Trend Alert: Wedding Lounge Areas
By Lorna Urwin

04 October 2016

A lounge area can provide a touch of comfort to the wedding reception, creating a space for people to sit, relax and mingle during cocktails or after dinner. Here are five reasons why you should consider this practical and stylish wedding trend for your big day!

Whatever your wedding style, making your guests feel more comfortable or at home can only be a good thing! The lounge area is a tangible way to achieve this. Through a thoughtful combination of lighting, furnishings and accessories you can create an inviting and cosy ambiance as an alternative to the structured formality of dining tables.

1/ Infuse a cosy, laidback atmosphere

Image by KT Merry Photography

Keep décor warm and welcoming. For lighting, consider adding candles or fairy lights for a subtle and extra-warm glow. If possible at your venue, a fireplace (or campfire) really takes lighting and cosiness to another level! Choose furniture for comfort as well as style and include at least some chairs with backs for older guests. With those basics in place, build texture and depth by adding throws and cushions into the mix. Or consider draping soft fabrics to create a pretty tent-like effect, as in the image above. As with any seating area, it’s wise to include tables or side-tables to allow guests to enjoy drinks or a bite to eat and have somewhere to set their empties down. 

2/ Create a quiet space to relax and mingle

Images by Les Loups and Braedon Flynn Photography

Weddings are plenty of fun, but they can also be tiring. For those who aren’t big on dancing or simply prefer to hang out with friends and chat, a lounge area is a perfect – and often more stylish – alternative to congregating at the bar or buffet. For people seeking rest, comfort will be the number one priority but taking into account the social nature of the lounge is also a good idea. Ensure there’s enough seating for the size of your guest list so no one is left standing! If your wedding is particularly large, you might even want to consider multiple seating areas grouped near each other. Try to mix and match different seating types to enable different-sized groups to get together in comfort. For increased flexibility, include easy-to-move chairs or pouffes that people can rearrange as needed.

3/ Make the most of your space

Image by Élan Klein

If your venue is set in a large open space (for example a marquee, garden or barn), you may find it becomes unwieldy to keep everything looking organised and cohesive while still utilizing all the space you’ve paid for. Dividing a large space into different ‘areas’ is a great solution to this! It can really help anchor and direct people as they move around. This is especially true of lounge areas, as they’re a place people can gravitate to time and again (rather than visiting once and then moving on, as they might with a photo booth or dessert table). 

Assuming a good weather forecast, lounge areas are especially valuable in outdoor settings. Often outdoor furniture isn’t the comfiest, meaning people will have to leave the outdoor setting (and the fun!) if they wanted to seek out somewhere more relaxing to sit. Taking ‘indoor’ furniture outside avoids this problem and keeps everyone together, while also looking really chic! Look to incorporate any fixed features of the venue, like arbours, gazebos or trees, to save on décor and time.

4/ Highlight the wedding theme

Images by Michelle Lyerly and Aaron Delesie

Perhaps the most fun thing about a lounge area is that they can easily be tailored to showcase your theme! Vintage wedding? How about mismatched vintage seating with old trunks for tables. Barn wedding? Cover hay bales with comfy throws or blankets and use reclaimed wood (large spools, pallets or crates) for furnishings. Bohemian wedding? Layer a mixture of rugs to frame the space and encourage your guests to recline on throw pillows and colourful pouffes, or set up a your own tent or teepee. 

5/ A base for entertainment

Image by 4Eyes Photography

It doesn’t hurt to have some form of activity or entertainment alongside the décor and comfort of a lounge area, whether to break the ice between strangers or keep people occupied if they’re lounging for an extended period of time. Just remember to keep the activities low key to preserve the relaxing atmosphere you’ve created. Some ideas include leaving your guestbook for people to sign, culinary activities (simple make-your-own treats, wine tasting), games (charades, ice breaker cards, mad libs or other card games) or something arty (have a caricaturist, silhouettist or photo booth nearby).