Top Tips for a Christmas Wedding Reception

Follow our top tips to make sure your Christmas wedding reception is full to the brim with festive fun

They don't call it the most wonderful time of the year for nothing, and if you're hosting a Christmas wedding, the festive period will be more special for you than ever.

We've taken the trouble out of planning your Christmas wedding reception, with hints and tips on how to have the most special of days in the most jolly of seasons. 

Styling your venue

Once you have chosen your venue, you need to think about how you want it to look.

Popular themes at Christmas tend to be rustic and country style with lots of ivy, green, red and gold.  You may want to stick with one of these or go for something a bit quirky or different – possibly a winter wonderland wedding.

Your wedding service and reception venue will dictate the way you dress the space to a certain extent. So, for example:

A marquee can be the perfect blank canvas, even at Christmas time - heating isn’t an issue. The blank canvas marquee allows you to create your own luxury reception inside. Think drapery, furniture, props, styling and the list goes on and on. These Primark Christmas decorations would look sensational at a festive soiree. 

A barn venue or stately home will be naturally picturesque so you may want to enhance the features with discreet colour schemed flower displays on tables, and beautifully dressed tables to create something classy and timeless.

READ MORE: 25 interesting ways to dress up your tables

A hotel conference room or hall will be a blank canvas so you can really go to town with styling if you want to.  

Music and entertainment.  

No wedding reception is complete without music.  You can choose from live performers – violinists, saxophonists, classical music, jazz or pop. 

The list is endless and your choice depends on your chosen theme. 

If you are holding a big glitzy Great Gatsby style reception, then a jazz band would be an ideal complement to the theme.  

if your reception is more classical and timeless, then a string quartet may fit the bill. 

If you want to let your hair down later in the evening then hiring a DJ is an option. 

Other more quirky options could include hiring a magician to perform magic tricks at diners’ tables, acrobats, stilt walkers or even Father Christmas – the sky’s the limit!

Lighting Options

Lighting a room correctly can really set the mood of the day and the evening. 

Think about changing the lighting to set the tone for each part of the day. Coloured lighting really adds atmosphere to a room.  Use different colours to move from day to evening  – right through from welcome drinks to a meal and dancing. 

Lighting can be pre-programmed and done at touch of a button if you use an intelligent lighting system.  Talk to a lighting expert if you are unsure. 

Although it can be cold in winter, sometimes there may be a covered area of outside space for guests to get some fresh air. If you expect your guests to use outdoor space in the evening, ensure that steps and uneven services are well lit to avoid accidents.

Create a magical atmosphere by hanging lanterns in outside space.

READ MORE: How to Decorate your Wedding Venue at Christmas


Don’t rush things; getting the timing of the day right is crucial to setting the perfect atmosphere.  Don’t feel you have to cram the time that you have with music or have something going on all the time. 

Your guests will welcome the chance to chat amongst themselves in between the speeches and any evening entertainment. 

Above all, allow people to relax and enjoy themselves and you will do the same.  You are creating magical memories to treasure so make sure you relax and enjoy your day.

READ MORE: Christmas ideas from our real brides and weddings


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