How to Decorate a Big Venue?

Decorating a large event venue can seem like an intimidating task. However, with some planning and creativity, you can transform any blank space into a gorgeous setting for your special occasion. This article provides useful information on effectively decorating big venues while avoiding common pitfalls like overspending or inadequate décor.

How to Decorate a Big Venue?

Plan Based on Venue Size and Layout

When decorating a sizable venue, first consider the dimensions and layout. Determine the ceiling height, wall space, lighting options, and any permanent architectural features you need to work around or emphasize. Understanding the physical parameters will inform all your decor decisions from fabrics to florals.

You’ll also want to measure windows, doors, and common traffic areas. Use these measurements to create a floor plan sketch noting focal points like staircases or chandeliers. This allows you to visualize furniture placement, buffet stations, dance floors, stages, and more. Knowing available square footage per element guarantees nothing gets cramped or overlooked.

Choose a Cohesive Theme and Color Palette

After assessing the site itself, decide on an overall vision that fits the event purpose and matches your style. Narrow down a cohesive color scheme and decorative motif that can translate to all other design choices.

Whether aiming for modern elegance in black and white or a vibrant tropical flair, select 3-5 complementary hues as your foundation. Then determine a unifying theme like rustic charm, Art Deco glam, Havana nights, etc. This connects every decorative detail under one central concept.

Use Scale and Layers for Dramatic Impact

Properly decorating an expansive venue requires filling space strategically. The key is using scale and adding visual interest through layers. Combine large statement pieces with medium-sized accents and smaller trimmings.

For example, 30-foot elm trees line the ceremony aisle while flowering vines adorn the arched windows. Crystal chandeliers hang above Italian marble floors covered with patterned area rugs. It’s all cohesive yet multidimensional. Play with height, volume, shapes and textiles. And don’t forget lighting which instantly amplifies ambiance.

Invest in Rentals Over Purchases

When tackling massive rooms, buying everything outright gets prohibitively expensive. Renting decorative elements allows you to decorate on a grand scale within budget. Plus rentals offer more variety to suit your unique venue than items you might reuse.

Go for volume with mass chair and table rentals. Add rented specialty linens, charger plates, glassware and china to up the elegance. Rent focal points like couches, bars, dancefloors, lighting and draping. This achieves a custom designer look which still leaves room in the budget for personal touches like florals and signage.

Work Closely With Your Venue Coordinator

An experienced venue coordinator can prove invaluable when decorating. They know the location best and what logistics or limitations to consider regarding deliveries, load-ins, set-up times and more.

Coordinators may include house décor like napkins, tablecloths or Centerpieces in the rental cost or as an add-on option. They can recommend reliable local rental vendors and florists familiar with the site. Venues often have relationships with lighting designers, audiovisual teams and preferred caterers too.

Tap your coordinator as a resource so you can collaborate rather than duplicate efforts. Streamlining plans allows smoother decorating and cost savings.

Key Takeaways

  • Create floor plans with exact room dimensions and permanent architectural features
  • Choose a cohesive theme and color palette for all decorative details
  • Use scale through layered large, medium and small accents
  • Rent instead of buy decor items to maximize variety and budget
  • Partner closely with your venue coordinator throughout the process


Transforming a spacious venue requires forethought and vision. Understanding the physical footprint allows you to properly scale decorative elements for impact. Planning a consistent design scheme then layering statement pieces, medium accents and delicate trimmings fills the space aesthetically and functionally. Working closely with your venue coordinator streamlines efforts. Investing in rentals over purchases stretches your budget. If you thoughtfully apply these tips, you can create a warm, welcoming venue dressed to impress any guest.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are good decorations to hide empty spaces?
    Pipe and drape, backdrops, dance floors, room dividers, plants, trees, or lighting are good ways to hide or draw attention away from unwanted empty spaces in a big venue.

  2. How much of my budget should go to venue decorations?
    On average, plan to spend 10-15% of your total wedding or event budget on venue decorations. But a more elaborate affair with heavy décor could be 20-25% of overall costs.

  3. How many centerpieces do I need for a banquet of 200 guests?
    For a banquet seating 200 guests, you’ll typically need 15-20 rectangular banquet tables which can each fit 10-12 place settings. So plan on 15-20 matching centerpieces.

