For many LDS couples, their grandest wedding dreams don’t often involve the cultural hall. However, time and budget restraints often make the cultural hall the best option for a wedding reception. If you’re struggling with the idea of making a cultural hall look beautiful and elegant, read through this page. We’ve gathered the best tips and suggestions for transforming a cultural hall below!
Create a Clean Canvas
A wedding tent (marquee) and other backdrops are going to be your biggest asset when transforming a cultural hall. Covering the ceiling, walls, and/or floor will give you a clean canvas to build on. You can order wedding tents online, at party stores, and other event companies. They are also available to rent and can be returned. If you aren’t able to get a wedding tent and flooring, try to find fabrics or cloth you can drape across the ceiling and down the walls. You’ll then be able to use flowers, lights, and other wedding decors to decorate the area.
While your first instinct may be to fix the walls and the basketball hoop, consider starting with the floor. Unless you have enough tables to cover the majority of the space, the court lines will be glaring. Decorative rugs or a large floor covering can help.
Use Big Props
Hide unseemly portions of the cultural hall with larger props. Here are just a couple of ideas:
- Large potted plants
- Dresser Drawers
- Decorative Boxes
- Large Floral Arrangements
- Photo printouts
- Cutout letters
- Fabric & Draping
- Decorated gourds (especially in the fall)
- Crates & wooden pallets
Using such props can draw attention to certain areas in the room, as well as cover up portions you wish to hide.
Decorate Into the Hall
Create a complete experience for your wedding guests by decorating the hall and entry ways inside the chapel. You can even begin decorations outside. Doing so helps to transport everyone and make them feel like they are in a different building completely. Check with your bishop to ensure any rules about using the building.
Use High-Quality Table Settings
While the cultural hall may not exude refinement, you can make up for it in other ways. By choosing higher quality linens and table settings, you can add an air of elegance. Guests will likely spend most of the time at a table, so put a little extra effort into making them shine. Renting some nicer folding chairs or adding fabric to the chairs can also help.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have the break your budget on silverware. Many companies sell elegant disposable silverware and table settings designed just with the frugal couple in mind. In the photo above, all of the plates, cups, and silverware are made of plastic!
Make It Smaller
If the cultural hall is bigger than you need, make it smaller! Some buildings already have the dividers or you can set up dividers to keep the space smaller and intimate. It will take some of the stress out of trying to decorate such a huge area. You can even bring in the perimeter of the room in a bit with your decorations.
Many LDS church buildings, including stake centers, have nice grassy areas or pavilions. If your chapel doesn’t, look in the area for another LDS building that may have a nice outdoor area. You’ll then be able to enjoy the nice weather without having to worry about a fancy garden venue.
Open House vs. Reception
Because LDS couples often meet outside of their hometowns, they often hold wedding events in multiple locations. Determine if you’re trying to throw an open house or a reception. An open house is less formal, while a reception brings to mind traditional wedding activities and speeches. If you would like a more formal event, incorporate some long standing traditions into your event. This includes cutting the cake, first dances, speeches from family, and slideshow presentations.