I'm using a fire hall for my wedding reception. I'm having trouble trying to find an inexpensive way to cover 2 11 foot X 50 foot walls. I was thinking to use "S" hooks on the drop ceiling and attaching PVC piping to have it suspended and attaching tulle. I wanted to know how much tulle I would need to conceal the lockers and trophies since tulle is so sheer. Does anyone have any other suggestions on an inexpensive fabric or another inexpensive way to cover the walls?
By Danielle from Baltimore, MD
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.
Also with the reception in a fire hall, what happens if the fire fighters have to get to their lockers, etc.?
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.
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. ;-)
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!
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.
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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.
I decorated a hall with inexpensive fabric from the $1 bin. I was able to get black, which worked for my party, but you can do your colors. I hung it on fishing line and wrapped around the ceiling tile frame - check with the hall to see the best way for your venue. I had eight panels - just straight down, bunched a little at the top like curtains. Use as many as you can afford. Then, I cut big pieces of poster board in the shapes of stars and moons, wrapped them in foil, and pinned them to the fabric at various heights. You could do wedding bells. Add sparkle. Add a monogram - always classy. Then I did simple twinkle lights above and as boarders on tables and dimmed the bright lights - always helpful. Rave reviews! Good luck. P.S. Remember to decorate with all the senses - get scented candles if you can.
Could you just hang sheets or table cloths down the wall?
I agree with dusty--use sheets (you can use them later) or buy some tablecloths from the dollar store. If you can't afford that, just don't worry about it. People are coming to see the wedding and congratulate the two of you--they'll remember you and not the hall.
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
A cousin of mine had a large sheet airbrushed with their names, wedding date, and a picture that went with their theme. It was hung behind the wedding party's table then later they had it made into a quilt. Maybe you could go with something like that. (07/24/2008)
By Patty From Austin, IN
Could you string up some kind of curtain made with bedsheets? Bedsheets are the most economical fabric you can buy. (07/24/2008)
Just some thoughts, would they let you wrap the picture or groups of pictures with wrapping paper in colors to match the bridal theme and add wide ribbon and giant bows to make them look like packages? If you attach it with tape and take it down carefully, not only do you do no damage to any wall surface (I hope, but make sure you check their local policy before attaching anything to a wall when you reserve!), but you can save the paper and ribbon for the first (?) anniversary (paper?). Or make a framed picture with a copy of their announcement with the ribbon and paper, wow, the ideas go on. (07/24/2008)
We bought lattice (the crisscrossed wood stuff) at Home Depot. My dad made a stand for it out of 2X4s that worked kind of like the back of a picture frame. We then sat them in front of things we didn't like. You can buy it in wood or white. You also might be able to wind some tulle or silk leaves into it to make it more decorative, or possibly even some Christmas lights. (07/25/2008)
How about wallpaper? You can get 1 roll and just hang it without paste. Get a very delicate little print. (07/25/2008)
My idea is not traditional; why not improve the room with a touch of the Orient? First, find a shop that sells Asian-style decorative objects. You can get many good ideas-like having a tea/coffee table at your reception. Your wall could be covered with silk drapes, in black or any dark color. The VFW pictures could be covered by using red silk banners with Asian characters, like "joy" or "serenity". Criss-cross your room with black string, and hang up Japanese lanterns. Finally, use "Bird of Paradise" flowers in clear glass cylinders for the table centerpiece. For favors, give small red and blue silk boxes, and fortune cookies. A touch of the Orient will make your wedding unforgettable! (07/26/2008)
We also used white lattice that we purchased at Home Depot. We just hung it on nails and then decorated it with tulle, mini white Christmas lights and a decorated wreath. It really looked beautiful! (07/27/2008)
By Karin VanderWaal
For many of the proms and weddings we use large rolls of plastic that we measure the length of the walls we are covering and attach it to a 1"x2" board with a staple gun and hang it from the metal grade on the ceiling tiles with clips. You can pleat the paper, gather the paper in the middle and hang another color in the middle or many other ideas to suit your taste. The cost is fairly inexpensive and can be used for many events. This is a great way to transform any hall or venue.
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)
I used large rolls of meat wrapping paper, which is solid white and slick on one side. We used the clear packing tape to hold it to the wall. Then we invited the guests to inscribe an area of that and was kept for memories. (08/15/2008)
My sister in law bought an inexpensive arch and decorated the top of it with silk flowers and white lights. She bought two sets of pink sheers from a discount store and pinned the sheers to the arch and used that as her backdrop. It was beautiful and very elegant. She spent about $25 total. (08/15/2008)