Most couples want to put some kind of unique spin on their wedding venue decor. For one couple that might mean asking a florist to make up some centrepieces, for others it’s a DIY extravaganza, with everything from personalised name cards to a self-built photo booth. But regardless of whether you’re going for minimum effort or maximum impact, you probably have at least a few questions about how to set-up your wedding.
1. Talk to Your Venue
Before you start worrying about what time to drop off your bunting, and who will place the cake topper on the cake, have a chat with your venue. Some venue co-ordinators and their teams will look after everything, while others are less hands-on; most are somewhere in-between. Tell your venue about what you have in mind, and go into detail, however basic or bananas you think your ideas might be.
Questions to ask your venue about the decor and venue-set-up:
- When will we have access to the room?
- What time will the tables be set-up and ready to decorate?
- When can we drop our decor items off, and who will be there to take them?
- Will anyone be helping with set-up, and if so, when and how can we instruct them in what we want?
- Are we allowed to hang decorations or lights on the walls or ceiling?
- Will you deal directly with suppliers like florists, bakers or rental companies?
- Do we need to hire professionals for certain tasks (eg: hanging lights or ceiling decor)?
- Are there rules about the take-down and how long you can store our items?
- Have you events in our room the day before or after our wedding?
2. Call in the Professionals
You might not think you need to hire a wedding planner simply to hang a few decorations on the day and dress the tables, but there are lots of professionals who specialise in just that.
Wedding stylists, day-of planners and florists can all work on venue set-up and decoration on the day of your wedding. Not only is this service often more affordable than you might think, but the execution will be fast and flawless, you’ll have use of the professionals props and set-up tools, and most importantly, you’ll have zero stress about the venue set-up on the morning of your wedding. Professionals tend to liaise directly with the venue too, so you don’t have to do a thing.
3. Do a Mock-Up of Your Tables and Take Photos
Whether you’re planning to do the venue set-up yourself, or you’re handing it over to someone else, try to do a dry run beforehand to see how it’s all going to look. This won’t be as easy to do without rental props or fresh flowers, but if you have most of the elements together, do your best to set-up a sample table and take photos of how it should look, with shots of the centrepieces or runner and the individual place settings.
4. Choose the Right Helpers (and Leave Clear Instructions)
Whether it’s your venue or a friend who is helping with the wedding set-up, leave a step-by-step of what’s to go where, and as we mentioned, providing photos is definitely advisable!
If you’re calling in the troops to help, or handing over the venue set-up entirely to a friend or family member, it’s pretty important to choose the right person.
5. Leave More Time Than You Think
We cannot stress this enough: however long you might think it will take to set-up your venue and style your wedding, double it, triple it, heck, maybe even quadruple it if you’re planning to do it yourself!
Finicky things like hanging festoon lights, blowing up balloons, or tying lots of bows, in particular, can end up taking forever.