5 Ways to Transform a Not-so-Swanky Wedding Reception Venue

There are some wedding reception venues you tour and think, “WOW!” immediately upon walking in, and there are others that just don’t have the same appeal. Unfortunately for many brides, however, those love-at-first-sight venues can be out of reach for a variety of reasons: cost, date, size, the list goes on. However, just because you have to go with a venue you don’t fall in love with right away doesn’t mean you can’t use a little creative decorating to transform it into something you’ll love for your big day.

Here are 5 ways to spruce up a not-so-swanky wedding venue…

1. Use Drapery

You’d be amazed at what a little drapery can do for a venue. Ugly walls? Use pipe and drape to cover them! Hosting your reception in a boring tent? Add drapery to the ceiling! The best part? Renting drapery is really not very expensive and can go a long way in beautifying a wedding venue.

{via Eventure Design}

2. Change the Lighting

Lighting really goes hand-in-hand with draping, as nothing kills the look of a wedding venue more than ugly overhead florescent lighting. If your venue has bad lighting, dim (or even shut off) the lights, and instead light the venue with uplighting, chandeliers, or even holiday lights, oil lamps, candles, etc. If you’re not a lighting expert, this might be a good place to bring in a pro to help.

{via Events by Design}

3. Focus on Centerpieces

A great way to draw guests’ eyes away from an ugly venue is through the use of centerpieces. Think tall, ornate centerpieces…and just because they’re big doesn’t mean they need to be expensive. This is an instance where I LOVE the use of branches!

{via Evantine Design}

4. Decorate the Chairs

Similar to the thought process behind featuring large centerpieces, decorating your venue’s chairs also helps direct the eye away from an ugly venue. Whether you’re covering them completely, or just dressing them up with fabric, ribbons or tulle, there are a ton of ways to dress up chairs!

{via Preston Bailey}

5. Rent Beautiful Linens

Gorgeous wedding venues look fine with white or ivory linens, but when you’re working with a not-so-pretty venue, the use of rented linens can go a long way in sprucing up the place. It’s also a great way to bring your colors into the decor more. Place extra emphasis on focal points like the bridal party table and cake table with extra-special linens!

{via Diamond Affairs}

Always remember: when it comes to your big day, as important as decor is, it’s never as important as the reason you’re getting married to begin with. With a little love and hard work, you can make your wedding one to remember on any budget :)

About Nicole Denton

With a love of planning just about anything — from her own wedding, to bridal and baby showers, to dinner parties, and more – Nicole is the Plunge Project’s founder and former editor-in-chief. A New Jersey native, Nicole has called Chandler, Arizona home since 2013, where she currently lives with her husband Michael; two pit bulls, Shelby and Link; and cat, Kity Perry. A University of Tennessee graduate, Nicole has a bachelors in communications and a career at a rapidly-growing digital marketing firm.

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