Country Western Reception, Banquet & Dinner Decorating Ideas
Country-western reception, banquet, and dinner decorating embodies a broad range of styles from the charm of rural life to the adventurous spirit of the Wild West. Depending upon the purpose of your event, you may choose to emphasize one or more particular aspects or a broad mix.
From rustic to refined, a country western theme can easily be tailored to a casual event or formal occasion. Set the tone with background elements, such as weathered wood and gingham patterns to create a rustic, more casual event. Conversely, white linens and formal settings are an easy way to dress-up your affair.
Bright red, black, and/or brown colors represent a country-western theme best. Keep things interesting with a wide range of textures and materials, such as weathered wood, rusted metal, patterned fabrics, leather, galvanized steel, glass and straw.
Start with a neutral background that will not compete with your decor, such as white or pale brown. Then, create a stylish country and/or western dinner presentation by incorporating theme colors and symbols in several different aspects of your table setting. Such as the:
Salt & pepper shakers
Scatter & confetti
Chargers or plates
Place card holders
The silhouette of your centerpiece may depend upon the shape of your table. For round and square tables, use a single piece as your focal point, and, optionally, add smaller accents. Alternatively, you may use a grouping of related items of varying heights or arranged to create a mini scene.
For rectangular seating arrangements, you also have the option to use a number of identical or related items down the center of your table. Generally, it is best to use an odd number, such as 1, 3, 5, or 7, depending upon the length of your table.
When selecting items for your dinner table, make sure they are finished on all sides. Elements may have a prominent front and lesser backside, but make sure the view from the back is attractive.
Your dinner table centerpiece should not significantly obstruct the faces of the guests on the other side of the table. For this reason, use items that you can see through, are not too high, or very high pieces that rise above the line of sight, such as floral sprays in tall vases.
Augment your country western dinner table centerpiece with accent decor, especially on rectangular tables. Choose complementary items such as, decorative candles (lit or unlit), figurines, cutouts, candlesticks, and/or small arrangements in vases.
Depending upon the length of your table, you may add unique items beyond the table center. Keep the overall composition balanced with identical or matching decorations on each side of the centerpiece.
Include a variety of textures, shapes, height, and color to give the arrangement depth. If your center decoration is low to the table, flank your centerpiece with taller pieces. Conversely, with a tall centerpiece, use accents with a lower profile.
Additional details create interest and make excellent conversation starters. Choose items that complement your colors and are consistent with your theme. If possible, introduce curiosities that offer some twist or further tell the "story" of your table decorations, such as tumbleweeds and driftwood.
Salt & Pepper Sets
Salt & pepper shakers are a functional and easy way to decorate your dinner table. Your guests will get a kick out of a cute set of theme-related salt and pepper shakers, and there are a number of unique styles and matching or complementary shapes to choose.
Some options to consider for a country-western theme:
In addition to establishing a warm, comfortable atmosphere, lighting offers many options for introducing unique country western theme decorations to the dinner table.
Provide enough lighting that guests can clearly see each others faces, but avoid bright overhead lighting. Use a rheostat (dimmer) switch on overhead lights to augment candlelight and eliminate the harsh glare.
Introduce lighting and frame your centerpiece with tall candlesticks or taper candles. Or, build your table decor around a centerpiece of floating candles.
Alternatively, include multiple mini lantern candle holders positioned throughout your table decorations or use candles in Mason jars. You may also add more candlelight to the room with votive candles on the sideboard, shelves and throughout the dining area.
Capitalize on the rustic charm of tealight or hurricane lanterns for lighting in keeping with the country western theme. While submersible floral lights add a unique effect by lighting flower arrangement vases from the inside.
Create a dramatic effect by suspending lights above the dinner table. Some impressive options include hanging white or theme string lights, mason jars with candles or lighted round paper lanterns in your theme colors.
Tie It Together
Use table runners or fabric, if needed, to tie all of the elements of your centerpiece together to create a more harmonious presentation. This is also an excellent way to lengthen your centerpiece to decorate a longer table.
The rustic character of a country western theme also makes it easy to improvise a foundation to build your centerpiece, such as a bandana, folded gingham tablecover, cowhide, or piece of burlap.
Table scatter and garland are also effective methods of providing cohesion to your display. Sprinkle straw, driftwood, gold coins, or even themed confetti throughout for a unified look. You may also include strands of rusty barbed wire (simulated), ivy, bridle reins, or rope to "tie" the elements together.
In addition to the visual impact of the entire room and table decorations, consider the view from the guests' perspective. Visualize your centerpiece composition and place setting from a seated position.
Chargers or dinner plates go a long way to make your table look complete. Although chargers give a more formal look and will make a stronger impression.
Use cut cloth or beverage napkins to add color underneath drink glasses, if needed. You may also add more detail and/or color by placing beverage napkins or favors in the center of each plate, charger or place setting, especially when serving aperitifs.
When you can find them, additional place setting accessories, such as place card holders and napkin rings, will enhance your country western dinner table. Alternatively, you can use place card holders for cute signs on the buffet and bar or for table names or numbers.
For a country western theme, you can easily create your own napkin rings. For a natural look, use raffia, burlap strips, or cut pieces of simulated rusty barbed wire to tie around a rolled-up napkin.
Or, to create a more formal atmosphere use napkin rings with white napkins, like cast iron dimensional barn star rings (pictured). Lay the napkin diagonally across the place setting.
Another option to add color to your place setting is to use colored dinner napkins, folded lengthwise and placed under the charger to hang off the side of the table.