Wedding Reception Forum

decorating a beachside cocktail reception

my fiance and i have planned a small (50 people), low-key wedding in duck, nc.

we've rented a beachfront house. we're planning on getting married on the beach, then walk back up and have a cocktail reception in the house. we're having a small cake and cupcakes, and for the meal, we're having north carolina bbq, with the fixins, and various other veggie hors d'oeuvres.

it's a cocktail reception in a rental house, so no set seating or tables ... we want people to sit around and mingle, and since it's only 50 people, it's pretty intimate.

SO! now my mom is saying we need to get flower arrangements to "set off the buffet table from everything else." i say the food and the tablecloth, etc. already set it off. i'm also at a loss on how to decorate a vacation house for a cocktail reception, other than decorating the outdoor spaces (the pool, the wrap-around porch).

anyone have any ideas, soothing words and/or suggestions?

Re: decorating a beachside cocktail reception

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    Fresh flowers in the beach house would be pretty, but if you don't have the budget for it, I don't think it's something to worry over.  I probably would get flowers and maybe put candles here and there (just votives or tealights) and call it a day.
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    I think your venue idea and plans are adorable!

    I agree with the prior poster. If it's not inyour budget, don't go overboard. If you have room to spare in your budget, you might want to see if there is a local greenhouse, Lowe's or Home Depot (I know, may be tough near beachside) and buy a few small potted plants. You could put a couple outside the rental house on the steps, porch, or whatever they have, plus one or two on the buffet table. You could find some paper or fabric that matches your theme (if you have one) and wrap that around the plant pot. Then you or family members could take them home and plant them.

    I see from your profile you are getting married in June. At that time of year you should be able to find small rose plants, marigolds, lillies, several other flowers.

    Good luck.
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    Agreed, I would use a lot of candles.  Large vases filled with sand and sea grass and shells would also be really nice and add an elegant touch to the buffet table and other end tables. 
    I was at a "rental house" wedding on Cape Cod where they took long ropes of floral/greens and wrapped them around the railing on the staircase and around outside pillars on the deck.
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    edited March 2010
    I agree that fresh flowers and candles would be great decor throughout the inside of the house.  However, you may need to check your rental contract regarding the use of candles in the house.

    I am curious about seating though.  50 people really isn't that small and although I realize you're having a cocktail reception, people are still going to need tables to set their food/drinks down on, and you'll want to make sure there is enough seating for your group.   Are you renting extra tables/chairs for the reception?

    Can I also just say beach house weddings are a blast!  One of the best weddings I've ever been to was a beach house wedding in Corolla, NC.  I also got married at a private beach house in the Florida Keys.  I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun planning your wedding!
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