Tips for Perfect Reception Party

1 . Take Stock of Your Location

Do a walk through of your venue as soon as you are able, noting features to highlight a grand staircase or a grove of trees, perhaps and areas that need to be spruced up or downplayed. Above, photographed at Oheka Castle Hotel and Estate in Huntington, New York.Floral arrangements by Livia Cetti for the Green Vase tent from Sperry Tents. Tables, chairs,table linens, and place settings from Water Mill Party.

2 . Get Glowing

Lighting can make or break an event, but to create the right ambience, you do not necessarily need to hire professionals to cast patterns on the dance floor. You can set the mood simply by flanking an outdoor walkway with dozens of luminaria or setting dining tables with elegant candelabra or clusters of small candles you might also replace harsh white bulbs in fixtures with more flattering amber ones.

3 . Dress Up Your Entryway

Beautiful front door decorations, which can be as low key as swags of greenery, serve as a visual welcome whether adorning a building or a tent and ensure that everyone first glimpse of the party is from its best vantage point. Below, garland, topiary,and centerpieces by Livia Cetti for the Green Vase. Tent from Sperry Tents. Tables, chairs, table linens, and place settings from Water Mill Party.

4 . Work with What You Have

An all white theme do in a hotel ballroom papered in red and gold, nor does it make sense to try to transform a rustic lodge into the Crystal Palace.

5 . Choose a Theme

Whether it a monogram, a color pairing, or a food or flower that evokes a favorite place, a repeated element helps to both personalize and unify your event.

6 . Do not Overlook Small Details

A few well placed touches, such as monogrammed cocktail napkins or an interesting charger, can go a long way toward making your party look extra special.

7 . Think Outside the Box

A silver bowl of sugared fruit makes a stunning and unexpected alternative to a traditional floral centerpiece, and one long banquet table may fit a sleekly modern space better than several round ones do.

8 . Size Up Your Centerpieces

Keep floral arrangements and other table decor under 14 or over 20 inches high, so guests can view and converse with each other across the table.

9 . Build in Flexibility

Look for ways that allow you to change things easily at the last minute. The seating cards below keep names and table numbers separate, so you can shift guests assignments without having to rewrite the cards. Left, calligraphy by Gail Brill.

10 . Tackle Big Tasks First

Your immediate to do list Book the venue, hire a caterer, decide on basic decor. With these major tasks done, you will be ready to focus on the smaller details.

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