10 Ways to Use Draping at Your Reception for an Upscale Look

Billowing fabric is a surefire way to turn a dull reception hall into a magical oasis.

Draped tent

Jen Ocken Photography; Event Planning by Leslie Campbell Weddings & Events   

If you’re looking to add some serious “wow” factor to your reception, go for gorgeous draping. When done right, adding fabric—usually sheer, gauzy textiles like chiffon, organza, or voile—will make your setting feel more luxe and upscale, yet intimate and cozy at the same time.

You could drape the walls to soften the venue’s edges (or hide anything you’d rather guests not see) or add floor-to-ceiling panels to section off a large, cavernous space—this will make the setting feel warmer and more personal. If your reception venue features soaring ceilings, adding floor-to-ceiling drapery panels will help emphasize the height and lend an ethereal feeling to the space.

Keep reading for some of our favorite draping ideas to make your reception space feel a whole lot more magical.

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All-White Reception Draping

Kelli + Daniel Taylor Photography

The Birmingham Museum of Art was transformed into an all-white wonderland with gallery passageways draped in sheer white chiffon and fresh greenery. The curtain tiebacks were fashioned from lush white florals; exposing the pathway that led straight to the couple’s stunning wedding cake.

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Sheer Drapery Panels

Lauren Fair Photography

If your reception space has tall, soaring ceilings, emphasize the height by draping gauzy panels overhead to create a romantic, dream-like quality.

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Stairway Draping and Candlelight

2 Brides Photography

Create a sense of drama by draping the entrance to your reception; line the stairway or path with candles for added glow and romance.

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Coastal Wedding Ceremony

We Laugh We Love

String lights and sheer ceiling swags create the illusion of a starry night sky and made this reception space feel like a magical, al fresco dinner party.

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Rustic Barn Reception

Matt Kennedy Photography

Drapery panels can add softness to a rustic reception space. Here, diaphanous, ivory-colored floor-to-ceiling curtains were placed between the three long dinner tables, creating a more intimate feel in the large barn setting.

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Maypole-Style Ceiling Drapery

Feather Love Photography

Soften up a clear-top reception tent with overhead drapes. This couple’s tent design features multiple white panels anchored in a spoke-and-wheel arrangement from the center of the tent reminiscent of a whimsical, storybook setting.

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Outdoor Dinner Reception

Jose Villa

As a nod to their engagement in Italy, this couple wanted the wedding to feel like an outdoor dinner party in Tuscany. Their wedding planners built an elegant gazebo over the dinner tables and draped the structure in a flowing taupe fabric that was accented with fresh florals and greenery.

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Crisscross Overhead Draping

Meredith Teasley Photography

To make a large, cavernous space feel cozier and more personal, add overhead drapery. This design featured extra-long fabric swags that crisscrossed back and forth; the ends cascaded down the sides for an elegant, fluttery effect.

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Make It Structural

Reception draping

Katie Shuler

This couple wanted nature to be the focal point of their farm reception, so they used minimal drapery to create the illusion of a ceiling while still allowing that California sunshine to pour into the setting and offer peeks of the tree-framed sky above.

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Bring the Outdoors In

Drapery and greenery draping in tent

KT Merry; Event Planning by Bellafare 

This couple opted for a whimsical garden feel for their at-home wedding reception. Creamy fabric draping with lush greenery garlands woven throughout the canopy created a romantic greenhouse vibe, even in the wintry setting.

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