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How to Decorate Your Wedding Venue

Updated on October 4, 2014
A large venue, needs plentiful décor, to make it look warm and give it ambience.
A large venue, needs plentiful décor, to make it look warm and give it ambience.

The Venue

Finding a venue for your wedding day can be difficult as there are so many beautiful places to choose from. When looking for a venue, you need to know how many guests will be attending in order to select the right venue.

There is no point in taking a venue that seats five hundred people when you only have 100, as your wedding will not feel intimate.

You should also find a venue that has tables, chairs and tablecloths provided, to avoid spending extra money on décor.

Ensure that the lighting is also good at the venue as this could change the effect of the ambience. Too light without dim switches would enable your candles visability and too little light would mean extra candles and lighting from an outsourced company.

A themed wedding can make it easier for you to decorate.
A themed wedding can make it easier for you to decorate.

Theme and Colour for your Wedding Venue

Every bride and groom has a specific theme that they would like to use on their wedding day. Some people love the tropics and the seaside, therefore choose beach themed décor to use in the venue.

Experiment with colours that you like and pick a base colour which you could blend in easily with other colours that you like.

If your favourite colour is red, it might be too harsh for the entire room to be filled with this colour and you will need to tone it down with white, gold, beige, pearl or anything that makes it less harsh on the eyes.

Find a dominant colour as your base to use on the tables and add other colours to tone it down with overlays and napkins or flowers.

If you have a theme it is a lot easier to decorate as you will have ideas on what you would like to put on each table.

That might even help you with the colour scheme too.

Light colours in a large room need lots of candles and floral arrangements to make the room look warm.

A small room needs light but with this anything goes because it is easy to make a small venue feel romantic and cozy.

The base cloth and overlay
The base cloth and overlay
You can have an elaborate cover or one with a sash.
You can have an elaborate cover or one with a sash.

Tables and Chair Décor

Most venues have the option of either round or rectangular tables. The round tables usually seat 8 to 10 people and the rectangular can seat more but it is less comfortable, depending on how you decorate.

Round tables obviously need round table cloths that fall to the floor, in order to cover the entire table to make it look warm.

Choose a colour that is your base colour to fit over the table.

The chair covers also come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the chair and the venue usually has these for you already. If they do not have the chair covers than you should make them the same colour as the base tablecloth or stick to a neutral colour that blends in.

Tablecloths are complimented by overlays and napkins, so when selecting these, they need to blend in with the base cloth.

Chair covers also go well with a sash or chair ribbon, which should ideally be the same colour as your overlays or napkins.

Selecting the right material is important for practical purposes
Selecting the right material is important for practical purposes
Linen napkins are the most user friendly material for your guests.
Linen napkins are the most user friendly material for your guests.

Overlays, napkins and Sashes

Overlays come in a wide variety of fabrics such as linen, organza, satin, lace and many other fabrics.

You should select a softer fabric for the overlay if you have chosen a harder one for the base or underlay tablecloth.

Napkins are difficult because they look so beautiful in satin, organza or lace but the reality is that they are not practical and linen is probably the best option for your guests to use.

Sashes should also be softer that the chair cover and should ideally be in organza, satin, lace or anything soft and easy to fold and tie.

Naturally, all of these colours and materials should blend in well together in order to suit your theme.

Draping, lighting and flowers

Should the room look completely empty and too large, you can tone it down to an intimate venue by using draping.

This should also blend in with your colour scheme and sometimes it is not necessary to over drape in order to make it look good.

Always use a soft and flowing material that will not be too heavy and require a construction site to set it up. Use fabrics that can move easily, so avoid linen for draping!

Your guests won't study the draping but they can see it from where they sit and it is the first thing that is noticed when walking into the room. Ensure that the draping is equal in all directions and that it starts from the centre of the room.

Match up the base of your draping with the colour of your base tablecloth and you can either blend it with another colour or just add fairy lights.

Candles can warm up your wedding and make it look romantic.
Candles can warm up your wedding and make it look romantic.
Draping warms up and softens a large room.
Draping warms up and softens a large room.
Fairy lights look fantastic and ensure that your wedding day will sparkle.
Fairy lights look fantastic and ensure that your wedding day will sparkle.


If you have chosen draping and want to add fairy lights than you need to ensure that you have enough to make the look complete.

