10 Wedding Reception Themes to Inspire Your Perfect Celebration

If you’re on the hunt for unique wedding reception inspiration to help you put together the perfect evening celebration, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled a list of 10 wedding reception themes with inspiration from my past couples to help get your ideas flowing, and to guide you in the right direction to plan your perfect reception. Enjoy!

When it comes to planning a wedding, the day itself is typically broken down into two main parts: your ceremony and your reception. Many couples primarily focus on planning their dream ceremony, since that’s the time when you actually say your vows, and finally have the moment you’ve been waiting for come to life. But when it comes to planning your reception, it can be hard to figure out how to make it unique, authentic to the two of you & your personalities, and actually a fun experience for your guests. Who wants their guests spend the reception just sitting around, waiting for the next event to happen, not sure what to do? 

That’s why I’ve created a list of 10 unique wedding reception themes to help get your creative juices flowing, and to show you real-life examples of what your reception could look like. Your reception doesn’t have to be cookie-cutter or fit any sort of traditional mold if you don’t want it to. It can be as unique, fun, complex, or simple as you want it to be! 

Have fun looking through 10 of the most stunning receptions I’ve gotten the honor of photographing. I hope they give you plenty of inspo for your own perfect wedding reception.

10 Unique Wedding Reception Themes for 2022-2023

Woodsy Wedding Reception Themes

1. Upscale Woodsy

First, let’s kick this list off with a way to make your woodsy wedding feel both super upscale and beautifully rustic. If you want to get married in the trees but want to keep it elegant, versus getting out your camping tents and going full casual, take inspiration from Madeline + Mikell!

They held their reception in the middle of a forest of tall, gorgeous pine & fir trees. They honestly had one of the coolest reception setups I’ve ever seen. You walked into the reception and were met with a large piece of wood filled with shelves of drink bottles. They were even decorated with custom orange labels that had names + table numbers. Probably the coolest way I’ve seen a couple show their guests where to find their tables + seats!

Next, you passed by a charcuterie table filled with all the delicious finger foods you could ask for, from soft breads to delicious dips to meats and cheeses and more. All on gorgeous slabs of wood that really brought out that woodsy, organic vibe!

The tablescapes themselves were absolute works of art, sitting under a roof of string lights that was draped over wooden poles to completely surround the reception. The long, rectangle tables were filled with natural accents, from dried berries & grasses to chunky wooden table number signs to actual rocks that somehow looked just as beautiful as everything else. Top that all off with pieces of antique glassware, plenty of green leaves, and organically-shaped black + wood menus and you’ve got an upscale, woodsy dream come true.

2. Clean + Modern Whimsical

Second, if you want a wedding in the woods, but would rather keep it a little more clean + modern but still get that rustic forest vibe? Kelsi + John planned their reception with those same feelings in mind. 

They somehow did a perfect job of combining black-tie fancy with the organic feel of being in the middle of the woods. With super clean and simple white tables + white chairs, gray napkins & plates with gold lining, minimalistic menus, and clear glassware. Even their umbrellas to take cover from the rain were clear & white to match! 

Their loved ones toasted with simple glasses filled with their favorite drinks, surrounded by small, elegant flowers, foliage-covered wood, and candles lining the tables.

Elegant Wedding Reception Themes

3. Black & White Elegant

Let’s transition into full-on elegance, starting with Natalie + Mike’s modern black & white wedding reception. Truly, I’ve never seen so much bright white all in one place – and it looked freaking incredible!

Walking into the reception felt super classy, starting with the beautiful white flowers, white menus, white plates + napkins, and elegant silverware. Everything felt like it was created with intention, and made to feel very upscale yet minimalistic. Including the gorgeous cursive + sans-serif typography they chose to write up their menus on plain white paper.

The highlight of the reception setup was definitely the massive white floral wall behind the tables that they also used for their reception. I mean, how could you get any more stunning & simple than that?!

4. Wine Cave Cool

Alright, now if you’re looking for a bit more of a unique reception location idea, take inspiration from Gabriella + Anthony.

Who held their reception in a literal wine cave – how freaking rad is that! They created the most unique atmosphere in an unusual reception site, and it turned out absolutely amazing. 

The low ceilings of the cave were covered in the most beautiful twinkle lights. Somehow the whole thing felt very authentically-rustic while also upscale at the same time, thanks to the beautiful decor they chose.

The stone walls were accented with light foliage, their menu offered custom cocktails & Napa vine wine (only fitting for the wine cave reception).

Their cake was minimal to the max, decorated only with a few trailing white flowers, and the twinkle lights provided such a warm, peaceful ambiance. Add to all that a dedicated sweet treats table, and it’s easy to see that they put together a pretty amazing experience for both them & all their guests!

Bohemian Wedding Reception Themes

5. Boho Chic

Now let's move onto boho wedding reception themes, which have become increasingly popular over the past few years in the wedding industry. Everybody seems to have fallen in love with the trend of neutral color palettes, pampas grass, and golden florals. For good reason because it never fails to turn out beautifully!

