25 Romantic Reception Ideas

Pink cocktails, heart-shaped desserts, flickering candles on every table? We've found 25 wow-them ways to share the love at your dream reception.

Your wedding will no doubt be the most romantic day of your lives, but how can you maximize that feeling so it tugs at the heartstrings of your guests? It's all in the details—carefully chosen food and drinks, decorative touches, even a few stolen moments together, away from the group. Try some of these wildly romantic ideas.

In the Mood

1. "The first thing guests see when they walk into the reception venue is the escort-card table, so that's the place to set the romance for the party ahead," says New York-based wedding planner Preston Bailey. Pin a creamy gardenia onto each card, or scatter rose petals among them.

2. Make the entrance leading into your ballroom unforgettable. Ask your florist to create arrangements in the shape of a heart or your monogram, then hang them from grosgrain ribbons on the open doors.

3. Having a garden ceremony? Evoke the courtly feeling of the early 1900s by passing out parasols in delicate pastel colors to your guests. Los Angeles-based wedding planner Alyse Sobel suggests tying a ribbon to each one with a card that reads, "May you always be sheltered by love." You can find inexpensive paper parasols at your local party goods store or at pearlriver.com, which sells Asian-inspired crafts.

4. Request that guests jot down their favorite date idea in your guest book, instead of the standard signature. You'll remind them of a romantic occasion of their own, and also have great suggestions for married life.

5. Share your wedding meal at a small "sweetheart table," reserved just for the bride and groom. Sobel recommends dressing the backs of your chairs with lush greens and flowers (a lovely idea, even if you choose to sit at a larger table), or bringing in upholstered armchairs for a throne-like feel.

6. Have romance delivered to your new spouse! Michael Meuer, senior wedding consultant for Blue Plate Weddings in Chicago, suggests surprising your guy or gal by writing up little love notes in advance of the big day (you could even have the notes professionally printed), and then asking a white-gloved waiter to deliver them on a silver tray to your beloved throughout the evening.

7. Carve out a little alone-time in the midst of your party: Sneak away to a private room in your reception venue—you can ask your caterer in advance to have champagne and strawberries waiting for you. Kiss, toast to your future, and relish the fact that this is your wedding day!