Candles on each table are fantastic to create a romantic and soft feel to the room but avoid getting giant sized candles on the tables that will block conversation by hiding your guests from each other.

Large pillar candles are great for a big ceiling. If you have a venue that has huge ceilings than large pillar candles placed in all the corners of the room will light up the venue and distract from an empty feel.

Floating candles are good for a centrepiece on your table if you include other items too. On their own it could look a little bare unless you use many at the same time.

Fairy lights are amazing when creating a fairy tale wedding. Over use of these could make your wedding venue look a little like Christmas, rather than a soft wedding. Avoid using too many and just include them into your draping or around a wooden frame that is hard to decorate.

Ensure that your wedding venue has lighting that suits your décor and if they have flourescent lights than turn them off all together and make use of candles, lanterns, fairy lights and lamps. Fluorescent lighting is not flattering and it leaves the room feeling cold.

To create a great, romantic and warm feel to your wedding venue, just go with candles of all types.

An arch is eye catching.
An arch is eye catching.
This just gives a fantasy effect.
This just gives a fantasy effect.
The cake is the centrepiece on the table and other décor is not necessary.
The cake is the centrepiece on the table and other décor is not necessary.
A unique setting for the bride and groom.  A good seating arrangement!
A unique setting for the bride and groom. A good seating arrangement!

The Entrance to the Reception

The entrance of your wedding reception is the first thing that your guests will see when they arrive. You should have an easel with the table seating and names on it, so that guests can know where they are to be seated.

A guest book is also a good idea for all your friends and family to write a note of happiness to the bride and groom.

You can also add an arch with a floral arrangement, red carpet or petals leading into the hall.

Candles on stands are also a warm welcome as is a host to dish out a welcome coctail before everyone sits down.

Cake Table, Main Table and Stage for Entertainers

When cutting the cake it is always good to know you have a steardy table away from your wine and champagne glasses!

This should be a smallish table big enough to fit the cake and it must also be covered with a base tablecloth and an overlay to suit your other décor.

Adding candles and anything else onto this table is unnecessary as the wedding cake is a display of its own. Don't forget the knife that is going to cut the cake.

For the main table the décor should be a little different to the guest tables as it is the special one and obviously the highlight of the reception.

The colour schemes can be different to the other tables, the décor with candles and floral arrangements can also be unique or you can add an unusual chair for the bride and groom.

However you decide to do it, make it unique and special for you and your bridal party to remember.

A gift table should be situated somewhere in the venue and it could be located near to the cake table or at the entrance, it is entirely up to you.

This should also blend in with the décor around the room as you do not want to draw attention the area.

A stage for your entertainent should be covered with draping to match the décor on your tables. There is nothing worse than seeing the legs of the stage and what is under it on your special day, once everything else looks so fantastic. Also get the entertainment to cover all their wires, plugs and equipment, making it neat and unnoticeable to your guests.

If you are having food served buffet style than the tables here also need to be covered and decorated to suit your theme and colour scheme.

Cutlery, crockery and Centrepieces

Cutlery and crockery at a wedding can change the look of your table décor if it is not right. There is nothing worse than going to the expense of beautiful décor and linen, only to have broken or chipped glasses and stained cutlery to compliment the look!

Check with the venue and see if they have cutlery and crockery to suit your needs. If you are not happy with it, then get your own as it does make a difference if you have tiffany chairs and silver cutlery!

The plates are usually standar and nobody cares what they look like as long as they are clean, unchipped and large enough for the food.

An underplate is a good idea if you have extra money to spare as it finishes off the table so well.

A wine glass and champagne glass, should be the only glassware on the table to avoid it being too cluttered.

A centrepiece can be anything you choose but if the tables are small than keep it simple and avoid anything that stops communication with the guests at each table. The y should be able to see each other!

You can use candles, floral arrangements, ornamental pieces or whatever you wish to use as long as you keep to a theme and the colours blend in with your tablecloths.

Don't use purple candles if you have a bright red tablelcloth!

There are a number of ideas to select and look for, even asking a wedding co - ordinator for ideas can be useful to you and save you plenty of time and stress.

Keeping it simple
Keeping it simple
Elegant and striking
Elegant and striking
Colours to suit your theme
Colours to suit your theme

Draping for your Wedding

D.I.Y Backdrops

© 2013 Natasha Pelati


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