InspirationReception

70 Alternative Wedding Installations

Forgo florals for canopies of floating artful sculptures and avant-garde design suspended from above for a breathless reception space.

While a trend we have long lusted over for their dramatic beauty, clouds of pampas and suspended blooms have started to feel all too familiar within the wedding industry. For a reception space that will be truly unique, forgo florals and abandon all conventionality with a table canopy inspired by artful sculptures and avant-garde design that will leave guests breathless.

Billowing Fabric

A dancing display of billowing fabrics sculpted into fluid forms, compelling a mood of ethereality and eternal grace. Dramatic lengths superbly dropped, draped, pinched, pleated and folded from above creates a heavenly atmosphere and will soften even the most rigid of spaces.

Design around the natural or existing lighting of the space and opt for featherlight weaves such as silken chiffons, cotton linens or plastic sheeting to give off an ethereal translucency. To create a most impactful look, suspend fabrics with barely-there wire to extend and almost cocooning the full table, dripping down at different heights above and around the setting.

Ambient Lighting

Drawn from the night sky, a natural and infinite canopy of sparkling light can immediately transform an outdoor setting into an intimate atmosphere or elevate an indoor venue space. Classic lighting options (like lanterns, fairylights or bare bulbs) take on an otherworldly aura when strung en masse. Suspend at varying lengths to mimic a celestial galaxy, or cluster into architectural forms that will serve as the focal point. Alternatively, opt for a smaller quantity of large statement chandeliers (of the contemporary or classical kind) lining infinite tables or illuminating round table configurations.

Looking decidedly less magical by day, consider timing and placement, ensuring guests first impressions of such a space is revealed only after dark, once lit. Opt for warm, glowing light rather than cool white lights for a true ambient romantic soirée and ensure to consider the practicality of electrical points when designing.

Avant-Garde Sculptures

Salvage recycled materials and found objects. Raid the beaches, woods and your local hardware store. Peruse art, design and architecture and dive into your inner creative depths to be wildly inspired into designing an abstract, otherworldly sculpture. Hone in on a unique form, material or texture for an unexpected and unforgettable floating centrepiece.

Use materials that compliment the space, but too are practical for your design (not too heavy, easy to suspend and cost effective). To avoid looking ever crafty or DIY, balance the sculpture with impeccably executed engineering and modern styling for a refined, elevated look. Stringent planning and experimentation is key here, however if art isn’t your strongest forte, consider working with an artist or industrial designer, at least in the initial design stages.

Editor’s Tip

Whilst these canopies appear to hang ever so effortlessly and sway in a nonchalant manner, we highly recommend you leave this type of installation and design up to the professionals. This is one task that needs the most curated of eyes to ensure it looks the part along with the experience and licensing to rig from high above. Do your research, and spend the time to find the right fit for your specific ideas, whether that be an artist, industrial designer, creative director, event planner, lighting technician, electrician or simply just a handyman, whomever you may need to bring your vision to life and coordinate all the practical details.

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