How to do draping and lighting for weddings and receptions

Written by rose sartaguda
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How to do draping and lighting for weddings and receptions
Draping transforms the look of the venue. (elegant restaurant image by Ragne Kabanova from Fotolia.com)

Creative draping and lighting can transform even a simple, drab space into a beautiful, elegant and romantic wedding venue. The right style of draping and lighting can emphasise and complement your wedding theme, as well as hide the unsightly ceilings or walls of your event location. Whether you're having your reception in an empty gym, an old, unappealing restaurant, or a dingy community multipurpose hall, the right touch can give you the wedding venue of your dreams.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Drawing pins
  • Tape

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Instructions

    Draping for the ceremony

  1. 1

    Measure the length of the aisle of your ceremony venue and purchase a length of tulle or organza that is at least twice the length of the aisle.

  2. 2

    Drape the fabric along both sides of the aisle by gathering and attaching the cloth to the end of every other or every third pew or chair, starting at the front row. Alternatively, if you're using potted flowers to line the aisles, attach the draping to the flower stands.

  3. 3

    Cut the fabric into several strips of equal lengths. Drape them loosely on every other or every third pew or chair by the aisles. You can also tie them to flower stands that line the aisles and either just let them hang loosely or knot them into huge bows.

  4. 4

    Drape sheer, white fabric on a trellis or pergola to identify it as your altar backdrop, if you're having the ceremony in a garden or outdoor setting.

    Draping for the reception

  1. 1

    Measure the area of the reception hall and cut 8 to 10 strips of sheer or satin fabric to 2/3 the width of the hall.

  2. 2

    Gather the ends of the strips of cloth and secure them to the centre of the ceiling with either drawing pins or tape.

  3. 3

    Run the dangling ends separately to where the ceiling meets the walls. This should create a canopy in the hall's ceiling. Make sure each strip of cloth is long enough to cover the space as well as have a good drape.

  4. 4

    Measure the height of the walls from floor to ceiling.

  5. 5

    Cut strips of sheer or satin cloth according to the measured height.

  6. 6

    Hang the strips of fabric on two opposite walls or on all four walls. Let them hang straight from floor to ceiling, or gather the middle part of each strip and tie it with a ribbon.

  7. 7

    Cover the entire ceiling or walls if they are unsightly, or put a good distance between each strip of cloth to create visual interest.

    Lighting

  1. 1

    Use a single, huge chandelier at the centre of the venue hall, where the draping meets, to create an elegant, dramatic effect.

    How to do draping and lighting for weddings and receptions
    Lighting helps create the mood of the event. (Candeeiro image by CarlosNeto from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Hang several paper or Moroccan lanterns along the gaps between the cloth for a romantic touch. Alternatively, use string lights interwoven with the draping to achieve a soft mood.

  3. 3

    Enlist the help of event lighting professionals if you want to achieve the dramatic, magical effect of intelligent lights projected on the ceiling and walls of your venue. Intelligent lights can project numerous designs such as autumn leaves, stars, flowers or other geometrical patterns in varying colours and brightness.

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