Transforming Spaces for your dream wedding venue


How to transform a venue for your dream wedding



On first sight, the run-down local rugby club set in the middle of a concrete car park looks less than desirable for the big wedding day you’ve been dreaming about. Unfortunately, the hefty price tags of the beautiful barn conversions and magnificent manor houses you’ve been viewing have abruptly burst that bubble, and now that concrete building with its £75 price for venue hire, flexibility of self-catering and the £2 gin and tonics is suddenly looking a lot more appealing.

Well, have no fear, there is still light at the end of the tunnel, and your vision of a Pinterest-worthy wedding venue is still possible. In fact, it’s a lot more possible than you think!

Over the years, Wow Event Hire have helped countless couples deck out the local rugby club, sports hall, and cow-sheds on family farms (yes, really!) for their big day. Yes, the cost of these venues is considerably lower than most wedding venue hot-spots which will be their main attraction, but there are lots of other appealing factors too.

Often, the venue will allow you to bring in your own catering and possibly even some of your own booze as well. They also tend to have pretty cheap bar prices themselves, which will help you keep your budget in check, give you the freedom to have your preferred catering vendors and, most importantly, keep your guests happy on the day of the wedding with a good supply of food and booze.

Rachael Puric, Owner of Mini Peas, says: "Wedding and party planning doesn't need to be expensive or stressful. There are simple things you can do to ensure you stay on or under budget. One way is to provide your own finger foods, such as fruit platters, cheese and crackers or veggies and dip that are filling and cheap."


So, the booze and food is ticked off the list. Now, how the heck do you make a big empty hall covered with sports memorabilia and basketball hoops hanging off the wall look like and warm and inviting space? This is essential when you’re soon to be hosting your nearest and dearest on one of the most important days of your life.

Fortunately, the money-saving points mentioned earlier in this article comes in very handy here. Now is the time to spend that big chunk you’ve saved on the venue hire and splash it on wedding décor. This will literally transform your venue into your very own bespoke space and get your wedding venue picture perfect.

Draping a wedding venue

Wedding venue draping

This is a big one! Draping is where you will see the biggest transformation with your wedding venue, and it will be the starting point that you build the vision of your wedding from. You are essentially creating a ‘blank page’ by white washing the walls to create a marquee effect, and this will cover up any dated wallpaper, 1970s printed curtains or walls covered in sporting imagery! This will also take up the biggest chunk of your budget, but it is well worth it. Get this bit right and the rest will just be finishing touches.

The majority of cost for draping is the labour and equipment required for the install and removal, rather than the actual draping itself. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as ‘hanging some fabric on the walls’ (if only!).

As most venues do not allow us to come in and nail hooks all around their walls, a freestanding frame structure is required for the drapes to be hung from. Welcome to the term ‘Pipe and Drape’.

When installing drape in a venue, the cost varies from space to space. When contacting companies for quotes, you will find that they will more than likely request dimensions and photos of the space you are looking to drape, as this will allow for a rough estimate to be provided. If the initial estimate sounds within budget and you are happy to proceed further, a site visit will be essential to carry out full measurements, check access and discuss your ideas in more detail before providing a full quote.

There are many contributing factors that will be taken into account when quoting for draping your venue. The main ones being below:

Dimensions and floor plan - In one respect this is straightforward; the bigger the space the more equipment needed. This is alongside a longer install/removal time and more members of staff being required, resulting in a higher price. However, this isn’t always the case! The pipe and drapes frame is telescopic, so one section can be extended to cover a space of up to 3m. So, if the space is a simple square with nice straight wall runs, the pipe and drape frame sections can be used to the maximum length therefore using less overall.

This is when it gets complicated, though. If there are alcoves, doorways, bar area, or booth seating attached to walls, then the frame needs to be adjusted to fit that bespoke space i.e. more frame sections needed. All of this equals time, which in turn equals money and will add to the overall cost.

Access to room – This is important! As you are now beginning to see, draping is a time-consuming installation, so access to the venue 2 hours before your guests arrive just isn’t feasible! As a rule, we require access to the venue a full day before the wedding and the same the day after for the removal (everything that goes up must come down!). When working in the wedding industry, time is the most valuable tool we have if there are any issues during installation. By doing an installation on the morning of the wedding, time is severely limited and we simply do not want to take the risk as you get married once and we only have one chance to get this perfect for you on your day.

Level of design – Straight wall runs of white marquee style drapes offer an elegant and simple white walled effect. However, you may decide that you want to incorporate fairy lighting behind the dance floor. Alternatively, you may fancy having an intricate feature wall behind your top table or a flower wall backdrop for photos. The lists of design options are endless and will all contribute to the final cost.

Wedding venue decorated by Wow Event Hire

Wedding venue lighting

If you want to create a great atmosphere for your wedding, lighting is key! If a room is lacking from natural light, adding a white light will brighten up the space, while switching this up to bright colours for the evening party will give you another transformation from day to night.

Furniture and all the extras!

Now you’ve got the draping and lighting sorted for your wedding, we can build upon this to get you the individual style you’re looking for. Furniture is a great way to achieve this.

Another bonus with having a low-key venue is that you’ll have the freedom to ditch their chairs and hire in exactly what you want, whether this is vintage lime-wash Chiavari chairs or modern ice Cheltenham chairs. You might even want to replace it all with informal chill out furniture!

The options are endless but the point we’re making here is; don’t let the exterior put you off, as it’s what’s on the inside that counts. With companies like Wow Event Hire, we can help make the inside look just like that Pinterest board you’ve been adding to all year!