You want your guests to feel comfortable and relaxed throughout your entire ceremony and reception—and a wedding reception lounge is just the ticket for those guests who want to get away from the dance floor or sit a spell and chat. This is especially key if you’re planning on having a party-like atmosphere during the reception that might make it difficult to hear someone softer than a yell.
Creating a wedding reception lounge space doesn’t take a lot of money or effort and can actually be done with things you already have at home or “borrowing” a few pieces of furniture from the venue. Here are a few tips for creating a reception lounge area for your wedding reception.
1. Make it Comfortable
The whole point of a lounge area is to make a comfortable space for your guests—so fill it with soft, plush, and comfy items like blankets, pillows, rugs, and any other items you think might work well. You want to make it an inviting space for your guests to take a breather, slowly sip on their drink, and enjoy the company of other guests. After all, weddings are the perfect occasion to catch up with old friends and long-lost cousins and meet new acquaintances, so having a cozy spot for them to chat is key in your lounge area.
2. Use What’s Already Available
To keep costs down, it’s best to use furniture you have at home or use anything that’s available to you at the venue. Because you have an entire ceremony and reception to decorate, you don’t want to focus too much of your budget in the lounge.
It’s likely that your venue has at least a few upholstered chairs or lounge chairs that are set up somewhere—don’t be afraid to ask if you can temporarily rearrange them into a lounge space. Even if the chairs aren’t necessarily your style, you’d be surprised at what a strategically placed pillow or fur throw can do to a lackluster piece of furniture.
If your venue doesn’t have much furniture available, you can also ask your venue coordinator if you could bring something in from your home. You don’t have to do anything too crazy like bring in your whole living room, but adding in a couple of accent chairs and a rug would add a cozy touch to your lounge area.
3. Tie in Your Theme/Colors
Like everything else in your wedding reception, you want to make sure that your lounge area looks like it belongs with the rest of your wedding decor. It doesn’t take much to make this happen, whether it’s draping a couple of throws in your wedding colors or adding a few flower arrangements that match the rest of the tables inside the reception. You essentially want this space to be a mini version of your reception, but with a more relaxed feel.
4. Keep the Drinks Flowing
Like any other lounge, you want to ensure that your guests always have a cocktail in hand. If it’s possible, keep your lounge area close to the bar or have a waiter check on your lounge guests every so often to refresh their drinks. If your lounge area isn’t close to your reception bar, you could always do something special like incorporate a DIY cocktail bar into the space or have a few reserve liquors for those who are choosing to hang out in the lounge.
5. Have Tables for Drinks
It’s a lounge, so one of the most important features is that you have plenty of space to store drinks. Put a couple of strategically placed end tables or coffee tables in the space so that your guests will have somewhere to set their signature cocktail and sip at their leisure.
6. Keep it Light
When it comes to anything at your reception, lighting is key. Think about other lounges you’ve been to in the past: was the lighting light and bright or was it soft and subtle? You may not have control over what overhead lighting you have in the venue, but you can always bring in some reinforcements like string lights, candles, and maybe even a lamp or two.
7. Add Table Games
Keeping your guests entertained during your reception is likely a main concern of yours, and the lounge space is no exception. Since the lounge area will be set apart from the dance floor and much of the action of the reception, you may want to keep a few board games or card games available so that your more low-key guests can take advantage of the quiet fun they provide.
8. Let Your Guests Know Where it Is
Of course, the most important thing about the lounge is that it’s being used by your guests. If your lounge area isn’t in the main reception space, put some simple signage that leads your guests directly to the lounge. You don’t want it to be a secret, after all!