  4. How do I decorate my venue on a budget?
    Opt for rental items over purchases whenever possible. Repurpose your ceremony décor to also be used at the reception. Use lighting to transform a space. And accent with low-cost DIY touches like photo backdrops, chalkboards, or paper goods.

  5. Is it cheaper to buy or rent special lighting effects?
    It’s usually cheaper to rent specialized lighting from a professional audio-visual company than to purchase lights and equipment outright. Rentals give great variety without the hassle of ownership, storage, maintenance and personnel to operate.

  6. What’s a quick way to spruce up an ordinary ballroom?
    Pipe and drape the walls, hang crystal chandeliers, cover tables with upgraded linens, and bring color with vibrant flower arrangements or lighting gels. Little touches make a big difference!

  7. How many candles should I have for a romantic atmosphere?
    For a table, use 3-5 candle groupings per 8-top table for romance. Surround dance floors, staircases, or lounges with 50-100 votives in glass holders spaced 6 inches apart. Candles create instant magic!

  8. Should I decorate the ceremony and reception spaces differently?
    It’s smart to decorate ceremonies and receptions differently using the same color story and motif. Transition the ceremony stage décor to the sweetheart table backdrop. Move ceremony aisle florals to become centerpieces. Lighting can completely transform identical rooms from day to evening ambiance.

  9. How do I make a utilitarian conference hall glamorous?
    Rent specialty flooring like wood parquet or marble overlay atop industrial carpeting. Drape fabric on walls and ceilings to hide architectural eyesores. Bring in a temporary chandelier as a focal point. Use charger plates and crystal glassware to elevate ordinary catering.

  10. How do you decorate a boring hotel ballroom?
    Rented draping and lighting transforms basic hotel ballrooms. Creative centerpieces and lounge furniture arrangements break up cavernous spaces. Signature cocktails, interactive food stations and unique entertainment personalize the locale.

  11. Should I invest more in permanent architectural lighting or temporary event lighting?
    Temporary specialty event lighting typically makes more impact and allows more creativity than basic house lighting you utilize as-is. Use architectural illumination simply as a base layer then expand with ceiling-mounted effects or slide projections.

  12. What decorating mistakes should I avoid with high ceilings?
    Don’t clutter floors with too many small pieces that get dwarfed. Use height to your advantage with floor-to-ceiling drapes, hanging décor and statement chandeliers. Bring ceilings down visually with romantic draping or trelliswork.

  13. How soon can vendors access my venue to start decorating?
    Timelines vary widely by venue. Ballrooms may only grant vendor access the same day while more flexible lofts or historic buildings let you decorate over several days. Read all contracts closely and confirm key dates with your coordinator.

  14. Should I tip vendors who help decorate my venue?
    Gratuities aren’t strictly required but always appreciated as incentive for going above-and-beyond. Tip anytime someone takes exceptional care handling your belongings, solving problems graciously, or exceeding expectations through added services.

  15. Is it okay to decorate my ceremony space differently than my reception?
    It’s perfectly acceptable to reimagine your ceremony space with entirely fresh décor for the reception following it in the same room. This creative repurposing keeps guests engaged rather than repeating the exact same look.

  16. Does my decorator need liability insurance?
    Reputable professionals carry liability insurance plus worker’s compensation coverage to pay damages if décor fails or causes venue issues. Don’t be liable for any accidents caused by unvetted decorators lacking ample coverage.

  17. How many venue walkthroughs should I do when planning decor?
    Thoroughly decorating an expansive venue requires multiple planning walkthroughs. Visit first for dimensions, architecture and layout. Return to determine power sources, lighting positions, best decor locations and logistical issues. Revisit as plans progress.

  18. Can I negotiate better rates if I book more rental items together?
    Bundling rentals typically qualifies you for tiered discount pricing from vendors eager for your larger business. See if combining your tent, furniture, linen, glassware and lighting rentals earns 10-20% off standard piecemeal pricing.

  19. Are there decorations too trendy that they appear dated swiftly?
    Steer clear of décor with culturally appropriative embellishments, potentially offensive iconography or imagery that stereotypes groups. Avoid overtly topical statements. Even some color palette fads fade fast. Focus more on timeless touches aligned with your values.

  20. How early should I decor hunt before my wedding or event at a big venue?
    Begin evaluating rental and decor options 6-12 months ahead to properly source and budget desired items in high demand. Schedule consultations with lighting designers and florists 8-10 months out. And book Needed rentals 6 months ahead since they can book up quickly during peak seasons.

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