do opt for a marquee wedding, choose a reliable supplier, and consider the stylistic element just as seriously as the functional one. 

Our current favourites — open sky wooden structures decorated with florals and greenery, and modern glasshouse style custom builds. 

Photo: Benjamin Wheeler, Design: Pocketful of Dreams
Photos: Rachel Havel Photography (Left), Easton Events (Right)

 

Focus on lighting

Just like in a house, lighting plays a crucial role for event design as well. It can break or make a perfect setting, not just in terms of the design of the actual light fixtures, but also their size, volume, and level of brightness.

Our favourites this season are Thai-style floral chandeliers hand made by local artisans, — a great tribute to the culture of Thailand and an expression of ultimate luxury.

For something more universal — choose to play with industrial light bulbs handing low over the table. Or if you’re after a Island-feel bohemian look, consider incorporating tasselled chandeliers or fisherman basket lamps.   

 

More is more

One of our favourite movies of all time is certainly Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, — a hymn to extravagance and opulence, spiced up by a playful drama. The empress was never afraid to dress up and use bold colours, ‘too much’ was simply not in her lexicon or worldview. And when it comes to the wedding design in the upcoming season, we are all feeling these Marie Antoinette vibes. Lush floristics, over the top designs, bold colours, large scale set ups — it’s all here.

Photo: Chic Photography
Photo: Adriana Klas (Left), Sinclair & Moore (Right)


Related article:
Why It’s Worth Investing Into Wedding Decor and Flowers

 

Patterns and colours

While plain coloured linens are not going anywhere, we are certainly witnessing the rise of patterns and colours. A skilful use of patterns adds depth and complexity to any design, but care needs of course to be taken to not overdo it. If choosing a colourful pattern for your tablecloth, be sure to echo the same colours in other elements of set up, be it candles or florals. Also, balance it out by something more solid coloured, like napkins.

If you feel like experimenting with pattern, but too afraid to use multiple colours, consider textured linens in neutral palette, then add more vibrancy through stationery, candles or floral design. In this case, using the same pattern on all your linens, from tablecloths to napkins to cushions on your seats can create a feeling of consistency and cohesiveness.

Photo: La Tavola Linen
Photos: La Tavola Linen (Left), Mike Cassimatis Photography (Right)

 

Candles take the center stage

Who does not like candles? The warmth and intimacy they bring to the table can not be replicated by anything else. This seasons the candles will shine brighter than ever before, with a wide variety of colours, shapes and heights available on the market. For a more classic look you can choose to go for taper candles but make it more interesting with the use of a few different colours. For slightly more modern look, choose pillar or cone taper candles (our favourite ones are Esther and Erik). For a bold, playful and contemporary set up, look for unconventional shapes and statement designs — Etsy is always a great source of all things interesting!

Photos: Monologue London (Left), The Gannets (Top and Bottom Right)
Photos: Etsy (Left), Ketty Line Domingues (Right)

 

Charger plates statement

Charger plate is an essential element of reception table set up.

It it makes the set up seem more festive and formal, and sets the mood for an amazing dinner ahead. These are not the plates you and your guests will eventually eat out of — they would usually be removed before the first course is served, so you don’t have to be afraid about fine chine potentially getting broken.

Which is why you can experiment and create settings by layering placemats and charger plates. You can use different sizes of the same plate style on top of one another, or opt for different styles to bring out extra complexity. Patterned or illustrated chargers are getting special popularity lately.

Photos: La Tavola Linen
Photos: La Tavola Linen

 

Interesting cutlery

While you might think of cutlery as a simply utility and a tool, it’s much more than that when it comes to wedding table decorations. Choice of cutlery can actually either enhance of completely break the whole look. Lately we are seeing a lot of statement cutlery choices and a shift from plain choices often provided by caterings.

While it can seem like an extra investment, sometimes the effect it makes is paramount. And as aesthetes, we know how amazing it feels when the simple act of eating turns into a ritual through the use of very special cutlery.

Photo: Taylor & Porter

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Need more upcoming wedding trends? Check out our recent article about The Top Wedding Trends to Look Out For in 2023.

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