Where to start with styling your wedding venue

Written by Rea Shaw


Posted on March 02 2022

Styling your wedding venue is the super fun part of wedding planning, it's the part that you are either itching to get going with and you can't control your excitement or you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of it all and don't even know where to start. Whichever one you feel like, styling cannot really begin until you have a clear direction to head in and a plan in place to keep you on track. In order to choose elements to help you decorate, there are some key ingredients you will need, to start pulling it all together.

Firstly, you need to know the style of wedding you want, the colours you intend to work with and the overall vibe you want to achieve. These key ingredients will not only help you save a bunch of money, save you a ton of time and eliminate common stressers, they will also allow you to enjoy planning to it's fullest making sure you have more fun planning your big day together. Which is what it is all about!

If you don't spend some time working on these key ingredients, then every decision you face will be difficult to make, because you won't know what you need to make it all possible.

So often, couples skip making a plan altogether, and they are just making it up as they go along. It's so easy to fall into the trap of thinking you'll use your excitement to start you off. This may work for a few weeks, and you'll think you are getting on really well, but this is the reason why so many brides start to feel overwhelmed with it all. No plan equals feeling confused, overwhelmed and stressed.

 Lucky for you, I have a step by guide on what you need to do to make sure you can style your day with ease.

Step 1: Make your vision clear

It simply starts with a chat with your partner to make sure you are on the same page. Put all your ideas on the table and see what each others expectations are. This gives you something to start working with. No project starts without a brainstorming session, and planning a wedding is no different.
You would be surprised how many couples skip writing their vision down, and dive straight into it. But making it up as you go will only stress you out down the line, you'll waste money on things you don't need and waste your precious time too.
To help you create your own wedding vision, I have a fantastic exercise for you to do to help you figure out your style, colours and vibe with this free guide you can download here. My advice is to spend some time working through it together so that it will reveal lots of useful information you can then use.

Step 2: Decide on your budget

With wedding planning it's so important to decide what your budget is. I would make it clear what your wedding budget is for styling the wedding too. This includes everything from props you need to hire, to things you need to buy. Including tables, the welcome area, your guest book table and stationery items. Knowing what you have to spend will help guide your choices, making sure you spend it on the things you really need and that are super important to you to help you tell your love story.

Step 3: Create a Visual Guide

Spending some time creating a visual guide such as a mood board will help you visulise everything together. It's a place where you can collect your favourite images from magazines or Pinterest. You can start putting colours together, and think about what materials and textures will work well together. This will make choosing decorations much easier. It's so common for brides to struggle with how everything is going to look once it is all together. So don't under estimate how powerful a mood board can help you. Most wedding suppliers including myself use mood boards to commincate with couples and others in the industry, and there is a very good reason for this!

Step 4: Consider your choice of venue

It's important at this stage to take your venue into consideration. If you have already chosen a place, it's essential to go back to your vision and mood board and check that both go together. Does the style of venue fit with your overall vision? And if you haven't chosen a venue yet, make sure to pick something that compliments your overall vision. For example, it wouldn't work well if you chose a luxury venue that offers fancy table ware and linens, when you are after rustic decor and a laid back vibe.

Step 5: Search for suppliers

Once you have an overall sense of what you're looking for its now time to start looking for your dream team to make the styling happen. Some items you will be buying and others you may need to hire props. Before you commit to things you find, it's really important to check you can get everything you will need to achieve the overall look. If you find you can't get hold of everything, it may be disappointing but at least you haven't wasted any money on items you can't use anymore because you have had to change something.

Step 6: Choose your Areas

Whilst it would be nice to decorate the whole of your venue from top to toe, most times this is just not feasible or affordable, so choosing areas to highlight is the key. Deciding on which areas of your wedding you are going to style will help you decide more easily on your decorations, as you'll know what your choosing things for. Having priority areas which will make the most impact is a good idea instead of thinking you have to dress every inch of the room. Areas where your guests will spend most of their time such as the welcome area, guest tables, guest book area, and dessert table are among a few favourites. 

Here are some other ideas here >>

Step 7: Don't forget the details

It's so easy to forget to measure all your areas in the venue when you go to visit. The worst case scenerio is choosing your decor then it is far too small and just looks lost in a large empty space or it is far to big and your cramming it in because it cost you an arm and a leg. Don't forget to measure tables and chairs and the overall size of the room you are working with. If you need more help keeping track of the venues details, this diy guide is an essential part of your styling toolkit.

Step 8: Create some mock ups

Once you have chosen decorations to style with, it's a good idea to create a mock up before the day, so you can see how it all looks to check your happy. If you don't have the items at hand you could always draw yourself a picture of how you want things laid out. This is especially important if someone else is setting up for you on the day.

Step 9: Know your time frame

This is a really important step to consider. It is often one of those things that never even gets thought about. But considering how long will the decoration of the venue take to do is the key to everything working? Say you have a supplier coming, where what they are setting up takes a while to create. You may need to do a bit more forward planning to make sure they have the time they need to get it finished in time. If you have lots of elements to style on the tables this can also take lots of your time up, because you don't want everything to look rushed. This is why creating mock ups before set up day is so important, as you won't have time to decide when your actually in the middle of doing it all.

Step 10: Help with set up

Thinking you can decorate your wedding venue yourself the day before or the  morning of the wedding is a receipe for disaster. The idea may seem appealing and totally doable at first but trust me when I say, as I am speaking from experince, it takes a team of people to bring it all to life. Things always take much longer than you think, even with an amazing plan in place. So make sure to organise some help in advance whether that is family and friends or better still a wedding stylist who does it for a living.

Enjoyed these tips? What now?

I hope these top tips have really encouraged you to think about styling your wedding venue with a plan of action, instead of making it up as you go. 

If you would like some more help with styling your wedding venue then I would be more than happy to help you. You can either work with me 1-1 so together we can bring your ideas to life, or you can check out The Wedding Vision which is designed for diy couples like you.







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