Intimate Wedding Reception Decor
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Intimate Wedding Reception Decor

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Intimate Wedding Reception Decor

Sometimes good things come in small packages. This is not only true for engagement rings, but can be true for wedding receptions as well. If your idea of the perfect wedding is a private celebration with only 30 or 40 members of your immediate family and a few close friends, it can definitely be done in a way that will feel just as special as a huge traditional wedding reception. Learn how to plan an intimate wedding luncheon reception that will be personal and memorable.

When you are planning to host a very small wedding luncheon, finding the right size venue is key. Most traditional reception sites will be far too large, and will feel vast and empty with only 30 or 40 guests. On the other hand, your dining room at home might feel jam packed with that number of people in it. A private dining room in a restaurant is usually the perfect size to host an intimate wedding luncheon. Another good option is a small private dining room in a country club.

One of the nicest things about planning a very small wedding reception is that you will have far fewer details to which you must attend. If you are having your luncheon in a private dining room in a restaurant, the chances are good that the space will already be attractively decorated. Don’t worry about designing a color-coordinated wedding theme for such a small party; be flexible enough to work with the decor that is already in place. You might not need to bring in much more than a centerpieces, and if you are really lucky, your venue will already have fresh flowers on the tables, sparing you even that expense.

The easiest way to arrange for the menu for your small wedding luncheon is to work with the restaurant manager to create a limited number of selections. For a typical luncheon, you might offer the choice of soup or salad to start, a choice of appetizer, and several entrees (beef, chicken, and vegetarian). Another option is to serve a hearty family style meal with passed platters, which works particularly well with Italian cuisine. Typically the dessert will be wedding cake; find out if the restaurant has a baker on site or if you should bring in your own cake.

If you wish to have a cocktail hour before the meal, many restaurants can also accommodate that. Choose a nice selection of appetizers and have a small bar (with a bartender) set up within the private dining room. During dinner, you can either invite guests to order drinks from the restaurant’s menu, or create your own limited menu offering a selection of beer, wine, and soft drinks. One thing that is great about a small daytime wedding reception is that your bar bill will be a drop in the bucket compared to having a big reception in the evening.

A small wedding luncheon has a unique flavor, and the bride and groom should dress accordingly. A ballgown with a cathedral length train is going to be out of place in a small dining room, and a tuxedo is definitely not appropriate. The groom should plan to wear either a suit or a jacket with trousers. As for the bride, a chic short wedding dress would be ideal. Simple accessories like a classic pearl necklace and a fabulous pair of shoes will complete the look. (If you wore a veil for your ceremony, you could opt to remove it for the reception.) Another lovely option is a full length gown with a slender A-line or soft column silhouette worn with a pearl necklace and drop earrings. Fabrics such as chiffon and organza would be especially beautiful, and their flowing lines will suit the style of a daytime reception far better than a stiff satin gown with petticoats.

If you are one of those couples who prefers small celebrations over large blow-outs, an intimate wedding luncheon might be just perfect for you. It will allow you to enjoy your special occasion surrounded only by those who are the most important to you. The party may be small, but the warmth and joy of the event will be huge.

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