Wedding reception decorating ideas using fabric & lights

Written by mary johnson-gerard, ph.d.
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Wedding reception decorating ideas using fabric & lights
Add elegance to your reception with fabric and lights. (Wedding 2 image by Joelyn Pullano from

When decorating your wedding reception, show your personality and style. Let the guests know that you and your groom have put a bit of yourselves into the decorating. The tables at a wedding reception are usually the focal point of the decor, but you can add even more romance to the theme by using fabric and lights to decorate the entire room. You can buy lights inexpensively after the holidays or in bulk online. Go to your local craft store to stock up on tulle or satin.

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Lighted Trees

If you are having an outdoor wedding, try sprucing up the trees with fabric and lights. Use tulle if you are decorating outdoors, as satin will snag and ruin if it rains. Use at least 6 feet of tulle per tree. Wrap it around the trunk at chest height and tie a bow in the middle. Attach flowers to the middle of the bow with wire. Wrap white lights around the trunk of the tree on top and bottom of the tulle. Leave long pieces of tulle hanging down the tree from the bow for a dramatic look.

Table Lights

To prevent a tripping hazard, table lights need to be battery powered. This keeps cords from running along the floors where everyone is walking. Drape the lights around the edge of the table by sewing a loop around them, into the table cloth. Drape tulle with the lights and sew it into the same loop to hold the drape around the table cloth. You might also arrange both lights and fabric in the centre of the table in a messy pile, with flowers and candles dispersed throughout. Coloured lights will add a unique touch to the table themes, while white lights are traditional and elegant.

Drape the Room

Use satin and tulle to implement an extreme room makeover. Drape the fabric in large scallops around the entire perimeter of the ceiling or in key spaces to add more ambience. Have long strands of fabric and lights hanging down the walls for a different style. Use ceiling hooks or wire the fabric and lights directly to a drop ceiling frame. However you decide to attach the fabric and lights, be sure the staff at the reception hall has given you permission. Some places have to adhere to strict fire codes, which can dictate what types of fabric are allowed.

Bathroom Decor

The bathrooms at weddings and receptions are often sorely left out of the decor Women spend a lot of time in the bathroom at these functions, and it's nice to carry over the reception theme into these spaces. Drape tulle around the sinks with clear tape. Cover the tape by wiring silk flowers or bows to those areas. Make giant tulle or satin bows and attach them to the stall doors. Hang lights around the stall framing, ensuring that cords aren't dragging on the floor.

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