How to Decorate a Venue?

Decorating a venue for an event can seem like an overwhelming task, but with some strategic planning and creative thinking, it can be an enjoyable process. The key is to make decisions based on your event goals, target audience and budget.

How to Decorate a Venue?

Set Your Decor Goals

Before picking up any decor items, decide what experience you want your event décor to create. Your goals could include:

  • Creating an exciting, lively atmosphere – Use bright, contrasting colors, fun props, lighting effects, etc.
  • Establishing a formal, elegant mood – Focus on timeless décor elements like draping fabrics, floral arrangements, candlelight, etc.
  • Building energy and enthusiasm – Incorporate elements attendees can interact with, unconventional seating arrangements, etc.
  • Honoring the event theme or purpose – Ensure all elements align with and reinforce your chosen theme and brand.
  • Showcasing venue architecture and features – Allow the existing aesthetics to shine through instead of covering them up.

Once you define your decor goals, you can shape all other planning decisions around supporting and enhancing them.

Gather Inspiration and Ideas

Search sites like Pinterest for venue styling ideas that align with your event goals. Rather than copying exactly, use images as thought starters for putting your own creative spin on décor elements based on your needs.

Pay attention to:

  • Color schemes – Note hues and color combinations that elicit your desired mood.
  • Focal points – Identify striking lighting displays, art installations, seating arrangements, etc. worth emulating.
  • Texture combinations – Discover mixed media décor that layers fabrics, metals, plants and other materials for visual interest.
  • Layout concepts – Find smart ways to delineate event areas and lead attendees through the space.

Compile your favorite inspiration images to reference later when evaluating and purchasing supplies.

Conduct a Venue Walkthrough

Thoroughly assessing the venue’s existing aesthetics is crucial for pairing complementary, impactful décor.

During your walkthrough, note:

  • Wall colors – Record the exact hues to match or contrast.
  • Lighting – Check existing bulb temperature (warm, cool, natural) and brightness. Test any installed lighting effects.
  • Flooring – Hardwood, concrete, carpet and other floors call for different décor.
  • Architectural details – Determine how to highlight stately columns, exposed beams, fireplaces, etc.
  • Furniture – Catalogue available tables, chairs, etc. Decide what to utilize vs. rent.
  • Windows and views – Consider how to frame, filter or conceal landscape views.
  • Restrictions – Document any décor limitations from venue policies, preservation requirements, etc.

With all this information, you can shape an integrated concept maximizing the venue itself as a décor element.

Define Your Budget Parameters

Before shopping, clearly define your décor budget based on event scope, headcount and goals. Rental costs quickly compound when ordering multiples of items, so set realistic limitations upfront.

Assess proposed décor items against your budget by estimating:

  • Rental fees – Check rental company website price lists to ballpark totals.
  • Purchase costs – Decide whether to buy outright, resell afterward or rent instead.
  • Labor fees – Account for installation/dismantling costs in your rental orders.
  • Delivery fees – Factor in charges for transporting heavy/oversized pieces.
  • Taxes – Apply your local sales tax rate to all anticipated expenses.

Adjust plans as needed until your estimated décor spend aligns with budget availability. Only then finalize rental orders, purchases, etc.

Style the Event Areas

Think through styling needs for each zone guests will experience, like:

Entryway. Welcome guests by extending your event theme from the curb through the entry vestibule. Decorate façades and doorways using lighting effects, branded signage, props matching the theme, etc.

Registration Space. Whether a dedicated check-in desk or more informal setup, decorate to reinforce first impressions. Keep lighting bright and colors/content upbeat.

Main Event Room. This central hub for mingling and activities deserves maximum styling effort. Dramatically amplify your event theme through on-brand colors, multimedia effects, improved lighting, signature furniture rentals, etc. Use contrasting textures and layered accents to add visual complexity.

Dining Areas. Use décor to define separate spaces for each course of the meal for plated dining. For buffets, style food stations individually while using uniform linens, signage styles and florals to visually link. Use lighting to draw attention to the food presentation.

Stage or Screen Backdrops. Position attention-getting, branded decoration as a focal point behind speakers, entertainment stages or projection screens. Showcase your theme while also improving visibility and acoustics.

