Once the vows have been exchanged and the ceremony is over, you and your brand-new spouse can finally kick back and celebrate with your loved ones at the wedding reception. For such a momentous event, it’s important to find a setting that supports your vision and creates the right ambience. One popular and practical venue type that couples often choose? Ballrooms. Often located inside hotels, chateaus, castles, or other event centers, choosing one of these rooms for your wedding reception likely comes with a number of built-in benefits. Whether you’re hosting your nuptials on a balmy summer day or a snowy winter evening, you won’t have to worry about arranging a backup plan to accommodate potential inclement weather like you would with an outdoor wedding. Ballroom wedding packages also typically include a number of amenities for the price, such as tables, chairs, and other necessary rentals, in-house catering, and restrooms. Plus, many of them boast intricate architecture that will add a regal touch to any type of affair.
Perhaps best of all, ballrooms can be the perfect backdrop for any type of wedding aesthetic, from modern and minimalist or bold and boisterous. While some couples let the existing décor inform their vision, others find that there are plenty of unique ways to upgrade the existing details to ensure the space suits their vision and needs. Adding in draping, uplighting, floral or greenery installations, statement-making dance floors engraved with your custom crest, and sweetheart tables engulfed in beds of roses are just some ways couples have made these spaces their own.
Ahead, the most beautiful ballroom wedding reception ideas guaranteed to elevate any space.
Go for Gilded Details
With embellished walls and adorned ceilings, most ballrooms are already brimming with unique decorations that are best suited for glamorous nuptials. To coordinate with the surrounding atmosphere, consider displaying your table numbers in an ornate gold mirror, as one couple did for their castle wedding in New Jersey. The intricate frame will match the architectural details in the room, creating a cohesive look.
Make the Architecture the Focal Point
Instead of trying to conceal the elements that exist within the space, why not make them the star of the show? At this wedding, which took place at a Gilded Age mansion in Rhode Island, the carvings on the wall, the cloud-inspired ceiling, the grand chandeliers, and the lavish curtains are breathtaking on their own, so they don’t need much—if any—revamping. To let your own site speak for itself, select décor in neutral color palette and use gold accents to complement those in the room.
Highlight the Bar
Just like at any other reception, the bar is a popular spot where friends and family always flock to. The place where you serve your booze is a wonderful opportunity to make a statement with fun decorations. The floral-inspired bar complete with an ombré installation of blooms created for a wedding in Houston would be a striking addition to any ballroom reception with a garden aesthetic. To keep it consistent, use the same flowers and tones for your centerpieces.
Create a Ceiling Installation
Since ballrooms often have high ceilings, there are so many opportunities to produce eye-catching installations. At this Mexico City wedding, the couple drew guests' gazes upward by suspending rattan lanterns, disco balls, and garlands of greenery and vibrant flowers from above. Creating a hanging install like this one is especially effective if you aren’t a fan of the light fixtures in the room.
Transform the Space With Lighting
Chandeliers are traditionally the go-to lighting sources at ballroom bashes, but you can also use alternative forms of light to produce the ambience you prefer. At this glamorous New. York City wedding, the grooms used cascading string lights and black taper candles to illuminate a dark ballroom. This flicker of light generated a romantic and dramatic atmosphere that lasted from dinner to late-night dancing.
Choose Larger-Than-Life Centerpieces
If you aren’t incorporating a ceiling installation into your ballroom reception, you can take advantage of the soaring ceilings with tall centerpieces. Clouds of baby’s breath floated above each table at this sky-inspired wedding, and strands of silver-colored origami helped bring the theme to life. To make sure your centerpieces are the standout element, keep the other table items to a minimum so they don’t clash.
Use the Space’s Color Palette
Your wedding venue is one of the best sources of inspiration for your color palette. If your ballroom houses distinct shades and decorations, lean on these facets to inform the rest of your design. At this French chateau wedding, the couple took their style cues from the blue wallpaper, patterned vases, and ornate plates in the room, topping tables with blue tablecloths, gold-rimmed glassware, and gold candle sticks that corresponded with the gilded candelabras on the walls.
Monogram Your Dance Floor
Ballrooms provide so much space to work with, but filling the area with enough substance can be a challenge for some couples. A great solution? Make like this couple and choose a large dance floor that can anchor the space, then arrange tables around the perimeter. The result not only keeps your space from feeling empty but it also ensures everyone has a great view of the first dance and the ensuing party. To make even more of an impression, customize your dance floor with the first initial of your new last name and a fun illustration, like these gold flowers.
