I think I've heard every harrable (emphasis on the willful misspelling) thing about outdoor receptions in sticky, hot and sweaty Florida. It's a swamp, don't you know, (said not as a question, but a mere fact), I live here.
But this gal knows, too, that you can do some of the most remarkable things through outdoor venues, most of which has to do with saving money.
Taking your reception outdoors from late afternoon to dusk is a dramatic way of letting the 'free' landscape and scenery do all the work for you. Pictured is a Spring green wedding reception using rectangle tables, silver Napoleon chairs and clustered floral vignettes that sit low on the table. If you want to save even more money outdoors, keep your reception during daytime (natural sunlight) hours. This will keep you from having to rent heaters, pin spots, and anything else requiring power for your decor.
What you're really looking at, however, are the tall tree-like canopy centerpieces. Spectacular isn't the word, but it's close. When you've got extra money in the budget (because it's outdoors), you've got plenty of play room for your floral designer to do something magnificent.
If you want something truly unbelievable, partner with a reputable floral designer and give them your tablescape budget. And follow that up with, "Give me your two best designs." Giving them carte blanch to reach outside the box will typically give you a bigger bang for your buck, which means more money to get some decent liquor!