Wedding Reception

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime. 

A colorful wedding. Are you having one? Do you want to incorporate color into your wedding without it looking like a unicorn exploded all over your celebration? Yep, I often hear that from my design clients. You really love color and want your party to look colorful without it looking like a rainbow. Sophisticated and classy amounts of color create a cheerful environment that instantly makes everyone happy.

In the last five years designing the most joyful of beautiful weddings, I’ve learned how to incorporate the perfect amount of color to make your tablescape look colorful but not gaudy.

10 Ways to Create a Colorful Tablescape

Here are my top 10 tips for ways to create a colorful tablescape:

Unexpected color

Tip 1: Use color in unexpected places, like on the candles

Taper candles are traditionally white, although here I used pretty aqua tapers to bring a color onto the tables that is hard to find in flowers. Good colors for taper candles are: gray, teal, black, tan, and seafoam.

Liven up linens with fabrics

Tip 2: Use fabrics to liven up a white tablecloth

These custom made table toppers were designed especially for this wedding, although you can borrow the idea with any store bought fabric that is in a fun, bright, color. Extra points for an interesting pattern. When you top your table with a colorful fabric, keep the flowers in coordinating hues or monochromatic to keep the look cohesive.

Use bud vases

Tip 3: Bud vases, bud vases, bud vases

Say hello to my best friend, bud vases. Filled with a stem or two of a beautiful, bright, flower, bud vases are an inexpensive way to add a pop of color to any tablescape.

Colored glassware

Tip 4: Upgrade those glasses

For a few extra bucks, ask your caterer to upgrade the standard drinking glasses to colored ones. Here I did purple goblets for this whimsical celebration. Don’t they instantly make the tables look that much more beautiful and interesting?

Go non-floral

Tip 5: Go non-floral

When you have centerpieces that aren’t held to the traditional colors found in nature, you can get creative and use unexpected colors like the big teal balloons and seafoam honeycombs I designed here.

Paint your lines

Tip 6:  Jazz up a basic linen with some paint

Are you crafty? Then this tip is for you. Basic white runners can be made to match your color palette by adding a few stripes of acrylic paint. So easy. You can thank me later.

Use votives

Tip 7:  Colored votive candle holders

Do you feel like your centerpieces need that fun color pop to make them truly look colorful? Consider using colored glass votive holders instead of clear ones.

Monotone flowers

Tip 8: Use only one flower type in one color

For a very modern, contemporary style, use one flower type in one color. This creates a bold, colorblocked look along the length of your tables. Much how I did here with the orange protea in yellow glass vases, the bright hue makes a fun tablescape.

Ombre placemats

Tip 9:  Ombre placemats create a colorful place setting

This about the whole table, not just what’s in the center, when designing your tablescapes. These Michelle Edgemont Shop Ombre placemats are a great way to bring color to the place settings at your reception tables while continuing to use the basic white rentals that are included in your catering package.

Bold runners

This custom-made felt runner brought this table from blah to showstopping. The colors mirror the ones used in the centerpiece, which makes the design look cohesive and not overwhelming.

After the wedding escape to Paradise with a  honeymoon registry from Honeyfund.

Bio: The Michelle Edgemont brand believes in a community that inspires, supports, and applauds all couples who are promising their lives to each other through bold, beautiful celebrations. Launched in 2011, NYC (specifically Brooklyn) is my home base. As an event designer, florist, and prop stylist, I’ve been quoted in the NYTimes and the best-selling book, A Practical Wedding, and featured multiple times on Style Me PrettyGreen Wedding ShoesWedding Chicks, and HGTV. The Michelle Edgemont Shop, full of modern, colorful event decor that I’m known for, is now open!  

I believe that weddings and celebrations don’t have to be traditional. Yours will be memorably impactful & filled with pops of individuality. I have a deeply rooted understanding that personal celebrations are an opportunity to unleash bold creativity. Throw conventionality out the window! This is a place where your ideas are applauded. I wholeheartedly believe in aesthetics that are described by unconventional beauty, whimsy, and soul. I recommend that you pair smart styling with intentional event decor by investing in statement pieces. When all of these elements come together on your wedding day, you’ll have a celebration that not only tastefully and artistically reflects you as a couple (down to your humorous quirks!) but serves as a beautiful foundation for a lasting marriage. For more information, see our website.


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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

One of the most difficult to navigate pieces of the wedding planning process is what to do about alcohol. In most of my couples’ perfect worlds, an open bar with unlimited options is the ideal solution. However, it is rare that budget (as well as safety and logistics) allow for such, and we must find creative ways to tackle the elusive and potentially expensive alcohol situation.

