Decorating and setting up the Hall - Wedding
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Tips: Be Prepared ahead of time!
Review rental contract, check
for access times and when you have to be out?
Will you have enough time to decorate, before the event preferably the morning
of or if possible the day before. Do you have to be cleaned up the same day?
Are you allowed candles?
Often open flame is not allowed and if it is, candles
must be contained inside a holder, floating candles on water are the safest.
What is the capacity of the hall?
You can't expect to squeeze 150 people into a
hall designed for 120, there simply won't be enough chair space, or room to
maneuver, and you may be held liable if there is a legal problem.
Is insurance included in
the rental agreement?
Check for the number of chairs
and tables. You will need tables to
accommodate all the guests as well as tables for the head table, buffet, desserts,
DJ, wedding cake, guest book, and gifts. You can always rent a few extra.
Allow several (3) hours to set up
the hall with a crew of helpers.
Decide on the decor well ahead of
time, drawing diagrams to show where things
will go and making or purchasing appropriate items.
Take measurements, check for plugs, take extension cords.
Have all decorations, table items
etc. all ready to just put in their place,
all cutting etc. pre done.
Find out when similar events will
be held and drop in to take a quick look at
their decor, to get ideas.
Check on the bar area available,
is there space for glasses, ice etc.
Check on the kitchen available.
Choose the hall with the best kitchen if
possible. Will you need an extra table in the kitchen? Do you have to bring all
your own serving utensils, oven mitts, towels, aprons, etc.
Check INSIDE oven and fridge for racks and space.
Garbage cans, will you
need to bring your own? Dress them up using a paper
table cloth and a big bow if they will be visible.
Misc. items, salt and peppers,
etc. are they supplied or will you need to bring
your own fancy ones, or rent items not supplied?
BBQ lighter to light candles
rather than a box of matches, have matches too.
Coat rack space?
Will the hall be already cleaned?
It might not be and it's an awful
surprise to find dirty dusty floors.
Learn where your fire doors are the
fire extinguishers and read the instructions.
Have several people aware of these.
Table placement, this is
important. Decide where the head table will go, the
buffet table should be close to the kitchen access as dishes will have to be set
out and refilled. Tables should be set out so that people do not have their
backs to the head table and will be able to see the wedding party and speakers
easily. You also must allow for chair room between the tables. Hopefully you
will not have to move the tables for dancing, but it you do, try to have it well
Here's how our hall decorating and set up progressed.
The start - not an encouraging sight!
The wedding was held in a city owned heritage building, one
that was originally on old
packing house. It is old and rustic, with open wooden beams, several big windows and
the original brick walls. When we got there the floor was very dirty and dusty.
The first chore became using a mop and a bucket over hundreds of square feet.
Not a nice surprise. Luckily we started at 8:30 in the morning. We had a crew of
friends and relatives as volunteers, including aunts, uncles, grandmothers
and parents of the bride and groom, about 10-12 altogether.
It doesn't hurt to have a few tools handy, screw driver,
push pins, hammer and nails.
The decorating begins! Silver sprayed "trees" were placed on posts. The trees had been made ahead of time, using a waste basket base, filled with dirt inside a plastic bag and then a multitude of bare branches added, next everything was sprayed silver; then later strung with mini lights.
These were awesome and so simple.
Once the mopping was out of the way, we hauled out the tables, and started to cover them with wonderful cloth-like paper table cloths purchased from Costco. They were an excellent product. The tables were arranged like spokes on a wheel with the head table as the hub. This allowed the guests the best line of view. Others started putting out yards and yard of tulle according to plans.
Things progressed nicely. The tables were finished,
the forks and knives had been
pre wrapped in in napkins and tied with silver ribbons, a floating candle in a bowl was
placed on each table along with tea lights just open in their little metal containers
(this proved extremely dangerous, see note below **) and heart shaped confetti in the
brides colors was sprinkled down the center of each table. The table flavors
(bundles of Hershey kisses tied in tulle) were also placed accordingly.
NOTE: **There was a FIRE due to the open flame tea lights on one of the tables
during the reception. One of the napkins caught fire and flamed up the size of a
football. Thankfully someone doused it with the water that was in the floating candle
container. We were so very lucky, without the water, all the things on the table were
paper and there was nothing handy to use to smother the flames. The fire wasn't
smoldering but burning wildly. I would highly recommend that all candles
should be floating ones.
We covered a rope railing with tulle and lights.
The bar was set up with rented glasses and yards of fabric
were draped on the walls
and over the window behind the head table.
There were no flowers other than those carried by the wedding party.
What a transformation! All that work was worth it.
We set up the buffet tables, in the lower area to the right
of this photo,
which was adjacent to the kitchen.
See More about this Wedding!
[ The Wedding Buffet ] [ The Cake] [ The Dresses ]
[Growlies Self Catering Page ]