Lounge Spaces. Designate cozy seating areas where guests can relax with décor that evokes nightlife, hotel lobbies or home entertaining. Use layered lighting, cocktail tables, high-style rental furniture, music and engaging artwork.

Bathrooms. Even utilitarian spaces deserve stylish touches to uphold your event aesthetic. Adorn mirrors, counters and stalls using blooms, modern porcelain accessories, artwork and soft lighting. Appoint attendants to monitor stock and tidiness.

With deliberate, thoughtful styling of each space, you guide guests through an immersive branded experience.

Order Rentals Strategically

Great décor starts with the right event rental selections. When placing orders:

  • Reserve early – Especially for popular month, secure needed items immediately. Ask about preorder discounts.
  • Group abundant elements – Order multiples of frequently used rentals like chairs, centerpieces and chargers together.
  • Use package deals – Combination rental packages offer volume discounts while simplifying planning.
  • Rent selectively – Buy cheaper items like specialty linens, sign stands and votives. Only rent high-ticket goods.
  • Request swatch samples – To match colors, order free fabric swatches and lighting gels when available.
  • Clarify delivery terms – Specify drop-off/pickup dates, locations and times as well as labor fees.
  • Share vision boards – Provide rental companies your inspiration images and vision so they understand the end goal.

Allow lots of lead time for modifying orders to fix issues or fill décor gaps. Create schedules confirming all rental deliveries, installation, return pickup, etc.

Prep Décor in Phases

To ease workload, adopt a phased approach to preparing décor elements:

Phase 1: Purchase Base Supplies

Buy affordable supporting materials available at craft/party stores:

  • Tablecloths
  • Napkins
  • Votive holders
  • Vases
  • Sign stands
  • Decorative props

Stock up early so you have ample time for DIY projects and creating supplemental items as needed.

Phase 2: Receive Rentals, Prep Early

When rentals get delivered,unpack immediately to inspect condition and completeness. Catalogue any damage for the rental company.

Also prepare elements you can style ahead of time:

  • Linens: Steam wrinkles, press seams, etc.
  • Centerpieces: Construct arrangements in advance using your containers and fresh blooms. Store in refrigeration overnight.
  • Lighting/Multimedia: Test rented equipment and create any digital content for screens/projectors.
  • Furniture: Wipe down rental chairs and shelving if dusty. Stager in holding area.

Phase 3: Install Day-Of Event Décor

With base elements ready, focus final energy on installing lighting effects, dressing tables, positioning branding, arranging florals, and completing detail styling onsite.

Follow detailed timelines ensuring adequate labor and getting every area show ready before event start.

Style On Trend

Stay keenly aware of shifting color stories, material trends and event styling innovations sweeping the industry each year. Pantone’s annual Color of the Year dictates many design choices. Some current hot trends include:

Vintage Eclecticism
Blend modern and antique finds for character-filled style influenced by world travel and family heirlooms.

Maximalism
Pile on gorgeous layers of décor, mixing luxurious textures like velvet, marble and metallics accented by fresh greenery and blooms.

Nature-Inspired Style
Bring the outdoors inside with natural linen textures, woven accents, living walls, hanging botanicals, woodsy branches and ample greens.

Luxe Details Elevate tables with gold flatware, crystal glassware, ornate chargers and menu cards calligraphed by hand.

While trends come and go, timeless good taste always applies. Adapt trendy accents modestly while letting your event vision shine through.

Save and Reuse Decor

Reduce future costs by storing event décor for reuse at repeat annual events or related functions:

Rentals: Negotiate discounts for re-renting items. Clarify upfront which pieces they’ll hold. Have rentals cleaned before returning.

Purchases: See if the venue wants sold décor items as donations after your event concludes. Or determine where to warehouse offsite, like:

  • Storage unit
  • Office space
  • Basement/attic

Stash small items like votives, frames and props. For cumbersome goods, decide whether worthwhile to store.

DIY Projects: Disassemble handmade elements worth keeping like flower arrangements, wreaths, signs and table runners. Store craft supplies for future events.

