Wedding Planning 101 – Creating Wedding Reception Lounge Areas

August 27, 2013 | christine

taupe lounge seating - real wedding photo by Los Angeles photographer Jay Lawrence Goldman

(Photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman)

Wedding reception lounge areas are a trend that have taken the wedding world by storm, and now they are a key component on many couple’s minds as they plan their wedding. Providing a little seclusion from the main party, lounge areas allow your guests to mix and mingle in a more relaxed atmosphere than the traditional reception seating arrangements. We’ve put together some top tips on how to create a reception lounge area that is as inviting as it is functional. Read on!

real wedding photo by Los Angeles photographer Jay Lawrence Goldman

(Photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman)

1. Mood Lighting
One of the most important elements to consider when designing your reception lounge space is the lighting. The most effective, not to mention the most budget friendly way to achieve lighting that feels warm and inviting is with candlelight. In the photo above, wedding consultant Mindy Weiss took full advantage of the fireplace at the Pelican Hill Resort and filled the lounge area with flickering firelight.


wedding photo by Ben Chrisman Photography

(Photo by Ben Chrisman Photography)

2. Getting Cozy
Create a feeling of privacy with sweeping fabric draped over the lounge area or enclosed in a luscious tent. Add a fun chandelier and you’ve got all the ambiance you’ll need.


Outdoor, vintage inspired sofa and decor with hanging lights - Photo by Studio 6.23

(Photo by STUDIO 6.23)

3. Dividing Spaces
If your wedding reception is taking place in an open space, like the field pictured above or a large ballroom, structure the decor in a way that divides the massive singular space into smaller areas where guests can socialize. The lanterns hanging from the trees allow for the lounge area to be defined, but still open to the golden landscape beyond the celebration.


blue wedding lounge seating photo by Yvette Roman Photography

(Photo by Yvette Roman Photography)

4. A Pop of Color
Your reception lounge area is a wonderful opportunity to add a splash of color with some luxurious and lavish decor. If you’re having trouble getting your hands on colorful furniture, toss some vibrant throw pillows on a more neutral alternative. Adding an area rug is another great way to introduce color to your reception lounge area, as well as continuing to define the space.


outdoor reception lounge seating area with wicker loveseats with white cushions, tables made from barrels with white rose decor - photo by Washington DC based wedding photographers Holland Photo Arts

(Photo by Holland Photo Arts)

5. Building Character
As you incorporate your overall wedding design concept into every facet of your wedding reception, your lounge area should be no different. Get creative! The wedding shown above used wine barrels as tables for a vineyard wedding. Keep in mind that while you should be clearly defining the space, you still want your lounge areas to fit into your cohesive plan for the entire wedding day.

Looking for more? Take a peek at all the reception lounge area design inspiration in our wedding photo gallery!

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