By Danielle from Baltimore, MD
We used rolls of plastic tablecloth from a Party City store. It comes in a variey of colors in 40 in. by 100 ft. lengths. If you have any hooks near the ceiling you can stretch thin rope across the ceiling through the hooks and then put the rolled out tablecloth from the floor, up the wall and over the rope to the other side, and then back down the wall. You can make sure it stays in place on the ceiling by using small silver binder clips that you can get at Staples. We had the reception in a large gym.
Our guests who had not been ther before couldn't tell it was a gym. Tulle is more expensive than the tablecloth and more difficult to work with. I would use it to accent where you wanted to. Congratulations to both of you.
We recently had a reception in a fire hall that had a similar situation. We bought a roll of tablecloth from Oriental Trading along with a banner with their names and date on it. The wedding was in the fall so we picked up some fake leaves at the dollarstore. We taped the cloth up, just running the roll to the end of the glass trophey cases and then a second row at the bottom as it wasnt long enough. We then decorated the tablecloth with the banner and leaves. The whole thing came out under $50 and everyone thought it was great! Most firemen take their gear out of the lockers and place with the trucks during events as they dont want to intrude on your big day by running in to gear up. Hope this helps!
Okay, maybe silly of me but I have a sense of humor so why not take advantage of it being a fire hall and simply decorate with a fire fighters theme in mind that they would protect you both when a fire breaks out between you and your future spouse for a lot less money and effort? Wedding receptions don't really have to be serious and the best receptions I've ever been to have been light hearted. ;-)
As an event designer, I actually field this exact same question from a young lady who took my Wedding Chic on the Cheap class last fall.
Here is what I suggested. Tulle will be very labor intensive to get enough to cover, approximately 4-5 times the width. So, I would have a wooden frame made (it's very simple and really inexpensive) from 1x2 in 8-10 foot sections. This will make them light enough to install and can be easily moved in case of emergency. Make sure to have cross bracing in the corners. Then I suggested using Charmeuse fabric which you can by in bolt. Stretch the fabric across like a canvas. Then for more drama use uplights (floor spot lights) to add a glow.
You can use really any fabric. It will look great stretched or bunched. Don't be afraid to hang pictures, lanterns, flowers, wreaths, or set trees, pedestals or curly willow, etc in front of the fabric.
Another alternative is to create large painted canvas frames. It's a similar wooden structure as described above. The difference is you will use plywood (luan) to cover the frame. Then you can paint it or wallpaper it for a dramatic effect.
Pipe and draping can be rented from most rental companies for very little and offer colored fabric in lots of colors.
Don't be afraid to break up the wall in sections (like creating decorative panels in different colors or textures. This will make the wall a real feature.
A word of caution about the S hooks and PVC pipe as it may not be strong enough for some fabrics. The tulle would be okay or if you were using it to hang accent items, but be careful about the overall weight from other fabrics.
I hope this helps. You can always contact me with more questions. I wish you the best of luck in your planning and congratulations on your wedding.
Also with the reception in a fire hall, what happens if the fire fighters have to get to their lockers, etc.?
The last time I looked at tulle, which was a long time ago, it was somewhere between 40-60 inches wide, and then you would need the length from floor to ceiling, plus however many widths that you would need to cover 50 feet of wall. Tulle isn't that expensive, but it would be a lot of work, and more expense than I would want to go to. I wouldn't sorry about covering the stuff. My wedding reception was in an American Legion Hall and there was pictures of things from different wars, etc. on display and we didn't worry about covering them up. I think most people expect to see things like that unless the event is in a luxery type hall.
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I'm getting married in 8 weeks and my reception is at the VFW. That's all I can afford. I have 3 kids, plus my sisters 3 kids, plus another teenager so we're poor! lol I need something way inexpensive to cover the wall with the flags on them. Someone please help. I checked out all of the web sites and everything is way too expensive. Any ideas anyone? Please and thank you.
You could try crepe paper streamers taped to the ceiling, twisted and taped to the floor - like we used to do for high school proms. Tape the streamers abutting each other so it looks like a solid wall of vertical twists in your wedding colors.
My daughter is getting married in early Sept. The reception is located at a VFW hall. There are a lot of pictures, flags etc. on the walls. My main concern is the wall behind the bridal table. Any tasteful and inexpensive ideas to cover them?
Julie from Muskegon, MI
By Patty From Austin, IN
By Karin VanderWaal
For the 2008 prom we were able to use black paper donated by a large company that recycled the paper and white that was donated from a friend's wedding. All was free! (08/11/2008)
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