How to Decorate for an Outdoor Wedding Reception Under a Tent

Family and friends come together to celebrate a couple’s marriage after the ceremony at the wedding reception. Traditional American wedding receptions include dinner, cutting the cake, tossing the bridal bouquet, dancing, and toasts to the bride and groom. Whether you are hosting an outdoor wedding reception at a park, the beach or even your own backyard, there are a variety of ways to decorate. Get creative and decorate the tent in an elegant and romantic way to set the tone for an outdoor wedding reception that guests will look back on fondly.

Choose the size and type of tent you need to rent based on your budget and the number of guests invited to the reception. The most common types of tents for outdoor wedding receptions include century, frame and structure tents that provide various layout options. Use the enclosed century or structure tent for a more private, intimate feel or rent a frame tent for an open atmosphere.

Determine a theme for the tent decorations that revolves around the wedding’s location or complements the colors of the bridesmaid dresses. Use silver, gold, deep red or even a black-and-white color scheme for an elegant and simple reception.

Line the tent with plenty of string lights to create enough lighting for the tent when it gets dark outside. Consider using twinkling lights, colored lights or even tube string lights to heighten the romantic mood. Place tealight candles in delicate glass votive holders on the tables to add even more light to the tent.

Drape silk or tulle fabric around the tent poles in colors that match your theme. A 2009 article in “New York Magazine” recommends disguising tent poles with fabrics instead of flowers for a more fashionable reception tent.

Hang globe lanterns from the tent ceiling above the dance floor area. Globe lanterns composed of rice paper emanate a warm glow and create a modern look. Stagger the lanterns by hanging them at different heights for variety.

Select flowers to put in vases or arrange floral centerpieces for the reception tables. Make sure the flowers you choose match the colors of the wedding cake and coordinate well with the overall color scheme of the other tent decorations.

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