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The picture is of the ceremony room at The Sharnbrook Hotel near Bedford with its red and gold chairs and red carpet

Top Tips for Decorating Your Wedding Ceremony Venue

How to decorate your wedding ceremony space will be one of the first questions you ask yourself once you've chosen your wedding venue. But what are the do's and don'ts of wedding ceremony venue décor? Read on to find out.

Top Questions to ask your venue

Firstly, are there any restrictions on what you can do in the venue? Are you allowed naked flames? Where do tables and chairs usually go, and if you don't like the usual spot can they go a different way? Where do you meet the registrar or do the signing of the register? Do the registrars/officiants usually place any restrictions on any decorations?
All of these questions will help you to make all your decisions without needing to worry that you've missed something you're not allowed to do. Many venues will include stipulations in their terms and conditions that go through all this but it's always a good idea to ask for clarification so that you can make any amendments or so that they can update their T's and C's in case the rules have actually changed. The last thing you want is to plan lots of lovely décor only for the venue to turn around on the day and tell you, you can't use it (NB this has happened so make sure you check!).

Using real flame candles

Lining your ceremony room with real naked flame candles is often a big no-no with venues, however if they're placed in hurricane vases or floating in water (or your ceremony is outside) you may be allowed, however a couple of fairly obvious points need to be made: never dangle flammable objects directly above a naked flame or too close to them, where once the candle has burned down, they might burst into flame too! - NB this may include your guests coats, etc so bear your placement in mind. Better still, see if your venue will provide a coat rack for winter or colder wedding days.

If you're not sure whether real candles will potentially cause a problem, you can always opt instead for electric candles. There are some super realistic and wax coated ones available now, including floating candles, so you can always get the look without the hazard.

Attach décor securely

It's the best idea to ensure any hanging objects on pew ends or chairs especially at the main end of the aisle, are done so securely, even if you're moving items to another part of the venue for your reception. Guests notoriously do not look at where their feet are going or what they're brushing against, if something isn't securely attached it Will get knocked off. There are types of knots/bows that can be undone easily, but if you can't tie something on, try pinning it.

You might want to attach floral arches at the entrance to your venue or have a self-supporting display behind where you'll say your vows, either way, ensuring they are stable and well attached will avoid them falling over or off. If you're planning on using your self-supporting display elsewhere, it's best to check that you can easily get from point A to point B without too much trouble, so check doorways and distance, and allow enough time in the schedule to do the move.
With anything you've attached in your ceremony room, if you plan to move it, make sure your venue are aware of this plan and again allow plenty of time to re-install it equally securely in the new location.

What will you DIY and what should you hire?

Your ceremony is by far the shortest actual part of your wedding day, but (probably) the most important. Whether you DIY every element of your décor or hire someone in to do bits for you, you'll still need to be aware of the above and consider sharing what you know with your supplier/s or helpers. I've hinted at a couple of elements that you might DIY, but it can be tricky to decide between what's easier and what's going to save you money.

I highly recommend having a professional provide drape backdrops, and chair covers with bows are a lot more time consuming to install than you might think, so only do these things if you have a good amount of time the day before. Real flowers look gorgeous lining an aisle and again if you want them fresh and beautiful, I recommend having a florist do them for you. Silk flowers or longer lasting real flowers like gypsophila, are great for DIY floristry and can give you the wow factor without so much of the pain to your pocket, but go to a reputable florist to buy them as they'll buy direct from an importer, where-as with a chain store you could end up paying over the odds.

I say it a lot in my blogs, but do your research. If you're DIYing to save money, make sure you're cutting the right corners and won't actually end up spending lots more money than you thought. You might even be able to borrow or buy other people's DIY items to save you the time and effort. It's also a good way of finding out what other people are selling and how much for - if you're seeing lots of the same kind of thing and think you'll be able to make your own and sell it on afterwards, be careful. Lots of wedding items may not be as 'sell-on-able' as you might think.

Final thoughts

However you style your ceremony space, whether it's indoor or outside, many of these principles still stand. Think about what you can use elsewhere in your venue and how it will get there. Recruit the right people to help you, whether that is friends/family or professionals. And lastly do your research, ask the right questions, so that you can fully prepared. And if you need any further ideas or just want to chat through your plans, get in touch today.

Happy Planning X