How to Create Ambiance at Your Wedding Venue
By Ashely Davidson, The Legends Golf Club
When you’re planning a wedding, creating the perfect atmosphere is all about the details. Here are some tips for working with your event center to arrange lighting, tables, dance space, and other essential details that set the stage for your big day.
Ask an Expert
Start by working with your contact at the venue. Most wedding venues have an events coordinator who manages the ins and outs of every wedding at the location. They’re familiar with the space and the common challenges it brings, so they can be a great resource for getting started.>
Ask about details that affect the overall atmosphere of your wedding. Where are lights located? Can you rearrange furniture? Where are the best spots for flower arrangements? How will food be handled? What kind of A/V equipment is available for music? Where are the scenic overlooks and great spots for photos?
Settle on the Layout
Very early on in the process, you’ll need to decide on a general layout at the venue – where the ceremony will happen, where the reception will take place, where photos will be shot, and so forth. It’s important to settle on this and not make too many adjustments later.
In fact, many experts say you shouldn’t place an order with a single vendor until you’ve settled on your venue and overall plan. Your vendors will rely on it for dimensions, crowd flow, capacity, and other things that affect your price quotes.
Arrange Flexible Lighting
When the overall layout is in place, take time to envision the proper lighting for your wedding. To set a magical tone, arrange gentle lighting that comes from many directions. Consider tiny “fairy lights” on strings across the reception area, or twinkling curtains of lights around the dance floor.
Most venues can only offer basic lights as a part of your rental – usually from ceiling fixtures and possibly wall sconces. Talk to your venue coordinator to determine whether additional lighting is allowed, and how cords and outlets will be handled.
Have you considered uplighting? It’s a trendy and budget-friendly way to add ambiance. Rent or purchase floor lights and place them around the perimeter or near important areas to be highlighted. It looks great in photos! Again, make sure your venue is okay with this plan.
Cue the Music
From your ceremony to the very last dance, wedding music sets the mood. Hire a DJ, put a friend on music duty, or just bust out a playlist on your device. But no matter what you do, make sure the venue is crystal-clear about how music will be handled. The last thing you want is a bad audio setup or PA system announcements that interfere with your event.
The latest trend is to pick songs that are totally free of cliche, and that are meaningful to you, your spouse, and your family. So ditch the Chicken Dance and other wedding hits everyone has heard a million times. Create a custom playlist.
Sprinkle in Details
When all the other primary event details are arranged, take a bit of time to create added ambiance with special details that are totally unique to your wedding. These can be found all over Pinterest and wedding websites, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Walk to nostalgia. As you walk down the aisle to the ceremony altar, play a tune that was meaningful while you were dating – even if it’s a fast or silly song.
- Display family heritage. Honor your family or cultural traditions by including them in your wedding space. Use family photos, clothing, decor, and anything else that is important to you.
- Create a custom drink. Set up a drink bar that serves all your favorites, whether it’s diet sodas or fancy cocktails. Send everyone home with cards that have the ingredients for a custom wedding-themed drink.
- Play games. Create an area for your favorite games. Ball sports aren’t usually good for weddings – because people are in dressy clothes – but it’s easy to play cornhole, horseshoes, croquet, and other low-impact games. And it’s great for energetic kids!
- Invite a food truck. Instead of doing a sit-down dinner or catered buffet, join the food truck trend. They can provide entire meals or just desserts. Your guests can walk right up for food without waiting. Plus, food trucks are fun!
Still settling on a venue? Reach out to The Legends Golf Club for a legendary wedding experience.