If you want to create a reception filled with bohemian decor but want to keep it chic & fun, too, take a look at Emily + Brian’s reception. They set up an incredible atmosphere to enjoy meaningful time with all of their guests. Highlighted by beautiful macrame pieces lining the tables, minimalistic white candles, and of course the dreamiest warm-toned florals galore.

These two took their seats on a unique large wicker chair at their sweetheart table. All their guests enjoyed delicious food on super pretty rose gold, sun-shaped metal plates with gold silverware. Dried grass & wheat gave every table an organic feel. Plus the curtain of fairy lights overhead seriously made it feel straight out of a fairytale!

6. Pink Desert Boho

Francesca + Marco celebrated way out in the middle of the Texas desert. They surrounded by their closest loved ones and the most stunning classic desert-boho decor.

They wanted those true desert vibes with dried flowers and grasses, terracotta pots. With literal polished rocks on the plates, and organic wooden blocks, mixed with a pop of color to bring a little life to it all. The pink & beige pampas grass, white & pink florals, and the pink napkins really added a fun flair to the already-beautiful neutral color palette!

Pacific Northwest wedding planner Mae & Co is the freaking queen of all things boho weddings. She’s the one who created this magic for Francesca + Marco. Be sure to check out more dreamy wedding ceremony & reception setups by here in this blog post!

7. Wild West Classy

Moving toward a little more wild west, ranch vibes now! Diamond + Chris held their wedding at one of the most beautiful Wyoming wedding venues, Brush Creek Ranch, in Jackson Hole, WY. This ranch was the perfect choice to make their wedding come to life, featuring the best of both the classy & wild west worlds (did you even know those two things could mix?).

From floral-decorated bull heads up on the walls to gold-embossed menus. These two knew how to keep it elegant while still taking advantage of that classic Wyoming ranch atmosphere.

Their tables were filled with vintage gold glassware + gold-patterned tablecloths, and were surrounded by rustic wooden chairs that kept the dinner vibe slightly more casual. All the guests also got to look up from their tables and see the most stunning floral-lined wooden ceilings. Accented by round light fixtures and dried grasses – what a dream!

8. Classic Warm-Toned Boho

Youmei + Mark tied the knot at one of my favorite Palm Springs wedding venues, Korakia Resort. Which features absolutely stunning Moroccan & Mediterranean themes.

They chose a classic warm-toned bohemian theme, highlighted by plenty of organic shapes, dried leaves, brown & beige pampas grass, and rust-colored everything

Their guests got to enjoy some delicious pastel-colored macarons. While being surrounded by white, red, pink, & orange florals, and fun pops of vibrant pink to add a little more color into the mix.

The clear and brown glassware kept the tables classy. Youmei + Mark’s uniquely-shaped wicker chairs were a super fun addition to their sweetheart table.

Check out their full Palm Springs wedding here for even more inspo!

Looking for the perfect place to host your bohemian wedding? Check out one of Cabo’s most stunning tropical wedding venues, Acre Baja!

Colorful Wedding Reception Themes

9. Vibrant + Funky

We’ll wrap it up with a couple of reception themes for those of you who would rather keep it fun, funky, and bright, starting off with Kacky + Harrison’s gorgeous colorful wedding! Their reception setup was so freaking rad and unique, since colorful decor isn’t quite as trendy right now. Yet it makes for such an awesome atmosphere.

Their reception began with a gelato stand – incredible right off the bat. Plus tons of colorful florals (both bouquets & tabletop centerpieces). The florals were filled with pops of purple, pink, orange, red, and even blue.

They had a few little areas set up for guest seating with wicker chairs, velvet chairs, and even disco balls to add a touch of sparkle.

From the colored napkins to the menus decorated with watercolor art (love this watercolor idea!) to the colored glassware. I’ve never seen such a vibrant, unique, and just plain fun wedding reception. 

10. Pink Summertime Chic

Finally, I couldn’t leave without showing you Sabina + Tyler’s freaking gorgeous summertime chic reception. Their Nashville festival-themed wedding was one of the coolest I’ve photographed. It was glammed out to the absolute max with super fun, upscale, unique, and vibrant decor. 

Walking through the reception area took you past not one, but multiple neon signs. Glamorous tipi picnic setups, massive groupings of pink & purple pampas grass, and stunning macrame hangings + large light bulbs.

They even hired a mint green Volkswagen van that made fresh flower crowns for guests. I mean, have you ever heard of anything cooler?! 

This reception was filled to the brim with the prettiest pinks & purples, from the napkins to the flowers to the signs to the pillows. It just goes to show you can highlight your reception with any color theme you want, even if you want to follow the typically neutral-toned bohemian trend.

Wedding Reception Packages

Now that you’re starting to dream up your perfect reception using all the inspiration above, you’ll need to find the perfect photographer to capture it all when it comes together. My wedding packages start at $7500, and I’ll make sure your package includes coverage of your reception so I can photograph everything that you put so much effort into, so you can have it all preserved forever. Say hello to me here and let’s chat wedding receptions!

More Wedding Resources & Inspiration

If you loved this blog post, I know you’ll love the wedding resources I’ve got for you below:

Why You Should do a Private First Look at Your Wedding

Finding Your Dream Elopement Dress: 12 Best Designers & Shops

5 Reasons Why You Need a Personalized Wedding Album

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