Celebrate Love: Ideas for a Tropical Wedding Reception

by Heidi on Jul 13, 12

Whether you’re planning a destination wedding, or something close to home that feels like an island paradise, Tropical Weddings are lush with opportunities for creative, colorful decor.   We’ll anchor this reception design in our 100% cotton, hand printed Tropical Garden table linens:  runners, table cloths and napkins.  These bright floral linens are the perfect backdrop for vibrant table settings, exceptional cakes, and of course – wonderful tropical flower arrangements.

Tropical wedding table settings

Photo by Erin Wallis Photography – Style Me Pretty

Table Linens

Authentic, exotic and colorful, Tropical Garden table linens will light up your reception.  These are not run-of-the-mill “event polyester” (ick!)  Rather, hand printed, fair trade 100% cotton table linens will absolutely set your reception apart.  Round tablecloths can be used at guest tables, and long rectangular tablecloths are perfect for the bridal party table.  Runners add pops of color to dessert and gift tables.

Note the Tropical Garden border colors: bright pink, canary yellow, grass green… these are a perfect tie-in to all sorts of warm, succulent decor.  You’re bound to have fun dreaming up ideas for up your tropical themed wedding (think the pink and salmon parasols above!), and your guests will feel like they’ve taken a mini-vacation!

Colorful Tropical Floral Table Cloth

Tropical Garden Tablecloth (in round and rectangular)

Tropical Wedding table linens

Tropical Garden Cotton Napkins

tropical fabric for weddings

Tropical Garden fabric swatch

tropical wedding reception ideas

Tropical Garden Table Runner

Place Settings

Place settings at a tropical wedding should be both bold and natural, as shown in the first image below.

  • A natural fiber charger, such as a set in rattan from World Market, white plates, colorful napkins and floral accents are festive, glamorous and casual.
  • For something unique and truly tropical, use real leaves for coasters at your reception.  Ask a florist for small banana leaves, or, if you have willing friends with hostas, their leaves will work well too.
  • Even the smaller elements of your table, like favor boxes and escort cards, can work into your theme.  Again, just think natural fibers/ vibrant accents.  I love these little woven boxes.  The flower is an exotic touch, but simple ribbons would work just as well.

tropical wedding ideas

Natural charger, neutral plate, bright napkins and floral accent

tropical wedding place settings

Rattan charger, set of 4 – World Market

table decor for tropical wedding

Natural leaf coasters – Martha Stewart

ideas for tropical weddings

Tropical favor boxes, doubling as escort cards

Centerpieces

The highlights of a tropical wedding reception have to be the lavish, fiery flowers.  No conservative rose bouquets here!  Instead, palm fronds, birds of paradise, hibiscus and ginger blaze in a glory of color and texture from each table.  Thick and lush, tall and formal, or low and elegant – these arrangements will transport your guests through scent and sight, and set the perfect mood at your party.

ideas for tropical weddings

Tropical Centerpieces, photo by Jenny Lindsey – Style Me Pretty

tropical wedding centerpiece

Birds of Paradise and Bamboo Reeds Centerpiece – Brides

tropical wedding ideas

Amazing tropical installation! – The Wedding Chicks

tropical wedding decor ideas

Low tropical centerpiece – Wholly Matrimony

Cakes

And now, the cakes.  The vibrant, verdant, delicious cakes!  (Can you tell I’m getting excited? :))  Each of these are amazing, and have slightly different palettes to coordinate with your wedding’s primary color scheme.  Because I love decorating with natural elements, I claim the lovely citrus tower as my personal favorite.  Isn’t it fun?  Cheers to Maisie Fantaisie for the bright, bold vision!  Which do you like best?

tropical wedding ideas

Tropical Cupcakes – Le Cupcake

tropical wedding ideas

Citrus Fruit Wedding Cake – Maisie Fantaisie

tropical wedding ideas

Sugar flowered soft tropical cake – Rachelle’s

Yellow Tropical Flower Wedding Cake – The Pastry Studio

Tropical Treats

Now, if you’re gathering ideas for tropical reception food, I’ve got a few delish dishes for you.

  • First of all, how about serving paletas?  Fany Gerson’s book “Paletas”  is the go-to source for gourmet, grown-up popsicle recipes.  (I am biased – I can’t get enough of these cold, fruity treats and have been making them all summer!)
  • A cold and savory shrimp ceviche will be light, spicy and flavorful – a good ceviche could end up being the most talked about thing at your wedding (aside from the beautiful bride, of course. :))
  • Nothing says tropical more than mango and coconut.  A verrine is a somewhat complicated dessert to produce, but if you’re having a smaller wedding, it will be a true stunner.
  • Finally, decorative and yummy zucchini rolls…  The julienned zucchini can be filled with almost anything – in this case, Hawaiian goat cheese and roasted red pepper.  Super good!

food for tropical weddings

Tropical Paletas – (from Fany Gerson’s book, available on Amazon)

food for tropical weddings

Shrimp Ceviche – Simply Recipes

tropical wedding ideas

Mango Coconut Verrines – Dessert First Girl

Zucchini Rolls with Hawaiian Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper – Project Wedding

Up Close…

This is the border detail of our Tropical Garden tablecloth.  If you are considering this print for your wedding, why don’t you order a swatch first?  You’ll get an accurate idea of the colors, and will be able to feel the quality of the cotton as well.  Our swatches are generously sized and very affordable.

tropical wedding tablecloth

Tropical Garden tablecloth (border detail)

Putting it All Together…

I have to say,  I really love this look.  I’m happily married, but I may have to throw a big tropical party just to be able to use these ideas!

ideas for a tropical wedding

Go with this cheery tropical palette, and you’ll have a reception that feels like Paradise!

We’ve got a wonderful series of ideas for unique wedding decor, so if you haven’t quite made up your mind yet – check it out!


Related posts:

  1. Celebrate Love – Saffron Marigold Wedding Ideas
  2. Celebrate Love: Ideas for an Elegant White and Gold Wedding
  3. Celebrate Love: Ideas for a Peacock Themed Wedding
  4. Red hibiscus and multi colored star gazer lilies of Tropical Garden!
  5. Getting creative with the floral red and gold hues of Tropical Garden.
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