Styling Your Reception: 5 Upcycling Ideas

As the big day draws near, (under 100 days until I say I do!) Jack and I realize that we have our work cut out for us in prepping the reception site for our guests. For the rest of the summer we are devoting ourselves to making sure the property is trimmed and ready to be used… but functionality is only part of what we want. We also want it to look amazing and to be memorable. Luckily, we have a creative wedding planner who is going to help us style the property so that it will not only be trimmed and mowed, but also have some cool accent pieces to help create a romantic feel for the night. For this post, I wanted to share some ideas that we might be incorporating into our wedding.

Photo on left from Dishfunctional Designs and photo on right from Alicia Parsons.

1. Vintage Suitcases
My dad just happened to own several really cool vintage suitcases and we just happen to have several really cool ideas with how we can incorporate them into the wedding. Surprisingly simple, classy and fun!

Image on left also from Dishfunctional Designs and image on right from Ribbons & Rust vintage wedding rentals.

2. Old Chairs
While looking for styling items in the barn, we found some old chairs would not be fit for guests but could be fit for something else. They have amazing backs and can easily be worked into the scenery by adding a burst of color to them.

Photo from

3. Upcycle Items with Meaning
Now I know not many people will own the item needed for this idea, but it’s worth sharing. My family has owned one of these Singer sewing wheels since I was little… in fact, I believe it was my grandmother’s. We used to play with it when my siblings and I were kids, but now that we’ve all grown up I think it’s appropriate to upcycle it. This is a great idea to bring new functionality to it while still keeping the memories attached with it.

Photo on left from Midwest Living. Photo on right by Bryan and Mae.

4. Vintage Bikes
Since my dad grew up in a large family, we just happen to have a few vintage bikes lying from when he was younger. We were discussing some fun ideas with what we could do with them and, just like the chair idea, we came to the conclusion that flowers are a great way to spruce up something old yet classic.

Photo on left from My Daily and photo on right from Apartment Therapy.

5. Tea Cups Saucers
I mentioned this idea in a previous post, 5 Ideas for Table Décor but a good idea is worth repeating. By upcylcing tea cup saucers, you are able to add a little personality to your dessert table, your guest’s table or even the head table. Find what you like (or use what you have) and create your own beautiful, and personalized, tier and use it for whatever you like! The best part is that you can take it home for future use or give it to a friend or family member.

These are only a few ideas that we are contemplating to use as decorations for the reception and I hope that they inspire you for your own wedding. Do you have a great upcycling idea? I’d love to see it! Just post a comment down below or on our Facebook page and tell us what you have done or what you want to do, and perhaps I’ll use the idea for my own wedding!

Category: The Gabi Chronicles, Wedding Ideas
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