Question from Michelle:
What fabric would you recommend that I use to decorate the ceiling to make a canopy decor and a backdrop for my reception hall? The hall doesn’t have any chandeliers, so I need to try to lift it up with the draperies, but unsure what fabrics to use or how to do it at all. Please help with any ideas. Thank you.
Answer from Wedding Expert Angela:
Hi Michelle, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding. The most common fabrics for draping at weddings are sinamay mesh, or tulle. Both have a nice stiffness that lets you shape it, yet it drapes well. Because they are net-like, you can have light garlands mixed in with it to create a fairytale effect with the lights. If you use soft, silky fabric, it will just slide where gravity takes it (unless you want to staple it in place).
First, check with your reception hall to see what they have available in terms of backdrops. Often, they have things available, or have sources for you to rent some. There are many props that you can rent quite inexpensively, so I suggest you check the yellow pages in the nearest city and see what is available to you before you start building something. Also check with them to see if you can use tape or staples on the walls or ceilings. Many halls have rules about those things, so you need to see what you can actually do.
As for the ceiling, depending upon the lighting in the room, and how many windows it has (or doesn’t have) the ceiling might disappear in the low light. Visit the site in the evening with the lights set like it would be for your wedding. When you see it in that lighting, you might decide not to bother with the ceiling at all.
Another thing that you can do with lighting is to use “up lights”. They cost approximately $10 each and can be used to accent the cake table, or light up the underside of the head table. There are many options, and your reception site should have suggestions as they have seen many functions in their facility.
Another option is to hire a wedding planner or interior designer for the day to decorate for you. If you consider the cost of purchasing things, and then the work of building what you want, it might be more cost effective to hire someone and rent what you need. Phone around and get some prices. You might be surprised.
Good luck, and if you have further questions, feel free to ask.
Angela Fiebelkorn, The Wedding Expert