A hotel conference room may not by your dream wedding reception location, but if you're working on a limited budget you may not have many other choices. You don't have to sacrifice class and style to save money, however. There are many inexpensive and easy ways to transform the sterile space into a romantic venue. You can repurpose things that you already own to create a wedding-worthy room without breaking the bank.
Here are some ideas for turning a hotel conference room (like those at Clarion Hotel - Seattle International Airport) into a stunning reception space:
1. Add Color with Textiles
The most important way to elevate drab conference rooms, which typically feature nondescript white, tan or taupe walls, is with color. Although you can't paint the walls, you may be able to drape sheer, airy fabric, such as voile or tulle, from the center of the ceiling out towards the walls. Although you could do this yourself using special hardware and a ladder, it might be better to call in an event professional for just this one project.
Although it may take up a lot of your decor budget, it will make a big visual impact and set the stage for the rest of the decor.
Another, much simpler, way to add a pop of vibrancy is with table linens. Use your event theme, such as Victorian garden or tropical beach, as color inspiration. For instance, soft lavender-colored linen will evoke a dreamy garden vibe, while turquoise blue is ideal for a beach-inspired look.
2. Table Centerpieces
Don't underestimate the importance of table centerpieces when decorating the venue. Even if you can't afford many other decor items, design the most eye-catching centerpieces you can, as they are what guests will notice the most.
Again, use the theme as decor inspiration. Large glass vases filled with sand and seashells, as well as real or faux birds-of-paradise flowers are perfect for tropical themes. For a sweet country garden look, consider filling mason jars with fresh-cut lilacs, tulips, roses, or whatever blooms are in season, and grouping them in the centers of tables.
3. Double-duty Favors
Another crafty way to save money is by choosing guest favors that work double-duty as decor. Since you won't have much space to decorate in a hotel conference room, you need to make the most of the table space.
You can make your own beach boutique-worthy favors by gluing tiny seashells all over turquoise glass votive holders, and filling them with coconut-scented candles. Another idea is to leave small terra-cotta or tin plant pots filled with herb plants, such as basil or rosemary, by the guests' place settings. Not only will they smell good, they'll also contribute to a garden-themed decor style.