10 Ways to Create a Cozy Wedding Reception

July 16, 2020 | brooke

photo by Lauren Mihae Photography; see this real Junebug wedding here.

Intimate and micro weddings are a perfect opportunity to include the classic design elements of a traditional wedding—with a much smaller guest count. These small scale events feel naturally cozy, but take your intimate wedding reception to the next level with a few simple additions that will leave guests impressed with your thoughtful eye. 

How to Create a Cozy Wedding Reception:

  • Lounge Seating
  • Coffee, Tea, or Hot Cocoa Bar
  • Candles and/or Twinkle Lights
  • Mixed Table and Floor Seating
  • Family-Style Dining
  • Layered Rugs
  • Lush Greenery
  • Pie for Dessert
  • Throw Blankets
  • Late-Night S’Mores 

Once you set your hearts on a few of these ideas, be sure to coordinate with your planning team to incorporate them into your wedding reception decor. 

photo by May Iosotaluno Photography; see more of this real wedding here.

Lounge Seating

Adding a lounge area to your reception space makes it easier for guests to converse away from the dance floor and music. Ask your photographer to capture a few portraits on the cute furniture for unique photos you’ll cherish. 

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Cocoa Bar

Hosting a fall or winter wedding? Really love coffee? Warm up guests’ bellies and hearts with warm beverages. Junebug tip: You can support a small business by asking local coffee shops about their event pop-up offerings like this real couple did

Shop Coffee Mugs to Keep for Your Home:

Candles and/or Twinkle Lights

The ambient light from candles and twinkle lights adds a touch of romance (okay, okay maybe it’s more than just a touch) and endless cozy vibes to any reception. Plus, you can totally reuse them after the big day. 

photo by Lauren Mihae Photography; see this real Junebug wedding here.

Mixed Table and Floor Seating

If you’re planning to host a backyard wedding, consider mixed table and floor seating. Your guests will enjoy the opportunity to spread out and get comfortable. Make sure to provide plenty of floor pillows!

Family-Style Dining

Micro and intimate wedding receptions are the perfect opportunity to gather around a long, farm-style table and enjoy a delicious meal with your favorite people. Consider purchasing a dining set you love and can keep after the big day. 

Shop Dining Sets to Keep for Your Home:

Layered Rugs

Layered rugs are a lovely way to warm up any reception space. This decoration technique might seem a bit overwhelming—to get just the right mix of patterns and layers—but hiring an expert planner can help you pull it off with ease! 

Lush Greenery 

Consider this cozy wedding reception idea when hunting for your venue. If you choose a space that’s already lush in landscape, you won’t have to add a thing! 

photo by Map + Compass Photography; see more of this styled wedding shoot here.

Pie for Dessert

Our mouths are watering at the thought of freshly baked pie. Adding pie to your dessert menu can provide a perfect opportunity to pull out old family cookbooks and search for a recipe. A touch of sentimental value will make your day extra special. 

Throw Blankets

There’s truly nothing sweeter than snuggling in a blanket with the one you love. Use chilly weather as an opportunity to cue snuggles. Include a throw blanket on each guest’s ceremony seat. Bonus: They make an awesome, purposeful favor to take home!

Shop Cozy Throw Blankets for Your Guests:

Late-Night S’Mores

If you have access to a campfire or fireplace at your venue, a s’mores bar can be the perfect last-night snack. You can even stock the bar with gluten free graham crackers and dairy free chocolate to accommodate any guests with food allergies. 

We can’t wait to see how you incorporate these cozy wedding reception ideas into your big day. We’re here to help you plan your entire wedding, from the style of your sweetheart table to the ultimate wedding reception timeline. If you’re looking for even more inspiration for your wedding, check out how Junebug brides implemented these ideas—and more—on their special days.

photo by Melissa Marshall

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  1. Awesome post, great tips. Keep up the good work!

  2. Hy Nicole,
    Thanks for post! Is great tips!

  3. My brother is about to get married, and I want to help him prepare for the best day of his life. Your advice about how he could consider adding a couple of lounge seating or lush greenery while looking for his wedding venue is a great idea. I should suggest that he get married in a barn since it’s full of greenery as well.

  4. I like how you mentioned adding a lounge area for the reception for guests. My sister is planning her wedding at the end of December and wants to find a more cozy wedding reception. I’ll share this with her to give her more ideas for what she wants at her reception.

  5. I like that you said that coffee can help you keep things cozy and warm up your guests’ hearts at a wedding reception. My fiance and I are trying to plan our wedding for this fall, and we want it to be small and cozy so that everyone can be more comfortable. I think it would be nice if we could get a coffee cart or something along those lines where guests could go and get coffee as they wanted because I think people would love that and it would help make sure everyone was awake and lively!

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