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DIY Wedding Reception Pro-tips from Bloom Culture Flowers

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This post is part of a DIY Wedding Flower & Decor series in partnership with Bloom Culture Flowers. In this series, you’ll find expert decorating and floral advice from Alison Fleck, design genius and founder of Bloom Culture. We hope you enjoy these posts and find them as valuable as we do!

Learn how to decorate your wedding like a pro with these expert tips from Alison of Bloom Culture Flowers!

Learn how to decorate your wedding like a pro with these expert tips from Alison of Bloom Culture Flowers!

In this post you’ll learn:

  • How to get clear on how much decor you need so you don’t overspend
  • Applying the rule of 3s to your wedding design for a professional look
  • How to get the most out of your decor by letting it pull double-duty
  • Tips for utilizing personal items to personalize your day (and save money!)

When it comes to DIY for your wedding, it can very quickly feel like your budget is dwindling with all the costs that start to pile up. Having spent 10 years maximizing our brides’ budgets we know a thing or two about stretching your dollar to achieve a beautiful reception without breaking the bank.

Here are 5 pro tips on how you can keep your wedding decor costs down without compromising your Pinterest board vision.

Learn how to decorate your wedding like a pro with these expert tips from Alison of Bloom Culture Flowers!
Learn how to decorate your wedding like a pro with these expert tips from Alison of Bloom Culture Flowers!
via Melissa Marshall Photography

Pro Tip 1: Start with your numbers

To decorate your wedding, begin by figuring out your quantities, ie how many items you’ll need. This includes bouquets, bouts, centerpieces, etc. By knowing your numbers and breaking down exactly what you’ll need, you’ll be less likely to over-order on flowers and more likely to only spend on the decor that you will actually need.

Here’s an example. In regards to her reception Rachel needs:

  • 16 Reception Tables made up of:
    • 10x – 60” round tables
    • 5x – 6’ rectangular tables
    • 1 Head table (2 eight foot tables pushed together, so 16 feet of decor needed!)

Head exploding yet?

Don’t worry! We’ve been in the business for 10 years and this is all second nature to us so we can help make you a game plan!

Let’s Break it down

Not in the drop it like it’s hot sort of way, but in the basic math we learned in grade school sort of way.

By knowing the number of tables and the type of tables you’re working with we can break down exactly what decor you’ll need for each of them. Trust us… it’s usually significantly less than you expect when you first start pinning to your Pinterest board. (We’ll show you how, don’t worry.)

Pro Tip 2: Apply the rule of 3s.

At Bloom Culture we always break down the reception table decor into three categories or three “table styles”, if that makes more sense to you. The idea here is that you don’t need a flower arrangement on EVERY table to create a beautiful look. To decorate your wedding like a pro, apply the rule of 3s to your table design.

For the 15 reception tables Rachel needs, it might look something like this:

Table Style 1:

Round Table Design

candle trio with hand placed greenery at the base.

  • 5 tables will be Votives and Candles which can go a long way, you can fill in the table with candles (use LED if your venue does not allow flame).
  • Hand-placed greenery can go a long way and is very affordable! You don’t always need thick elaborate garlands of eucalyptus!

Learn how to decorate your wedding like a pro with these expert tips from Alison of Bloom Culture Flowers!
Table Style 2:

Round Table Design

flower centerpiece in a vase.

  • 5 tables will have a single arrangement. We like to use single arrangements on round tables because you only need one arrangement per table.

Table Style 3:

Rectangle Table

3 or 5 bud vases mixed with votive candles (or decor that may come with the venue, like lanterns).

  • 5 tables will have bud vases, where you place a few individual stems of flowers in little bottles, are an affordable way to make an impact. I suggest using various heights in a small grouping, or a couple of bottles every few feet.
  • Some venues have decor that you can use like lanterns or candles. Use every bit of those and we can help you personalize it with flowers or greenery!

Pro Tip 3: Reuse your Bridal Party Flowers for your head table.

One savings tip to decorate your wedding reception space is to allow some of your flowers to pull double duty. Head tables are traditionally rectangular, which makes for the perfect opportunity to repurpose your bridal party flowers as centerpieces!

Put the bridal bouquet in the center, and then your bridesmaid bouquets spaced out on either side. All you need is vases with water in them pre-placed on the table and then you can drop the bouquets in as soon as you’re done with having photos taken!

Pro Tip 4: Repurpose your ceremony flowers.

Just appoint someone in your family or tribe to move these flowers from the ceremony to the reception. The arch becomes dessert backdrop or a photo booth. The ceremony urns or arrangements can be repurposed to the entry of the reception or to flank the bridal table. SO many options but if you’ve already spent the money on these pieces might as well get the most bang for your buck out of them!

Learn how to decorate your wedding like a pro with these expert tips from Alison of Bloom Culture Flowers!

Pro Tip 5: Use personal items or heirlooms as decor

Instead of buying decor items, why not use something meaningful to you as a couple for your tables. For example, heirlooms like your grandmother’s rose glass collection, or books that mean something to you. Make sure you feel comfortable using family heirlooms as decor.

If it matters to you as a couple, try to incorporate those types of items into your reception. We had a bride who made sand terrariums with a single cactus or succulent to help supplement her floral decor and it was beautiful! She also used her beautiful pottery collection to add detail, she is one smart cookie.

OKAY! Does that feel WAY more achievable (and like you only need to spend about half the budget you originally intended?).

bloom culture diy wedding flower plans
More about Bloom Culture

If you’re considering DIY-ing your wedding decor, Bloom Culture specializes in not only wedding flowers but in making your whole reception beautiful at a price point that feels comfortable. We work with DIY brides to remove all of the guess-work; we do the hard part so you can do the fun part. We will help you set a floral budget, determine the best flower varieties to use, and how to spread them throughout your reception to make it feel impactful.  

Content designed, created, and written by Alison Fleck of Bloom Culture Flowers


Alison is a Martha Stewart Top Floral Designer and the founder of Bloom Culture– where we help couples through the entire process of DIY wedding flowers. We take your needs and wants—along with your budget—into account to create a DIY flower plan just for you that checks all the boxes! We take a guided approach to DIY wedding flowers ensuring we do the hard part so you can do the fun part!