I love working on wedding styling plans where I can really make an impact and transform a space. There’s nothing better than starting from scratch with a completely blank canvas. This can be an existing wedding venue with no intrinsic character or focal points or a dry hire space such as a tent, marquee or barn. Tackling this kind of space can be a big challenge, both creatively and logistically. So where do you start?   

How to Style a Blank Canvas Wedding Venue

marquee wedding styling by Knots & Kisses

Consider Your Budget

If you’re going for dry hire or blank canvas because the initial outlay seems cheaper, this may be a false economy. Dry hire spaces can end up being the most expensive option because you really are starting from scratch. You’ll have to create focal points, zone spaces and hire in every bit of furniture. On the plus side, you have complete freedom and can really make the space your own. This is super exciting and well worth the investment!

Check What’s Included

One of my top tips for dry hire spaces is to check exactly what’s included. It’s dull, but don’t forget to make sure there’s power. Do you need to hire in a generator? Are there enough plug sockets? Are there toilets on site or will you need to hire these too? Do you need to hire a mobile bar and does the space have an alcohol license?

marquee wedding styling old wooden bar area with flowers and glass drink dispensers

Book a Wedding Coordinator

If your venue doesn’t have a wedding coordinator onsite, consider hiring a professional to manage the day for you. As your stylist, I can take care of the décor, furniture hire, zoning spaces and even turning them around throughout the day, but you may also need somebody to ‘manage’ your guests and keep the day running on time. I’ve worked with some incredible On-The-Day Coordinators over the years, so I’d be happy give you some recommendations.

Zone Spaces

Something I always encourage clients to do is zone spaces. This is particularly important in venues that are essentially one big space like an old barn or marquee. Creating clearly defined areas will guide your guests through the day and give everything a more intimate feel. So, where will your ceremony be? Does the dining space need to be screened off while the ceremony is happening? How can you create a cosy lounge space around the bar? What about a quieter space for guests who don’t want to be on the dance floor? It’s a bit like using room dividers to break up open plan areas in interior design. In the past, I’ve used folding screens, furniture, trees and plants to zone larger spaces.

Don’t Forget to Look Up

Barns, tents and marquees can often be tall, cavernous spaces. Don’t neglect the area above everyone’s heads! Hanging arrangements work really well. They can help fill a vast empty space and add warmth.

wedding tablescape with hanging arrangements styled by Knots & Kisses

I love helping couples transform a blank canvas venue into the perfect space for their wedding. Discover my wedding design and styling services here or get in touch to discuss your celebration. 

Photo Credits:

{Cari & Adam’s Wedding} Photographer // Babs Boardwell Photography, Venue // Shindig Wedding Barn, Florist // Brompton Buds

{Sam & Meg’s Wedding} Photographer // Darina Stoda, Venue // Sopley Mill, Florist // Brompton Buds

{Modern Pre-Raphaelite Shoot} Photographer // Summit Imagery, Venue // Hareston Manor, Marquee // LPM Bohemia, Florist // Thorn Flowers