Decisions on reception table decorations can benefit considerably from some of the guidance provided above in the section on Christmas weddings. Decorations should take advantage of the local and seasonal flora.
Table decorations might contain more than the traditional flowers and greens, and could also have candles, fruit, nuts, or even tiny caricatures. They do not have to have fresh and live cuttings. For an autumn wedding one might want to use dried flowers in the table decorations or a series of dried and harvested fruit, squash or even pumpkins.
Reception decorations can often be used as gifts and entertainment for the wedding guests. Perhaps one cup at each table could be given a special marking; then the guest with that marked cup would be awarded the table decoration. In that way the decor could help to provide the wedding planners with a way to entertain the wedding guests.
Decorations for the reception could reflect an interest or passion of the bride and groom. For instance, if the new couple is active in breast cancer fundraising, then there could be a pink ribbon on each decoration. If both members of the new couple share an interest in a particular sport, then some object from that sport could be a part of each table design. If the couple advocates organic gardening, then each decoration should include some organically-grown fruits or vegetables.
The wedding planner should be told about any special circumstances surrounding the wedding. Are two soccer coaches about to become hitched? If so then the table decorations might have flags from the starring teams at the latest World Cup. If the new couple just graduated from college, then the wedding might serve as a type of graduation party. In that case the reception decorations might include a rolled paper, or something that looks like a diploma.
In August of 1973, one mother in Pennsylvania used her reception table decorations to introduce an element that her daughter had deleted. Her daughter had not wanted to wear a veil during her at-home wedding. The mother decided to put a veil over the wedding cake. Since the cake had to sit outside, the veil protected the cake from the ever-present flies.
That same mother saw very different wedding decorations at her second daughter’s wedding. There the tables were decorated with bowls of fruit. There was no formal reception after that small wedding, and therefore no need for further decorative planning.
The above examples serve to underline the degree to which the decor can serve to add uniqueness to both a wedding and a reception. One might, however, become rather suspicious of very elaborate decorations. Here is why: At one wedding in Orange County, CA, a photographer actually caught a robbery on film. A gentleman at the reception was literally captured on film while stealing money from the pocket of someone in the wedding party.