Originally Published on January 19, 2023. Last Updated on June 12, 2023.
More couples are saying “I do” outdoors these days, which opens up new and exciting decor possibilities. Whether you’re getting married at a picturesque venue or hosting an intimate backyard wedding, incorporating signage, floral arrangements, lighting, and tablescapes that reflect your style will make the big day extra special.
If you’re wondering where to start, we suggest planning decor for the wedding reception tables first. Guests spend most of their time seated here, from dinner and first dances to speeches and Champagne toasts. It’s where they also go to socialize with other attendees and rest their feet after dancing the night away.
Here are 23 of our favorite wedding ideas for table decorations that will surprise and delight your guests.
Creative Centerpiece and Decor Ideas for an Outdoor Wedding
Design on-theme focal points with these inspiring centerpieces and table accessories.
1. Small Centerpieces
Add seasonal blooms to bud vases and little glass bottles for lovely, space-saving wedding centerpieces.
2. Fairy Light Centerpieces
If you’re having an evening wedding, fill tall hurricane vases with battery-operated fairy lights, clear pebbles, and silk flowers. These simple and budget-friendly centerpieces will wow your guests and set a romantic mood with warm, ambient lighting.
3. Terrarium Centerpieces
Think beyond mason jars and opt for glass terrariums filled with greenery and tiny fairy lights. For added color, look for terrariums with brass or rose gold edges to offset the leafy hues.
4. Paper Fern Table Centerpieces
Like something out of a fairytale, DIY paper fern centerpieces bring magic and whimsy to wedding tables. Pull out your Cricut or craft scissors and find pattern ideas on Pinterest or Etsy—and make sure to use thick card stock for a sturdy final product.
5. Feathery Centerpieces
For an old Hollywood wedding theme, try plumes instead of blooms in your centerpieces. Glam up these fluffy focal points with metal candlesticks, crystal flourishes, and strands of pearls.
6. Teapot Table Decor
Elevate the ambiance of your vintage-inspired wedding with antique teapots brimming with fresh flowers.
7. Potted Plants as Table Decor
Line your tables with fresh posies in pretty pots. These wedding decoration ideas not only smell divine, but they also double as favors your guests can take home.
8. Wooden Wedding Decorations
Repurpose fallen tree trunks by hollowing out the insides to insert wide-mouthed floral vases. This darling centerpiece idea makes for an enchanting (and eco-friendly) addition to a rustic or shabby-chic wedding theme.
9. Book Table Decorations
Celebrate the next chapter by decorating your reception tables with stacks of books. Peruse local thrift stores for vintage hardcovers that fit with your wedding colors to create coordinating vignettes.
10. Lantern Centerpieces
Warm and welcoming, lanterns emit a soft glow that instantly enhances the ambiance of evening outdoor weddings.
11. Branch Chandeliers
Position wedding reception tables beneath branch arches adorned with strings of lights, strands of teardrop crystals, and dangling butterflies to create a dreamy display.
Stunning Table Setting Ideas for an Outdoor Wedding
Create breathtaking tablescapes with these decorative designs.
12. Geode Wedding Table Decor
A crystal-covered tablescape fits right in with earthy, ethereal styles. Try incorporating these sparkling stones into a monotone palette for a fresh, modern look. If you’re not sure where to find geodes, a quick online search will guide you to the right stores.
13. Origami Accent Pieces
To have and to fold. Create pretty and playful paper cranes and suspend them above your reception tables with clear fishing line or thin strands of crystals.
14. Nature-Inspired Wedding Tables
Bring a sense of tranquility to your big day with a nature-centric tablescape. Try a sheer sage table runner over a pine-green tablecloth, and top it with glowing candles and a sprinkle of gilded leaves. Layer on gold-rimmed dinnerware and glasses, white cloth napkins, and gold cutlery.
15. Jewel-Toned Tablescape
Go for moody maximalism with a jewel-toned table setting. Piece glasses, linens, and decor in rich colors like turquoise, fuchsia, emerald, and royal purple, then lighten the look with white dinner plates and a few bright floral arrangements.
16. Delicate Table Runners
No matter your theme or color palette, a long, sheer table runner is a beautiful foundation for wedding reception decor. Try a single piece of fabric or layer many to add pops of color and texture.
Seasonal Outdoor Wedding Table Decor Styles
No matter when you’re getting married, you can create a romantic scene with these seasonal wedding decor ideas.
17. Tablescape in a Pastel Palette
Pastel decor and dinnerware in delicate hues like mint green, lilac, and blush pink are perfect for a springtime wedding.
18. Herbaceous Tablescape
Dot your reception tables with pots of fresh herbs such as lavender, basil, lemon balm, or rosemary. The calming scents will have guests relaxed and ready to celebrate.
19. Thanksgiving-Themed Reception Table
You have plenty to be thankful for, so if your wedding is in the fall, express your abundant happiness with a Thanksgiving-inspired table setting. Bring autumnal vibes to your big day with a burgundy tablecloth, pumpkins, sunny yellow mums, and lanterns lit from within.
20. Holiday Wedding Decorations
If you’re tying the knot outside during the holidays, deck your reception tables with evergreen garlands, festive decor, and thick blankets for extra warmth.
21. Winter Woodland Table Setting
Rustic yet elegant decor fits in perfectly with woodsy venues and winter-themed nuptials. Start by styling reclaimed wood candleholders tied with plaid ribbon along a burlap table runner. Top it off with matching plaid napkins by each place setting for a cozy farmhouse feel.
Ideas for an Outdoor Wedding Welcome Table
The welcome table is the first thing family and friends see when they enter a venue. It’s home to escort cards, seating charts, the guest book, and more, so make sure it gets the attention it deserves with these decor ideas.
22. DIY Escort Cards
Print or handwrite custom escort cards that attach to napkin rings. It’s pretty and practical, as the secured cards won’t be blown away by the breeze.
23. Escort Card Catalog Decor
If you have a seating chart, help guests find their table by organizing escort cards alphabetically in the drawers of an old-school library catalog.
Things to Consider
Keep these tips in mind when decorating your reception tables.
- Pick the right height. Use centerpieces that let guests see one another and socialize comfortably. Opt for shorter styles only or place any tall pieces strategically.
- Use the space wisely. Ensure your guests have enough elbow room by avoiding overcrowded decor.
- Create cohesion. Have your wedding theme run continuously throughout the space, from the sweetheart table to the buffets.
- Follow the rules. If your venue doesn’t allow candles or confetti, find different (and delightfully unexpected) ways to decorate.
- Prep for wind. Choose heavy pieces or discreetly anchor lighter accents to the table with string or tape.
- Beware of bugs. If your decor incorporates fresh flowers and plants, think of ways to repel bees, ants, and other uninvited guests.
- Go for easy cleanup. Use low-maintenance decor so you and your wedding party can have a carefree evening.
- Plan for the future. Choose items that can be recycled, donated, or repurposed in your own home after the wedding.
What do you put on tables at weddings?
Here’s a list of essentials to put on tables at weddings:
- Table numbers or place cards
How do you style a wedding reception table?
Style your wedding reception table to coordinate with the overall theme, and use layers of textures and materials to create depth. Start with essential items, like plates and glasses, then build from there with table numbers, table centerpieces, and accent decorations.