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9 ways to make a large wedding venue feel intimate

9 ways to make a large wedding venue feel intimate


Written by Katie Byrne


Because sometimes, you might want to make a venue feel a little more, well, contained

 

Whilst space is usually an advantage, some couples will want to transform a spacious venue into something more cosy and intimate. Equally, if you’ve booked the venue of your dreams but are inviting a smaller number of people, you might want to enlist these tricks to avoid your reception venue feeling too spaced-out.

#1 Ask your venue if certain areas can be blocked off

Room dividers can literally be wheeled into place to shut off areas, making a space feel smaller without it being obviously reduced in size.

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#2 Create focal areas

Design a layout that includes various well-spaced 'distraction' areas: for example, a candy cart, a guestbook area, multiple food station areas... And so on. 

Image: Tatum Reid; see the rest of Celia and Tom's wedding here.

#3 Use suspended decorations to distract the eye

Hanging decor is having a serious moment right now and the trend also makes for a savvy way to create a visual illusion. 

#4 Opt for multiple, smaller tables rather than fewer, larger tables

Not only will this cover more space in your wedding breakfast area; it will also encourage and nurture conversation amongst guests who haven't met before. Decorate your tables with ice-breakers and 'tall' centrepieces that will, again, distract the eye. On the subject of seating: opt for mix-and-match tables. A mix of round and rectangular tables will break up the space perfectly; opting for a top table rather than a sweetheart table will also help to use up the space, as will a distinct speeches stage. 

Image: Julia & You; see the rest of Lauren and James' wedding here.

#5 Avoid reflective surfaces

Much like mirrors are great for making a smaller wedding venue appear bigger, they'll also amplify a large venue and make bare spaces even more evident. 

9 questions to ask before you book your wedding venue

#6 Use lighting to add to the mood

Lighting is a powerful thing: harsh lights can emphasise an empty space, whilst a softer, dimmer glow can create a romantic, chilled-out atmosphere. Talk to your venue about what they'd recommend, as well as what they allow - for example, whilst displays of candles are perfect for adding some flickering cheer to a room, some venues don't actually allow them owing to the fire hazard.

Image: The Lou’s; see the rest of Joanna and Connor's wedding here.

#7 Create cosy areas for your guests to relax 

We're talking nooks and crannies that can be filled with rented sofas, squashy armchairs, cosy cushions...

16 thoughtful reception ideas your guests will love

#8 Have a photo backdrop wall as opposed to a contained photobooth

Faux blooms, paper fans, pom-poms, washi tape displays, strips of wallpaper... They're all gorgeous ways to bring an otherwise unexceptional wall firmly into the party. Plus, having an 'open-plan' photo area - rather than a self-contained booth - will allow multiple guests to take pics at the same time, as well as help people realise that, well, the photo area is even there! 

Image: Krista Lee Photography.

#9 Set-up a designated kids' zone

Fill it with games, toys, activities - maybe even a TV or games console! 


wedding planningwedding venue ideashow to make a wedding venue feel intimate




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