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Using a Church Venue

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Hello my dears!

As an interior designer, I’ve always had a love for unique buildings and great architecture. So when it came time for Nate and I to pick our wedding venue…well, surprisingly, we chose something that is neither unique nor great! Because we live in the middle of nowhere, and because our wedding is on New Year’s Eve and many venues won’t rent on that night, we were pretty limited. We always knew that we wanted the ceremony to be at his church (because that’s where we met – aww!) but we were hoping for something with a little more style for the reception. However, after a few failed attempts at finding a suitable separate reception venue, we realized that it’s just going to be so much more convenient for all our out-of-town guests in the freezing cold December weather to have the entire wedding in one building. It’s also much more budget-friendly. We’re able to rent the church for the entire day for only a few hundred dollars – much less than most venues! But while the price is a big pro, the outdated decor of the church is quite the con. See?

Church Venue
Church Venue

The church venue does have some positive features, like classic white walls and a gorgeous wood ceiling in the sanctuary. Buuut….that’s about it! I’ve been really racking my brain for creative ways to style the sanctuary and reception hall. We’re planning to drape the walls in the reception hall with white (borrowed!) fabric; make tall planters with white painted branches; decorate both spaces with paper garlands and flowers made from antique book pages; and make a cute tattoo-inspired banner out of foam board to hang above us during the ceremony.

Church Venue

So, although I have a few ideas to bring on the AWESOME – I need your help! I’d love to hear your creative decorating suggestions for a not-so-pretty space. Did you have (or do you have) a similar situation for your own wedding? What were some budget-friendly ideas that made a big impact on your wedding decor?

Much love,


is a bride blogger who got married in 2011. You can read her wedding planning posts here.