5 Wedding Venue Styling Tips for Big, Bland Spaces

4 min read

5 Wedding Venue Styling Tips for Big, Bland Spaces

If the thought of wedding venue styling excites you, wait until you end up with one that needs a lot of work. Venue rental takes up a big chunk of the wedding budget. Aside from the budget, availability can also be a road block in selecting your venue. Some couples end up with a big industrial space, school gym, or a massive community hall.

While there’s nothing wrong with that, styling a big, all-purpose place for a wedding can be tricky. These spaces are designed for utilitarian purposes, and therefore look bland.

These ideas will hopefully inspire you to decorate your big venue.


Event planners usually resort to draping to transform a lackluster venue into a cozy and inviting space. Draping cost depends on what material you use and how much space you want to cover. Some planners go as far as draping the ceiling for a soft, tent-like effect. Draping also gives you the freedom to dress up the room according to your motif or theme. 


 venue styling

Photo via Majestic Weddings

Would you believe that this entry way fit for royalty was just a plain walkway before the addition of drapes and foliage?

 venue styling

 Photo via Wedding Connections + Events

Choose flame-resistant draping, especially if you want to put up a draped backdrop in the buffet or food preparation area. The regal gossamer fabric is a popular choice among stylists because it is usually fireproof.

If it is too costly to drape the whole area, you can strategically choose parts of the room to drape and use other ideas to conceal or dress up awkward areas of the room. Tobacco canvass can also save you money. Use it against ambient lighting to create a whole new atmosphere.


Bistros and restaurants rely on lighting to achieve a certain romance. But when they turn on the “normal lights” when they close for cleaning, you’ll see that it resembles any other restaurant. That’s the power of strategic lighting. Wedding venue styling involves a lot of lighting work, especially if the celebration is in the evening.

Lighting can be costly so if you’re setting aside budget for it, make sure you hire lighting technicians who know what they’re doing. Brush up on some lighting techniques too, so you know what kind of lighting goes with your theme or mood.

 venue styling

Photo via Woman Getting Married

venue styling

Photo via Bride Box

Uplighting is simply lighting from underneath that’s directed upward. Use uplighting on walls to set the room’s mood.


 venue styling

Photo via Bridal Musings

Pin-spot lighting, an advancedlight design that focuses tinylight beams on a surface in order to perfectly illuminate the center of an arrangement, draws the eyes to a focal point such as a table centerpiece. You can downsize your budget for table décor and allocate the budget instead on pin-spot lighting. This kind of lighting adds glamour to the simplest of centerpieces.

 venue styling

Photo via Snippet and Ink

String lights are your friend if you intend to do the lighting yourself. Hang them across the room or against the wall. A wall adorned with string lights makes for a perfect photo background.


Tall centerpieces will make high-ceiling spaces seem more intimate because they break the empty vertical space. This idea will work if you’re holding the wedding ceremony in a school gym or high-ceiling community hall.

 venue styling

Photo via Hi Miss Puff

If you can spare a little more of your budget for the centerpieces, combine it with lighting effects to draw attention. Your guests won’t even notice they’re in the gym.

 wedding venue styling

Photo by A Day of Bliss Photography via Mod Wedding

Just make sure your tall centerpieces don’t obstruct conversation during the wedding.

Use Plants

If you want to block off unnecessary space, look beyond your usual dividers and opt for trees or potted plants instead. Use them around the area or entrance/exit points of the venue to eliminate the coldness of a dull venue.

 wedding venue styling

Photo by Onelove Photography via Style Me Pretty

You don’t even have to buy these plants. Borrow from relatives, friends, or your stylist. They don’t have to be all the same too. Variety will mimic a more natural setting.

 wedding venue styling

Photo via Evergreen Direct


Maximize Space

 wedding venue styling

Photo via Style Me Pretty

Find ways of utilizing empty spaces instead of covering them up. You can create a spacious lounge where guests can chitchat and drink their cocktails if they don’t want to sit on the dinner table anymore. Rent a bench or couch and a coffee table and bring the patio or living room to your wedding reception.

wedding venue styling

Photo via Offbeat Bride

Will your guests bring their little ones to your big day? Arrange for a kid’s section with candies, chocolates, board games, and other little knick-knacks that will keep them entertained while the adults party away.


Don’t be intimidated

You may use one, two or all of these ideas at the same time. The ideas are endless, just as endless as the space seems. But don’t be intimidated.

The success of wedding venue styling lies not only in your creative prowess but also in the ability to pinpoint what you want. Sticking to a theme or mood helps. Make sure this is identified at the beginning of your wedding planning process. If you don’t want any hint of foliage in your venue, don’t use trees or potted plants and stick to strategic draping instead. You should also remember to set aside a little more of your styling budget to lighting if you’re hosting your wedding party at night.

Enjoy the process and don’t let anything stop you from having a beautiful wedding!