When you love just about everything about a venue, there's a way to hide the elements you don't.

Credit: Bryan Gardner

You've found the perfect wedding venue, but there's just one annoying detail that's stopping you from signing on the dotted line. Maybe it's outdated carpet or a rogue pillar that's tripping you up. Whatever the case, don't let the one element you hate stop you from choosing a venue that you otherwise absolutely love. The truth is, there's a way to disguise just about any venue's eyesore if you're creative enough. We spoke to Kate Delay, lead planner of Love this Day Events and Jesse Tombs, managing partner of Alison Events, who shared their professional tips and tricks for hiding an eyesore.

Work with it.

Before racking your brain to figure out how to hide a dated carpet, see if there's a way to work with it, says Delay. "Consider the colors of the space and use them. Red carpet means warm tones of beige, pink, gold, and red, whereas blue carpet means cool tones of blue and green accented with creams and silvers." Similarly, if there's an awkwardly placed column, make it part of your photo booth instead of trying to hide an architectural necessity.

Get creative with lighting.

Try to keep in mind that an undressed wedding venue in the harsh light looks entirely different than one that's set for a ceremony and reception. Once the tables are arranged, the flowers are placed, and the lights are low, a space can look radically different. With that said, lighting is a crucial element if your venue has problem areas. Delay suggests adding pin spotting to drawing your guests eyes where you want them to look.

Create a living wall.

Give the 'ol pipe and drape solution a modern upgrade by incorporating living walls. "For an outdoor ceremony in St. Louis, we had custom wooden planter walls built to camouflage the tennis courts in clear view from the ceremony location," says Tombs. "The walls were filled with lush greenery to soften the view and add visual interest and depth to the space." By using a variety of different flowers and design techniques, there's no shortage of ways to turn a barricade into a focal point of your event.

Bring in draping.

With the right material and placement, a simple draping of fabric can go a long way. During an outdoor wedding with a harsh amphitheater in the distance, Tombs used a sailcloth drape to transform the space. "The fabric romantically blew in the wind and dramatically caught the sunlight around the couple," the pro says.


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