How Do You Make a Rustic Venue More Modern?

Q: How do you make an old-time, cozy venue into a more modern, romantic reception space?- Via our Woman Getting Married Facebook Group

A: Ooooh this is such a fun question, and one that is much, much easier than you think. When it comes to transforming ANY kind of wedding venue into something other than what it is (think lofts, warehouses, gallery spaces, etc. Basically anything on the plainer side that needs a little zhuzh’ing) you’ll want to focus on a few key elements to elevate the space. And in your case, make it more modern/flowy/romantic. Here’s how to do it…

SEE MORE: Should You Have A First Look?


Uplighting of your wedding venue space is KEY, and something that a lot of couples tend to forget about. While some couples or wedding planners might opt for a color such as pink or purple when it comes to uplighting, my favorite uplighting color is definitely amber. It gives your room a romantic, candlelit glow, and will (this is a little secret) make the wedding photos at your reception look that much better.

Our wedding reception with amber uplighting and candles


I think wedding chairs are way too often overlooked by couples planning their wedding. They are one of the very first things guests see when they walk into your wedding venue, and they’re also photographed a ton at your ceremony and reception. If your wedding venue includes chairs in your rental price, great. You can always work around those (see our favorite ways to style wedding chairs here) but if you have a little wiggle room I would definitely reach out to an event rental company about the different types of chairs they have to offer. One of our favorites, especially for a modern wedding theme, is the acrylic ghost chair. There is also a cheaper acrylic version of the classic Chiavari (also pictured above) that can work just as well.

modern wedding inspiration
Wedding design by Fete Nashville. Photo by Samm Blake


Are your venue’s walls a little too rustic? One way to make your space more modern is to think about adding drapery. This can get a little expensive, but if you choose one or two areas to use white, flowing drapery in you can make a big impact for less.

Need wedding planning help? Our wedding e-book will teach you everything you need to know!

Table Linens

So let’s say you can’t do the uplighting, drapery, or chairs. One thing that will go a long way towards transforming a room and setting a tone (be it modern, rustic, or romantic) are table linens. If you have round tables consider rose gold sequin tablecloths paired with brass or acrylic taper candleholders in varying sizes . If you have long tables (my fave) consider a bold stripe runner with colorful centerpieces for a vibrant and modern look.

Still looking for your dream wedding venue? Search our 100% honest, real wedding venue reviews here!

Also Read:

NY Wedding Venue Spotlight: Onteora Mountain House
Los Angeles Wedding Venue Spotlight: The Fig House
Tennessee Wedding Venue Spotlight: Carnton
Pennsylvania Wedding Venue Spotlight: Stotesbury Mansion
New Orleans Wedding Venue Spotlight: Degas House
Georgia Wedding Venue Spotlight: Swan House
Louisiana Wedding Venue Spotlight: Houmas House
Arizona Wedding Venue Spotlight: Desert Botanical Garden
NYC Wedding Venue Spotlight: Angel Orensanz Foundation
Maine Wedding Venue Spotlight: Marianmade Farm
Chicago Wedding Venue Spotlight: The Crystal Gardens Navy Pier
San Francisco Wedding Venue Spotlight: San Francisco Design Center Galleria
Philadelphia Wedding Venue Spotlight: The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
San Francisco Wedding Venue Spotlight: Bently Reserve
San Francisco Wedding Venue Spotlight: Conservatory of Flowers
Brooklyn Wedding Venue Spotlight: Gran Electrica

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