Here at Plato we think events are incredibly exciting, and since 1999 we’ve enjoyed playing a vital role in thousands of them. Much of our work as a catering hire company happens before the event starts, so we get to see some amazing venue transformations.
We’ve delivered to village halls that look stunningly beautiful and marquees that would look at home on the pages of stylish wedding magazines. It’s all in the detail. You can do so much with a venue and although some are left with their own character showing through, some venues benefit from personalisation.
So here are some tips we’ve picked up along the way during our years of experience, plus some ways we can help you, too.
Firstly, it’s really important to start with a theme. This will set out everything you do at your event. If you’ve ever been to a truly stunning event, then we can bet that’s down to the event organiser having a strong theme and playing that out throughout. From the initial invite to the table decorations and more, a theme can drive the way your event looks and feels. It doesn’t have to be obvious and garish – you can opt for subtle clues to the theme if that’s more your style.
Got your theme? Great, here are some great ways to play it out…
Although we don’t offer items such as bunting, lighting, and carpet, there are plenty of local suppliers who can help you out, and give you even more creative ideas!
If you’re having a wedding reception in a barn then the walls are probably part of the charm and you’ll want them on show. Opted for your local village hall? You could do a lot with those walls by covering them.
Drapes can completely change the space and often make the room feel bigger and more extravagant. Although not the cheapest of options, if you’re saving on venue hire with a favourable village hall rate, you could spend some of the budgets on some elegant and flowing ‘walls’ that will create a stunning effect from floor to ceiling. A quick Google search will help you find some local drapes suppliers.
Struggling to find the budget for drapes? Bunting can be really effective, especially if you’ve gone for the country chic feel. Bunting is a common sight at events and the added dash of colour can transform a space with the floating features catching the eye and giving the venue a friendly feel. You can buy bunting on eBay or Amazon, make it yourself, or hire it from companies you can find online.
Lighting is very important for a venue and if you’ve ever been to an event in a sports club or hall and had to try to make do with the harsh overhead strip lights then you’ll know what we mean.
Lighting from up-lights, especially when combined with drapes and curtains, can make a huge difference to a room. Lights that follow the colour theme and light up features of the room is something even the biggest monuments and tourist attractions do. Nearby Warwick Castle is beautifully lit up at night, for example. They also include fire torches at the side of the path to guide the guests to where they’re going as part of the medieval banquets.
Some other ideas are illuminated table displays, battery operated decorative candles, shaped lights, letter lights, LED furniture, chandeliers, mirror balls, tea lights – the list is endless. Planning a corporate event? You can even project your brand or logo on the floor or ceiling! Pop in ‘party lighting hire’ into Google and you have endless choices.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to a full-on feature light show, then something simpler might just be the way to go. Fairly lights are a marvel for this. Covering a wall or even just some pillars or beams will add a wow factor and either a focal point or some background sparkle to hide a dull concrete wall or unsightly section of the room. Net lights are also popular for walls or to make fencing that bit more pretty. Places like Argos and Wilko offer inexpensive fairy lights that you may want to keep after the event and use in your home or garden.
Having worked in marquees for such a long time we’re aware of the power of some carpet. Most marquees have a wooden floor put down and then carpet added to cover it. It changes the style of the room right away and you can do this in any room you like.
The carpet is single-use as it’s not hard-wearing or stain-resistant and it’s therefore cheap. Covering the concrete floor of your village all and adding in some red carpet for extra measure will create different feeling and also take away some of the echoey acoustics. And if you’re throwing it away you won’t worry about stains. Search local Facebook groups for carpet remnants, or check out your nearest carpet supplier.
What you put into the room makes a big difference, too. The tables will often be the biggest component of a room. Your guests will spend more time there, so it makes a lot of sense to have these well decorated and in line with your theme.
Table decorations like centrepieces, especially with height, will give your theme, event, and event space lots of colour, statement, and even added mood lighting if you go for lit options.
Tea lights, fairy lights, tall flowers, illuminated stars – we’ve seen some amazing creations. Here are some ideas from our friends at Table Art.
Events clearly need chairs – and enough of them. Hiring chairs for your event is a core part of your event organisation. But if you really want to add some style then chair covers could be it. Covering the chairs isn’t just about hiding the chairs from sight. Most chairs for hire are very presentable and many are stylish on their own. It’s more about the flowing curves and dressed nature that chair covers add.
A chair with matching cover to the table linen and cloth can also make a big impact. Although this can be seen as a grand spend on top of your other event hire items, chair covers can make a really big difference to the look and feel of your event space. Of course, matching your chair covers will help to bring the whole room together for a polished look and feel.
At Plato we offer chair covers to suit most themes, in white, ivory, or black.
And as mentioned above, matching your table cloth with the chair covers and linen completes the look! Completing the set with well-placed napkins and matching cloth really can make or break an event’s theme.
We have over 30 options to choose from because we keep being asked for more colours!
The linen we hire includes any or all of the following:
- Chair covers
- Chair sashes
- Waiting cloths
For more ideas on linen at events head to our blog here.
We hope we’ve inspired you and given you food for thought for your next event. Remember; it all starts with your theme. Your invites right up to your evening entertainment can work into it. We love a great event, but one that really has a visual ‘wow’ factor will last in the memories of your guests.