How to decorate aging church basement for small appetizer/champagne reception?

by DIY wedding planner on April 27, 2012

We are getting married at our small church with approx 50 guest and having the reception in our old,aging church basement. I want some DIY and budget friendly decorations. Our wedding will be an early afternoon wedding with buffet appetizers and champagne following. I don’t want to try and do anything too extravagant and it look like I am trying to make it something It’s not but I do want it took look nice. The walls are cynderblock in the basement and there are about 2-3 chalk boards on the walls but I can work around those I believe. Can anybody give decoration ideas and room set up suggestions?
I will be burning candles during the reception and cleaning the basement a few days before the reception as well

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kanga_tush2 April 27, 2012 at 5:03 am

Fabric. Or even tulle. It can be used easily to transform a less than ideal space. I’d go with light colors since it is a basement, but not white cause it is a basement. Just string a line as tight at you can near the top of the ceiling and drape or just hang it.


Brave new girl April 27, 2012 at 5:18 am

I’m glad you’ll be able to use candles! Dim the lights if you can, or just use lamps and candles for lighting. You can use clear string (like Christmas) lights around windows, doorways or to decorate tables. When you light the things you want to, people don’t really notice the things you don’t want them too! If you are using any flowers for the ceremony, put them in vases at the reception- on the food tables, or guest tables.

If you want to try and use the chalkboards to your advantage, and it’s ok with the church, maybe you could put up some pictures of you and your husband, or family pictures. It would be kind of fun for the guests to look at, and you wouldn’t have to worry about trying to downplay them.

Good luck- I’m sure it will be beautiful!


Oskar April 27, 2012 at 6:12 am

You have several options… one simple option is to go to a store like Party City and buy their decoration kits which should have almost everything for you, of course you wouldn’t need to use everything that comes in the kits.

Another option is to go to Michael’s or another diy craft stores and make your own decorations…

Balloons might be useful in filling up space in the basement.

Congratulations and best of luck to you.


Blunt April 27, 2012 at 6:35 am

Open fire and “aging basements” seems to be a bad combination. I suggest LED candles instead. Many churches do not allow candles because of fire hazards.

Anyway, you can cover up the walls with fabric. You say that you wanted to DIY. You can buy some PVC tubes and make standing squares or rods that you can drape the fabric on. Borrow/rent/buy some plants and wrap some white Christmas lights on them. You can decorate columns with fabric and Christmas lights too.

Good luck


Brain Testing April 27, 2012 at 7:22 am

with imagination and taste or make it a brash bash. The rule is whatever the couple want,can afford without killing their future life and makes the majority happy.
Have every guest before the wedding do their thing on the chalk boards for a start.
Watch Booze,happy guests,wedding dresses and Candles in a confined basement unless marrying a Fireman.
Careful lighting could just be your best bet if there is a safe power supply.


Lola April 27, 2012 at 8:08 am

Keep it fun and light! It is in the afternoon and all, make the space bright and cheerful. I love pom-poms and lanterns. I think that the chalk boards could be a cool addition. Get colored chalk and write something inspirational on them and let your guests sign or draw on them as well.

See link for inspiration. Hope this helps and good luck!


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