Outdoor Weddings

Picnic Pavilion Decoration Ideas

We are deciding on a picnic pavilion in a nearby county park for our summer daytime evening reception. See picture attached. I am getting freaked out because we haven't yet booked the venue (it does show available on dates we are considering), and we don't have much time to plan out everything (wedding in ~2 months).

Do you have any ideas for decorating this pavilion, and from where to buy such things? I was thinking of decorating the poles using some light fabric. And probably some table cloth for the tables? How about anything for the chairs? Do we need worry to about the sandy ground or is that okay?

For food, we are planning to buy trays of food from a local restaurant and keep it heated on small candle burners. Any ideas from where to buy candle burners, plates, cutlery, etc (possibly disposable, but good enough quality)?

Thanks in advance to everybody for replying!

Re: Picnic Pavilion Decoration Ideas

  • First, contact your local party rental place; they'll have chafing trays that you can rent. They'll also have dishes, silverware, and glassware for rent, but you can also buy high-quality disposables from a place like SmartyHadaParty.com. 

    Since those are picnic tables, I think tablecloths might look funny, but runners could fancy it up a bit. We bought a giant roll of craft paper from Amazon and cut runners for our table. But if you really want cloths, Smarty has those too, as will your local rental place.

    For other decorations, I don't know what your style is, but some garland and/or globe lights strung between the columns could be nice. Etsy has cute garlands made from fabric pennants or tissue paper pom poms. Target has cheap globe lights.

    Do remember that guests really don't care about decorations, though. As long as they're well fed and comfortable and you and your partner set a fun, hospitable tone, they'll have a nice time.
  • We did books, small floral arrangements, candles, and doilies on top of runners for our tables. Each table looked a little different (I didn't get any pictures of the bigger arrangements, but they existed), and the mismatched thing looked pretty nifty. The books were from discard bins, goodwill, and used book stores. Some of the flowers and birdcages were from Micheals. Everything else came from walmart.


    Including fabric for the runners (I just cut it into strips without hemming, since I didn't plan to re-use them), I'd say I spent ~$14/table.

    I would rent at least a couple extra normal tables and chairs. People in dresses or with mobility issues may have a hard time squeezing in and out of the picnic tables. Put the info about the sand on your website if you have one, or an insert card if you don't.

    We did make sure to clean the tables and benches that morning, and that they were relatively freshly sanded/painted so no one had to get snagged on a splinter. It was a small town, so we just talked to people at city hall about it, but if there are managers on site, even better.

    You don't really need to do anything with the posts, but I like the idea of twinkle lights better than tulle. maybe lanterns could work too.

    Smartyhadaparty for disposable serving and utensils.

    How is your weather plan? Depending on your location, heat could be just as much of an issue as possible rain.
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  • I really love your venue! It is BEAUTIFUL and has so many fun things you can do with it!

    Personally I love the idea of fabric draping if its done tastefully (love the idea of light weight fabric-- no tulle -- a nice cotton could be beautiful). And depending how you do it could provide some extra shade since June could be hot. I really love the look of the fabric with twinkle lights wrapped around the posts, which will help with lighting as well since you said it will be going into the evening :)


    I agree w/ PP that heat can be just as big of an issue as rain so make sure you provide lots of water (not just pop, beer and booze) and have a backup just in case.  Even having the reception in the basement of a church would be better than a guest getting heat stroke.

    For table cloths I would recommend shorter side lengths if possible (see below).  That way when guests are scooting in they don't get their legs tangled up in.  A less expensive alternative would be to buy a bolt of cute fabric and have a really wide table runner with your table decor on top to weigh it down.  If you're crafty you can also put weights on each end of the fabric to keep the wind from blowing it up or pin it somehow up underneath (staple?). And I know you know this, but the day before go out and power clean the tables/benches and then check them the day of again in case critters undo some of your cleaning (This is the main reason why I would think bare tables may not be the greatest idea). 
    For centerpieces something quick and easy would be doing 3 small arrangements on each table.  You can buy the square glass candle holders below @the dollar tree and fill them with baby's breath (which is super cheap by the bunch @sams club online, looks gorgeous and can be made up a couple days before b/c its super hardy--just make sure to keep them watered).  You could also take rocks that you have written "Faith" "Hope" "Love" "Joy" on and scatter them on the table as favors.  A friend of mine did this and put magnets on the back and its been 5+ years and they are still on my fridge.  

    Just an idea of what the rocks can look like ^^^

    Hope this helps and sorry if I got carried away with my ideas :)

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