Why Signature Cocktails? Because open bars are expensive

While beer, wine, and champagne bars are the most cost effective solutions, they can be a bit bland. The use of specialty cocktails (even for a limited period of time during the event) can be a great addition to your guest’s experience. By serving a small selection of thoughtful and festive cocktails, you will add to your event’s atmosphere while reducing the need for numerous types of glassware, alcohol, and garnish typically required to stock a fully open bar.

Picking a Signature Cocktail

Unless you have a die-hard favorite cocktail that you drink on every appropriate (and maybe inappropriate?) occasion, it can be hard to find the *perfect* fit for your special day. Here are some ideas to help you pick something super special (and delicious)!

Colorful pink cocktail

Photo Credit: Carolyn Wilson Events // Photo courtesy of U Me Us Studios 


Why not make your signature cocktail part of the wedding design? For a flirtatious garden affair, try something that sparkles in pink or purple. For an elegant ballroom soiree, a champagne cocktail with a golden sugar rim can add to the stylish atmosphere.

Choose the right vessel

Photo Credit: Carolyn Wilson Events // Photo Courtesy of U Me Us Studios 


You can make anything work if you present it well enough! Even a good old brewski can be jazzed up by being served in an interesting way. Mason jars are great for rustic affairs, keepsake wine glasses are fun and functional, and colored glasses will add interest to your beverage display.

Dirty Birdy MIRA

Photo Credit: MIRA Events + Design // Photo by Viera Photographics 


If your favorite cocktail doesn’t already have an entertaining namesake, make one up for your event! For a Love Birds themed wedding we did last year, the signature dirty martini was redubbed The Dirty Birdy.

Wedding Party Personalities

Along the same lines as above, using the bride, groom, or even all members of the wedding party’s names to denote various drink options can be a fun and potentially hilarious way to jazz up your bar. Is the bride a girly girl with a love of all things fabulous? Name the strawberry-champagne spritzer after her. Is the groom quiet and reserved? His drink can be an Old Fashion.

Exotic cocktail

Photo Credit: MIRA Events + Design // Photo by Apollo Fotografie

Exotic Ingredients

Are you having a destination or travel inspired wedding? Infused your signature drink with hints of a world palette. Mangos, dragon fruit, authentic sake¦. Inspiration can be found in all corners of the world!

Make your own bar

Photo Credit: MIRA Events + Design // Photo by MLE Jayne

Make-Your-Own Bars

It’s a fact- people like having control. What better way to ensure your guests enjoy your wedding beverages than allowing guests to create them? Setting up a champagne or mimosa bar with a variety of mixing options and lots of garnish can be a cost effective and fun way to make sure everyone gets a little bit of what they love.

Magic glasses

Photo Credit:  Sharpshooter SF Traveling Cocktail Bar // Photo courtesy of FreshBash

Add Some Magic!

Smoke and mirrors people- it’s the oldest trick in the book! Using liquid nitrogen to keep your glasses looking and feeling cool is a great way to add atmosphere to your bar!


Photo Credit: MIRA Events + Design // Photo by Apollo Fotografie


Be careful, offering shots at your wedding can get real crazy, real quick. However, if you and your guests are of the daring sort and your venue permits it, specialty shots served for limited (key word here!) amounts of time during your reception can be really fun. One wedding we worked had a row of Fireball shots lined up at the bar every time the song Fireball played during the reception.

Time of Year

You might be throwing a tropical themed soiree in the middle of winter, but that does not mean your guests want to sip on an ice cold beverage. Similarly, offering a beverage that ties into the weather, season, or even an upcoming holiday can be both fun and cost effective as the necessary ingredients will likely be readily available (and maybe even on sale!) during that time.

Living bag

Photos Credit: Entire Productions

Living Bars/Performance Servers

Depending on the type of talent that fits your theme and space, there are endless possibilities for creativity here! Even boring champagne can take on a whole new life if it’s served by an aerial acrobat suspended from the ceiling!

Above all, don’t make things complicated

As fun as it can be to dream up an interactive, ultra-styled bar for your wedding or next event, don’t let anything take away from your guest’s ability to enjoy a refreshing drink (and more importantly, celebrate YOU on your special day). Remember to take venue policies and restrictions into consideration, and ask your caterer and planner for help. Bottoms up!

Bio: MIRA Events + Design offers customized, professional special event and wedding coordination and design services for the greater Phoenix area and Northern California destinations. We pride ourselves in being the go-to source for a fun, beautiful and unique special event or wedding planning experience. Our services include full event or wedding coordination and design, day-of wedding coordination and partial planning. Other a la carte services are available upon special request, and we are happy to provide a complimentary initial consultation for those seeking some basic guidance before beginning (or even during) their event planning adventure.

The owner and operator of MIRA Events, Miranda Meisenbach, is a Professional Wedding Consultant certified by the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants who has over 8 years of wedding and event planning experience. For great ideas, see the MIRA Events website.

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