Decorating your wedding venue; Handmade Arts and Crafts Part 1

Jen Mulberry
Wedding Photographer
Oct 5th, 2018

We all know that weddings can be very expensive so getting creative is a great way to cut some of those costs. You don't have to be an arts and craft expert too get that perfect venue look. some things are available online to purchase but many things are easily made so I will cover a few options. Weather you are looking for the classic look, The ever tasteful Shabby Chic look or the timeless off the cuff look. There are so many ideas to made for everyone. Over the next few months I aim to cover but a few. lets start with the hanging style decorations. The best thing about getting creative is that the exact look that you want in your mind will be exactly how the end result look as well as saving money in the long run. Always check with the venue if there are any restrictions when it comes to the type of décor you can use or alterations you can make to the space. For example, a museum or historic wedding venues probably won't be okay with altering or damaging their walls in any way (think: using nails to hang signs etc). Maybe minimalism is your style and you don't like the idea of a lots of décor, but you still want to personalize your wedding venue. Here are a few wedding decorations that are totally low maintenance, but beautiful and impactful. 

Lighting fairy lights are timeless, they create a warm cosy look to any wedding reception and add to the ambiance. These can be wrapped around beams, led on tables as table décor and lighting to create a warm cosy feel, gathered in glass fish type bowls, hung around doorways, used against a white/black backdrop as vertical drops. The ideas are endless. Fairy lights can come as a plugged inversion or battery operated (Make sure that you have the correct type of fairy lights especially if they are to go outdoors for safety).

Bunting Bunting is a shabby chic style that is timeless as well, however much more themed. This can be placed indoors and outdoors just like the fairy lights. There are many versions and styles, White, coloured, paper, material and so forth, The great thing about material is that you are able to keep them afterwards and use them at home. Now these you can buy or make yourself if you want double sided durable material bunting you will need access to a sewing machine. You will need material, (cotton and a sewing machine if you are making double sided material bunting) hand made template out of cardboard and to measure the amount of meterage for the bias binding tape, you can also use string.

How to make bunting

  1. Draw a triangle on some thick cardboard and cut it out to use as your bunting template.
  2. Pin the template to your chosen fabric and cut around it using pinking shears to avoid fraying.
  3. Evenly space the flags along the bias binding tape, folding the shortest edge over, and pin in place securely ready to sew by hand or machine.

Drapes Drapes can be used for the ceilings or walls. These can totally transform any venue especially venues with high ceilings, you can make them yourself or hire them.

To make a backdrop drape you will need the

1. material you choose and enough length of course

2. 1.25" pvc pipe cut into 4x6ft and 4x1.5ft pieces

3. 2x1.5" elbow connectors

4. 4x1.25" T connectors

5. two 3" pieces of left over pipe from your local hardware store to go into the T pipe

5. 4 end caps for the pipes for finished look

Click here for an easy demonstration instruction tutorial on how to build it.

other styles of drapes would be to hang them from the ceiling by using light weight material such as gauze or voile and pop them into the ceiling squares to secure them and then tie them back to the walls to drape down. you will be amazed what a little bit of fabric can do. Keep it formal and elegant with white fabric, or if you're after a themed wedding reception , opt for a bright colour to tie in with your Bridesmaids or colour scheme. Bonus: Take this approach and you can go light on the table décor and still get the same decked-out reception look. Click here for buying options and more images.

Hanging lanterns Hanging lanterns come in all shapes and sizes and can be very inexpensive indeed. You can have the massive ball type or make your own, click here for a tutorial on making your own.

you will need for the Newspaper Lanterns; Newspapers or coloured paper, glue or glue gun, piece stick or a kebab wood, a balloon, spray paint if using newspaper, beading on a string if you want to use that as décor, hanging braid, battery operated fairy lights and a sharp cutting knife. Remember you can make these as large as you wish to make a statement or small as you wish to add delicacy.

here are a few links to try newspaper lanterns , Round paper ball lantern ( please remember to use much bigger card sizes if you want huge lantern balls) to hang from your ceiling. alternatively try this yarn lantern all you need is ; yarn, glue, please remember instead of a light bulb hangar you can use battery operated fairy lights so you are able to hang anywhere in your venue (attach the fairy lights inside the lantern with coated wire or clear cable ties) and a big old bouncy ball.

Alternatively if you don't have the patience to make them you can just purchase some nice options quite inexpensively them here.

There are many more ideas here on this Wedding magazine site that I have found for you to have a look at along with images for you to see how they can look.

Table hanging decorations also works well, just go outdoors and find a nice twiggy branch, bring it home and paint it, make some little hanging hearts or shapes of your choice with a hole in the top tie a small string or ribbon through it and leave in a little box next to the tree so people can use it to leave a heart warming message for the new happy couple as you can see below, a lovely keep sake.

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