A Beautiful Reception on a Budget

Happy almost 8-month anniversary, Susan & Kirk!

The night I decorated for Susan & Kirk’s wedding, I posted a before-and-after photo on Facebook, and one of my dearest Emily’s (I have lots of Emily’s that I call friends!) sent me a text which read: “Renee, your talents open up the doors for people who need a more affordable venue or want to be married in their hometown, but only have the old Elks or Legion Hall to work with!!”

Those words are so special to me because—let’s be honest—not every wedding is a $40,000-$50,000 wedding in a vineyard. I love the fact that I can bring beauty and elegance to even the most modest weddings. And I’m a small-town South Dakota girl, so I know the value of being thrifty and I’m a huge do-it-yourselfer. That’s why although this wedding didn’t have the biggest, fanciest budget, I LOVED how it turned out. And I LOVE the family I styled it for. And I LOVE that they LOVED it. That’s a lot of love.

Hitch Design Studio used our wedding planning and wedding styling talents to hang fabric and lights from the ceiling (with lots of help from Susan’s family!), decorated the head table using the false wall room divider, made our own chair covers with navy ribbon and bought stock flowers to make the centerpieces ourselves. We had the help of many, many people.

I’m pleased to share with you the transformation from church basement to a gorgeous wedding reception in these photos. It was a beautiful wedding for Susan & Kirk.

p.s. Thank you to Jenny M Photography for the beautiful photos of Susan & Kirk’s invitations in the gallery below.

Don’t have a huge budget, but want a beautiful wedding like you see above? Contact us today or purchase the Wedding Day Designer to create your dream wedding!

By Renee Halgerson, Owner/Designer, Hitch Design Studio

8 thoughts on “A Beautiful Reception on a Budget”

  1. Hi!
    I am looking for ways to spruce up a drab ballroom. Its complicated even more because I don’t live near the reception venue for my wedding.
    My fiance really wants to have string lights on the ceiling. The venue has many chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. I am wondering what your supplies were for the lighting and whether you had a hard time attaching them. How did you attach them? Did the church have reservations about the lights? How might I approach getting permission for the lights etc.

    I appreciate your advice!

    1. Anne,

      Hitch Studio owns 1,000+ feet of bistro lights (as we call them). They are the larger bulbs on a string about 1-foot apart like you’d find above a bistro (not the small Christmas lights). I’ve found that if you tell the venue that you won’t be making any holes or permanent marks, they’re much more open to it. You could even offer to have their staff hang the lights so it doesn’t increase their liability if an accident were to happen with you on a lift or ladder, etc.. Fabric is also nice to cover an unsightly ceiling. Lights are my favorite, though! We do rent the bistro lights if you’re interested. Where are you located?

      Thanks for the inquiry!

      1. How much do you rent the lights for and do you ship? I’m in Illinois, planning a vfw wedding for a friend and really liking this idea! Also, what fabric did you use for the ceiling, and hanging method? Did you cover the fluorescent lights a certain way or just leave them off and only use string lights? Thanks for your advice!

        1. Hi Jamie! We do rent out our lights, but I’m guessing you can rent them more affordably in Illinois than what I can ship them to you for! (Fragile). Maybe do some looking there? We used huge rolls of cheesecloth for the ceiling fabric. It was perfect, because it was just sheer enough to let the lights shine through, light enough to hang from the ceiling without worry of the ceiling tiles holding the weight, but not as dated-looking as tulle. We turned off the fluorescent lights and only used the light from the bistro lights. It’s a PERFECT ambiance for your friend’s wedding! Let me know if you need anything else! If you scroll through our Facebook gallery of photos, there are more ways we used them too. (www.facebook.com/hitchstudio)
          Good luck and I hope she has a beautiful wedding!

  2. What did you use to hold the cheese cloth up and not make any holes or marks in the ceilings? Your ideas are gorgeous. I am in California.

    1. Hi Allie! We actually spray painted large binder clips an ivory color (same color as the cheesecloth) and clipped them to the suspended ceiling grid. That way, we didn’t have to put holes in the ceiling or walls anywhere. 🙂 I tested the ceiling before-hand to make sure it could hold the weight of lights and fabric, though…so that’s one thing to be aware of. Good luck! I’m sure it will be beautiful!

  3. I love all of this, thank you so much for sharing! Wonderful, how creative you are, including spray painting large binder clips! You have a tremendous gift. Can you tell me how you tied the hanging curtains on the top of the beams and what you used to tie to bunch the curtain so nicely in the middle?

    1. Hi Brett! If I remember correctly, we used zip ties to attach the the curtains to the top of the beams and ribbon to bunch the curtain. Good luck with your fabric as well!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *