How to Decorate a Wedding Reception With Tulle

Light and airy, tulle adds glamor to wedding events

By Suzie Faloon

Bolts of Tulle and Fabric
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Tulle is a versatile fabric that is useful for wedding and reception decorating. Plan to incorporate tulle into your reception decor for a cost-effective, elegant and easy-to-use decorating solution. Tulle comes in more than 40 colors and in several widths, and can be used in any of your reception decorations. Enhance the effects of tulle with lights, ribbon bows and balloons.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Gather the items you'll need to work with tulle, including cloth shears, tie-wraps, ribbon, table clamps, clear packing tape and safety pins. In addition, you may choose silk flowers and other decorative elements.

Step 1:

Plan exactly what you want to decorate with tulle at your wedding reception. You can have ceiling swags, bridal party table swags, an outdoor dance floor border, pillar or column spirals, a cake table border, chair swags, arbor decor and much more. It is important to decide what the tulle will be used for.

Step 2:

Measure tables, columns, cake table, exterior walkways, dance floor and staging to get a rough estimate of the yardage necessary when planning your tulle decorations. Buy or order the tulle in 25- or 50-yard bolts.

Step 3:

Gather tulle to place on tables, stage front or doorway and secure it with tie-wraps to maintain a draping effect. Include a string of white lights by holding it behind the tulle when adding the tie wrap. Cut a 5- to 6-inch piece of ribbon to tie over each tie-wrap to hide it. You can choose to add a bow, balloon cluster or flowers over the piece of ribbon. Tulle can be clamped or taped with clear packing tape to a table or other surface. Test the tape first to be sure it will adhere to the surface. Let the tulle pool to the floor at the end of a decorated object or you can cut it with cloth shears. Tulle can also be pinned to a fabric table cloth with a safety pin that is hidden by bows or flowers.

Step 4:

Wrap tulle around the front of a chair and tie it tightly at the back. Tie a bow and let the tulle pool at the floor or cut it to any length. A floral piece can be inserted into the center of the knot on the bow for the chairs of the bride and groom.

Step 5:

Attach tulle to a wall, pull it up to a center point on the ceiling and attach it securely with a nail or staple gun. Add more pieces of tulle to create a canopy effect. Tulle can be tied on to a central point or stable lighting fixture, such as a chandelier.

Step 6:

Drape tulle with white strings of lights across the tops of windows and around columns or railings in the wedding reception area. A simple tulle bow with a single flower is a pretty touch on the main doors to restrooms in the building.

Step 7:

Add tufts of tulle under small table centerpieces to create a larger display. Tulle can be wound around the base of candlesticks to continue the light, airy look. Tulle bows are a welcoming addition to the entryway doors into the reception.

Step 8:

Create walkways and borders for your outdoor wedding by draping tulle between shepherd hooks or stanchions and attaching it to the metal posts with wire or adjustable plastic ties.The hooks will be driven into the ground, and the stanchions have a heavy base to keep the tulle in position. Add tulle bows with flowers, lights or balloons to create a festive atmosphere. For a fantasy atmosphere, drape tulle with strings of lights from posts to create a modified canopy during an evening outdoor reception.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Repeat your tulle decorations throughout the wedding hall for continuity.
  • Use large tufts of tulle to provide an "ethereal" effect.
  • Always ask the building owners about any materials you intend to use to secure tulle on walls, ceilings and furniture. Tulle is lightweight on its own, but its weight will increase significantly when combined with ribbon, flowers and other decorative features, and it could pull a light fixture out of a ceiling.

About the Author

Suzie Faloon is a floral designer and a freelance writer.

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Pick reception venue

Want to keep decor costs to a minimum? Consider a winery or other outdoor setting to provide a natural pretty scene. Hotels, country clubs and restaurants are also popular choices -- some will require more decor help than others. If you have your heart set on an off-site caterer, make sure your venue allows it.

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Catering services supplied by the wedding venue. If a venue offers in-house catering, typically off-site caterers are not permitted.

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