With planning and preparation, stunning venue décor can create scene-setting, immersive environments making events truly special. Define your vision, shape plans around event goals and needs, creatively infuse personal flair, and WOW!

Key Takeaways

  • Set clear decorative goals based on your event purpose, audience and budget parameters.
  • Thoroughly assess venue limitations and opportunities during space walkthroughs.
  • Strategically style separate zones attendees will experience, not just the main room.
  • Order event rentals early, buy affordable supplies for DIY projects, and prep décor elements in phases.
  • Infuse your unique creative vision while staying on-trend with the hottest industry looks each year.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What are cost-saving tips for decorating large venues?
    Rent only pieces seen up-close like head tables and entryway furnishings. Use cheaper purchased items for perimeter zones, table dressing and supplemental accents. Buy in bulk amounts at craft stores and watch for sales.

  2. How extensively should venues be decorated?
    Avoid overwhelming venues with endless décor. Let architectural details shine through. Style key focal points well, like food stations, bars and stages. Enhance perimeter zones more minimally unless guest proximity warrants.

  3. How do you decorate venues on a budget?
    Prioritize spending on elements visible in guest photos and selfies like backdrops, entryways and head tables. Save on outlying areas using string lighting, inexpensive drapes, DIY florals and repurposed decor owned.

  4. What are quick ways to decorate rented venues?
    Multiply impact using décor on casters to swiftly move pieces room to room as needed day-of event. Target high visual impact zones guests interact with most. Boost ambiance quickly using string lighting overhead and candles on every table.

  5. What supplies are essential for versatile party venue décor?
    Stock up on inexpensive acrylic votives, glass cylinder vases, sign holders, multi-packs of artificial floral stems and greeting card style photo frames. With these basic supplies, craft quick DIY accents customizable per theme.

  6. How do you decorate a venue with no theme?
    Without a theme, create versatile ambiance using groupings of coordinating centerpieces with varying height, shape and designs tied together through color scheme. Use consistent style signage, linens and dishware. Rely on up lighting and string lighting overhead to cast a cohesive glow.

  7. How do you decorate a large banquet hall?
    Define separate functional zones like welcome area, dining space, dancefloor, photo booth, bar and lounge using floors decals or area rugs. Use signage styles and printed gobos/custom up lighting in coordinating colors to label different zones. Ensure ample seating groupings exist in open areas for mingling when not dancing.

  8. How can I decorate affordably for a winter wedding?
    Rent twinkling string lights rather than floral centerpieces so arrangements stay minimal. Purchase inexpensive glass vases and cylinder holders to fill withremnants from summer weddings when blooms are cheaper. Accent tables using abundance of inexpensive battery powered candles and floating candles to warm up reception lighting. Rent mix of table linens rather than all new.

  9. How do you decorate a venue ceiling beautifully?
    Swathe ceiling visible beams, pipes and overhangs using draped fabric for softness and height. Hang wooden hoops or faux floral rings painted to complement color scheme. Fill hoops and rings with blooms matching centerpieces below. Or install string lights overhead and attach crystal prisms, faux vines or flowers stems to create a canopy effect as lighting casts decorative shadows.

  10. How do I make cheap folding chairs look nice?
    Disguise folding chairs using fitted stretch covers in your color scheme ordered to custom sizes. Or tie organza, tulle, sequin fabric scraps or woven ribbon around crossbars across chair backs in lush bows. For solid seat dining chairs, secure decorative fabric covers in complementary hues using elastic cord fit under chair.
    Conclusion
    Decorating event spaces requires balancing beautiful aesthetics with practical needs and budget realities. By defining your decor goals upfront, thoroughly scouting venue opportunities and limitations in person, strategically styling separate event zones as immersive experiences, and creatively infusing personal flair, you can achieve magazine-worthy looks without breaking the bank.
    Careful planning, phase preparation from early rentals to day-of installation, volume discounts and reuse of cherished items helps make décor dreams affordable long-term even on limited budgets. Study trends but decorate spaces in your unique way.
    With a thoughtful vision and some elbow grease executing décor projects and setup, almost any venue can provide stunning backdrops sure to wow guests while supporting great memories being made.

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