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Styling tips for high ceilings

Devon and Cornwall are blessed with a beautiful array of wedding venues to choose from. Whether it be an idyllic spot for a marquee, a rustic barn, or an old farm, there are countless options at our fingertips with varied features as their selling points.

If I sit and cast my mind over some of my favourites, one thing many of these places have in common is high ceilings. It’s what makes them so spectacular, never failing to elicit upward looks of wonder from those first entering.

When faced with the task of decorating these high expanses, often, brides to be will opt to leave this space as is, and why not? Vaulted roofs can be a statement on their own, and in the words of Fern Godfrey; “If the ceiling is really beautiful and striking, just embrace it”!

All this said, I do appreciate the task those face who feel these voids need decorating. For my own wedding, I had a blank and ever so slightly; stark marquee to work with. It was so white and left me slightly daunted by the task of transforming it.

Therefore, for those of you in need of inspiration, I’ve put together a handy list of ideas from my travels so far, along with a little help from friends in the business!

Hanging drapes

This style has been around for years, but stylists are becoming more creative with the way they hang these in a venue. Fixing recycled nylon twine from each side of a room in rows, provides an effective, invisible framework, to give you levels and layers to work with. Once you have decided on your drape colour, you can span this over the length of the room, almost like a wave. It will create texture and depth, and for those venues with questionable acoustics, these elegant decorations can help to soften sounds and reduce surface bounce.

Here is a picture of our bar in action at Larmer Tree Gardens last month. Rebecca Marie used the method discussed beautifully here, providing the finishing touch our circular bar required.

Bar by The natural hire company, Flowers by Wizz and wild, Sign by Bewilderly.

Hanging displays

During our recent shoot at Anran, we were introduced to a hugely affective idea by Edwin. He created the beautiful hanging decorations displayed below using hoops and white string.

Photo credit & styling: Edwin @Anran studios

To make these, all you need are some hoops and a hanging material of your choice. We recycled old lampshade wires to make the small macramé lanterns which feature further in this post. There are also recycled wood options for sale on numerous sites.

These hoops can be decorated with almost anything. If you opt for macramé string, a simple loop knot will avoid the need for any glue or tape. Ribbon could also be looped in a similar fashion. You could even create a version of this decoration using long twines of Ivy for a whimsical woodland feel.

Hire or build a hanging frame.

If you would prefer a one-off statement in the centre of the room, you could also opt for a hanging frame. We are in the process of making a selection of these, but for the handy brides or grooms amongst you, this can be made with minimal fuss using lengths of timber and some strong metal chain or rope. Once constructed, this item will only need to be hung in one place, reducing the need for various trips up and down your ladder. Once again, this frame can be decorated with any decoration of your choice, but bear in mind the finished frame weight and the strength of the fixing you are hanging it from.

Flowers by Wizz and wild, Styling by Rebecca Marie weddings

Use table frames.

We are a big fan of simple wooden table frames. These can be created to suit the height of your tables and are easily placed between the link section of each. From here, a wooden or copper length is used to join the sections, which in turn provide a wonderful hanging platform for decorations of your choice. The taller the ceiling, the taller the frame, adding height and depth to your ceremony.

We use macrame lanterns for our boho picnic set up, but there are countless options of things to hang. There is also the option of simple hanging string, ribbon, greenery or recycled lampshades. We love these frames for the choice and diversity they provide.

Photo credits @Thenaturalhirecompany

Tree hire

Depending on your budget, hiring trees could also be an option. Dotted amongst the room, these features will add a natural element to your venue and could also provide opportunities to drape fairy lights or decorations from one to the other. They also add depth and colour to venues that may feel stark or in need or warming.

Photocredit @theunbridled

Captured at The Secret Garden boho ball by The natural hire company. Tables by Virginias vintage hire

Tall table displays.

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but there are sophisticated and elegant options of this everywhere you look in styling magazines. So much can be achieved with tall branches, palm leaves, pampas, or anything with height when placed in tall vases or stands.

You can also achieve table depth and height with various levels of candle height. Tall pillar candles are timeless and when darkness descends, just watch your venue come to life.

Lighting – Tips from Fern Godfrey

Lighting can really help to “bring down” a ceiling height, so consider hanging lanterns, festoons, or fairy lights to fill the space between the tables and the ceiling.

Image credit @theunbridled

Captured at The Secret Garden boho ball @Anran

We hope this post has inspired the decorators amongst you. Watch this space for more handy tips next week!


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