Bring the Outdoors In
Just because your celebration is taking place indoors doesn’t mean you can’t embrace natural touches. If you love a garden aesthetic but still want the practicality of a ballroom venue, go ahead and douse your site in flowers and greenery. At this garden-themed Baltimore wedding, the couple transformed an otherwise classic ballroom into a dreamy indoor garden by incorporating a backdrop of pink and red roses; they used the same buds to cover their sweetheart table to keep the décor consistent and statement-making.
Upgrade the Existing Wallpaper
Maybe your ballroom has wallpaper that’s incompatible with your vision, or maybe you want to refurbish blank walls with something more impactful. Either way, you can use drapery, new wallpaper, or a large backdrop to better fit your aesthetic and generate more drama. We love how this installation of dreamy clouds and baby’s breath shaped like a crescent moon framed the couple’s special seats in a new and unexpected way at this New York City wedding.
Up the Ante With Your Cake
You don’t just serve a wedding cake to satisfy your sweet tooth; it’s also a core part of your décor when displayed for all guests to see. To supplement your ballroom’s glamorous feel, choose a multi-tier cake with details as elaborate as the room you’re celebrating in, such as pearls, sequins, and sugar flowers. For traditional formal weddings, an all-white buttercream confection is the ultimate option.
Add Metallic Accents
Most ballrooms have silver or gold elements throughout the space, from the chandeliers to the wall adornments. To create an extension of the surrounding area, include metallic accents into your place settings, just as this couple did for their Mexico City wedding. Gold flatware, gold napkin rings, and plates with gold patterns will produce cohesion and evoke a glitzy, upscale vibe for glamorous receptions.
Don’t Be Afraid of Color
While neutral color schemes transcend time, splashy shades will wow your guests and add character to your ballroom soirée. At this punchy Laguna Niguel wedding, the couple selected a bold color palette of orange and blue to mirror the scenery of their locale. To pull off a similarly vibrant look, choose one or two hues that pack a punch and use a complementary, more neutral shade for the rest of your décor.
With its transparent surface, lucite is a versatile material worth considering for your ballroom space. After all, your setting likely already has so much to offer, so acrylic touches that can act as a neutral base for other elements to shine is a great idea. For modern weddings, like this black-tie bash in New York City, include lucite candelabras and glass vases with single-stem roses on black tables. Hosting a bohemian bash? Pair pampas grass with ghost chairs and reflective table numbers. In both cases, the added features won’t compete with the existing ones.
Lean on Draping
Not only can you use draping to conceal wallpaper you don’t love, but you can also use it to frame important details. This couple chose their San Francisco wedding venue because of the stately 100-year-old walls in the ballroom, so they wanted to show them off in a meaningful way. To do just that, they draped white curtains above one of the doors and let it be the eye-catching backdrop for their sweetheart table. The gauzy fabric blended seamlessly with the room’s design and created a cozy and intimate feel.
Play With Shape
Since the head table is arguably the most important seating area in the entire space, why not play around with the shape to make it pop? Instead of the traditional rectangular style, select a winding table with a mirrored surface just like this couple did for their glamorous Miami wedding. This unexpected arrangement stood out to guests and the top reflected the room’s swanky chandelier and ceiling.
If you’re hosting a night of dinner and dancing in an upscale venue, your details will need to be equally lavish. Whether it’s your menus, table numbers, place cards, or escort cards, calligraphy is an elegant way to make seemingly average details extra special. At this St. Louis wedding, beautifully scripted menus printed on white fabric pulled double-duty anchoring each place setting in lieu of a traditional charger. Consider gold flatware and crystal glassware to accompany the decorative handwriting.
Make It Modern
Although ballroom spaces often lend themselves to glamorous or traditional weddings, you don’t have to shy away from a modern aesthetic if that's what you really love. With black tablecloths, white roses, and edgy touches (like these monogrammed leather jackets at an Old-Hollywood wedding in California), your locale will instantly feel fresh and contemporary.
Rethink Your Table Runner
For ballrooms stepped in history, implement unique details that hint at the time period. Whether it’s busts of Greek goddesses (à la this unique wedding in Nashville) or stacks of classic novels, swapping the usual runner of flowers and candles with something different will paint a better picture of your reception.
Mix in Patterns
Chances are good that if you're celebrating your wedding in a ballroom, the four walls that enclose your setting are full of embellishments. To build upon the space and add even more depth and dimension, be strategic with patterns, like completing your place settings with a gold marble napkin just as this pair did for their romantic Baltimore nuptials. Too many contrasting designs can be overwhelming, so make sure to select solid-colored tablecloths.