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How to set up a wedding venue


Ben Taylor

Whether you’re an events organiser, wedding planner or happy couple looking forward to tying the knot, setting up the wedding venue is one of the most important details to get right. Beautiful surroundings help to keep a feeling of joy and wonder throughout the day, as well as producing stunning photos for the family album.

Budget is often one of the most important factors in choosing a wedding venue, which can be discouraging if you can’t find one within your price range that fits your expectations. However, a little creativity can go a long way in turning a lacklustre village hall or conference room into a venue fit for royalty

How to dress a wedding venue

The first thing to consider when setting up a venue is the furniture you’ll be using. As the biggest items in the room, it’s important to make the right choice. You’ll need to think about when you’ll have access to your venue. If you can’t set everything up until the morning of the big day, having easily portable furniture will help to ease some of the wedding day pressure.

Think about the order of events in your wedding reception. Is there going to be dancing? Will there be a separate dancefloor, or will the tables need to be moved out of the way? If the latter is the case, then opting for lightweight folding event tables could be the best decision. Folding tables are easy to move, easy to store and sturdy. Pair them with event chairs and your whole dining set up can be moved around as and when you require.

Next, consider what you’ll be using it for. Are you having a present table? A large, round table could be best for this so you can display as many gifts as possible. Round tables are also good if you’re having a sit-down dinner, as they encourage conversation both with everyone on your table, but also with the neighbouring tables. This can help to keep the party lively. On the other hand, long, rectangular tables may be best if you’re having a buffet, so nobody has to reach too far to get to the dish they want.

Additionally, numbers will be a big deciding factor in what furniture you require. Both the number of guests coming and the dimensions of your venue will have an impact - rectangular tables are better suited to fitting large numbers into small spaces, whereas round tables can help to fill the space in an oversized venue.

How to make a wedding venue look elegant

For many, concerns about the aesthetics of the venue are paramount. After all, a picture speaks a thousand words - and photographs of a wedding are often put on display for all to see long after the event itself. However, economising on your venue and furniture doesn’t have to mean a wedding that’s more shabby than chic, as decorating your space can make a world of difference.

With full-coverage tablecloths and centrepieces, guests might not even notice you’re using folding tables - and if they do, they’ll be impressed with your savvy savings. Decorating wedding chairs is another simple way to elevate the look of your furniture for the big day - using chair sashes and floral arrangements to add a touch of elegance to the proceedings.

As for the venue itself, it pays to think creatively. Drapes in a light fabric such as tulle or organza can create a fairytale decadence on a low budget - as well as covering up an unattractive ceiling or wallpapering job. Lighting can also help your venue to feel cosier, brighter, prettier or more dramatic as needed.

Once you’ve sorted the larger aspects of the decor, you can try to create focal points to distract guests from any parts of the room you’re less confident about. As well as flowers, you can use foliage and potted plants to bring nature in and disguise smaller flaws. Additionally, spotlights and feature lights can be a great way to help highlight your decor.

It’s also a good idea to group areas of decorations. Adding decorations to your present or guestbook table is as simple as arranging them in an aesthetically pleasing way. This is a great low-cost alternative to hanging decorations from the ceiling or walls, especially if you would need to add fixings or hooks.

How to choose a wedding venue

Choosing a wedding venue can be difficult, but it’s easier when you have a visual in mind of what you’re looking for. While aesthetics, size and number of guests are all vital considerations, here are some other factors to think about:

  • Distance from important locations - will all the guests have to travel a long way? If the honeymoon begins after the reception, how far is your venue from the airport/destination?
  •  Accommodation - if people need to stay overnight, can they do that at your venue or will they need to make their own arrangements?
  • Catering/Service - does your venue provide waiting staff and catering or will you need to organise that?
  • Logistics - can you set up the venue before the big day? Does everything have to be cleared the day after?

Sometimes, the personal touch is everything. Although it involves arranging catering, staff and more, having a wedding reception at a place of sentimental interest can make for a touching celebration of love. Plus, with portable furniture and the above decorating ideas, you can transform almost any room into a stylish wedding venue.