Reception trends unsplash reception tables

Let’s get the party started: 2018’s hottest receptions trends

Receptions // by QB

Ask pretty much anyone and they’ll tell you that the reception is the best part of a wedding. Want to make yours truly unforgettable? We’ve found some seriously amazing 2018 reception trends and ideas…

Related article: Trend alert! 2018’s biggest ceremony trends

Bye rose gold, hello copper

 From iPhones to engagement rings, the rose gold craze seemed to be everywhere in 2017 – especially weddings. This year, copper tones are taking over. Pair with marble, white and blue or green tones for a fresh, modern look.


Acrylic and perspex signage

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 In 2018, receptions are all about showing off the venue. Chic and understated, acrylic or perspex signage is huge right now and allows the venue and its styling to shine. Whether you go big with suspended seating arrangements or keep things simple with oversized perspex table numbers, this trend looks both modern and totally classic.


The ‘enchanted’ look

 This trend has been filling up our Insta feeds lately. With plenty of romance and charm, the ‘enchanted’ look is one of 2018’s biggest reception trends. Style your venue with masses (and masses) of candles, plenty of pretty blooms and strings of twinkling fairy lights for a seriously sigh-inducing look.


Navy instead of black

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Also popping up everywhere on Insta and Pinterest, navy is really big right now. A slightly less formal look than classic black, navy looks gorgeous as a ‘base colour’ and styled with peaches, fresh whites, cream tones, greys, and pinks.


Marble elements

Marble was popular last year and it seems the trend isn’t going anywhere. Charger plates, table numbers, candleholders and even signage look amazing in marble patterns and suit a range of different styles. Blue, copper, fresh white, peach, and marble is hot on the radar, while sage green, pink and marble is totally timeless.


Blue hues

If you haven’t already noticed, pale blue is a winner right now with reception styling. Versatile and simply beautiful, it’s becoming a bit of a go-to in 2018 for tablecloths, table runners, charger plates, candles, and flowers. Peach, yellow and white tones with fresh greenery are huge at the moment but don’t be afraid to play around with a range of colours. Ice blue with copper and touches of millennial pink and coral is another popular look, while muted blues paired with sage green and stark white are a modern classic.



No, we’re not talking the sort of balloons you had at your childhood birthday parties. In 2018, balloons are serious business and are being made into some unbelievably cool structures. Giant hanging installations made with balloons are a growing trend and sprawling balloon garlands are big for bridal table and cake table decorations. Helpful tip: if tying the knot in Queensland, be wary of the temperature. Balloons can pop in direct sunlight or extreme heat, so maybe consider this trend if you’ve booked an indoor reception venue or if you know the day won’t be a stinker!


Laid-back set-ups

One of the biggest things we’ve seen with weddings this year is a shift from formal celebrations to more casual gatherings. Following from this, receptions are becoming more laid-back and festival-style weddings have really boomed. Keep things totally chilled with a picnic-inspired reception and style the space with clusters of rugs, oversized pillows, and low tables, or go for something slightly more traditional and deck out your venue with long trestle tables and benches or wooden fold-out chairs.


Intimate spaces

Looking for an easy way to make the most of your venue? We’ve seen plenty of receptions lately with separate little spaces for chilling and hanging out. This can be as simple as setting up a small area with a few armchairs and a coffee table (styled to suit your reception, of course). We’ve even heard of weddings with private VIP whiskey bars. Opting for the boho look? Set up a tiny tipi kitted out with pillows and rugs. Whatever you go for, the key is to keep it intimate and relaxed.



Yep, tipis are still big in 2018 and we can see why. Enchanting and whimsical, these structures look spectacular in big countryside properties, in hinterland forests, and by the water. Remember, if going with a tipi, enquire first with your venue to check that there’s definitely enough space, if they’re happy to have one and if you (and your tipi hire professional) can set up at least a day in advance.


‘Raw’ tables

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If ‘less is more’ is your kind of thing, this trend is for you. There’s been a rise lately in tables with very simple styling, ditching the linens for pretty centrepieces or space for share plates. Beautiful wooden tables work best with this look, adding a touch of warmth and rustic romance.


Long, flowy tablecloths

On the flip side, tables with long, flowy tablecloths that pool onto the ground are big right now and create a glamorous look. Light linens work well for laid-back, boho or coastal-inspired weddings, while opulent velvet tablecloths are fabulous for lavish celebrations.


Jewel-toned velvet touches

Jewel tones and velvet are two big trends popping up everywhere, so naturally, jewel-toned velvet is a beloved look for weddings at the moment. Mix velvet into your styling with lounges, armchairs, cushions, and tablecloths for instant glamour.


Hanging installations

The hanging installation trend has been hanging around for the past couple of years (pun intended) and that’s A-okay with us. Greenery is still huge at the moment, with many installations created purely with foliage and creating a real lush, summertime vibe. Installations incorporating a range of blooms (all in a coherent colour palette, of course) are always a good look as well. Work with a florist to create something you’ll love and make sure you ask your venue’s permission!


Bright pops of colour

While the nothing-but-stark-white look of 2017 is still popular, colour is also back in a big way this year. Bright, punchy colours look spectacular at tropical weddings, while deep jewel-tones are going to be big this autumn and winter. Work with your venue or stylist to put together a palette that’s eye-catching but not way too busy.


Storytelling and individuality

Another major trend for 2018 weddings is showing personality and individuality. Essentially, it’s all about including little hints to the things that make you, you. We’ve seen everything from tables with Disney-inspired centrepieces to postcards from destinations couples have visited together used as table numbers. Pop culture references are massive right now, as well as small touches like periodic table seating charts for science-lovers.


Next-level guest books

Guest books don’t have to be an actual book in 2018 (though that’s a time-honoured tradition we’ll always love). Consider yourselves a well-travelled couple? Get your guests to sign an old-school globe and display it at your home after the wedding. Polaroid displays are also big right now and ‘thumbprint artworks’ (illustrated canvases that create a picture when decorated with thumbprints, e.g. a tree with thumbprint leaves) are a sweet momento that you can hang in your home for years after the big day.


Free-flowing greenery centrepieces

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The structured, overly formal look is on the way out in 2018. This year, styling is being made to look more natural and centrepieces are becoming more ‘free-flowing’. Long garlands of greenery sprawled across tables are filling our Pinterest boards at the moment. Go with nothing but greenery for a simple look, or adorn with tiny candles, the occasional flower or even fairy lights for a breathtaking look.

Want more inspiration? Take a look at 2018’s top stationery trends