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Best Practices for Drapery

Incorporating drapery into an event can transform a venue into a magical space in just minutes. With various fabrics and colors to choose from, drapery can be used to add a dramatic touch to any event with relatively little effort.

Keep in mind that drapery is not only used for aesthetic purposes, but it can also hide unsightly parts of an event space. For example, one of our favorite venues has a rather unattractive fire escape that can be easily concealed behind some gorgeous fabric.

In terms of “what’s hot,” neutrals will never go out of style. Most clients opt for white, champagne, and ivory fabrics to keep things simple. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t dazzle with some vibrant uplighting! Selecting uplights in your color of choice can bring a dynamic feel to the drapery and will certainly make the whole event glow with radiance.

As for textures, chiffon is the number one choice for weddings. Many couples are seeing supple textures like chiffon on Pinterest and they just love it. It also happens to be the most inexpensive option, which is another great selling point for couples that want to splurge on other parts of their wedding day. As for corporate events, we’ve seen that velour is especially popular. It brings a formal atmosphere to any venue—paired with some creative event lighting, you can create a truly awe-inspiring space!

Double-hung drapery is especially popular where corners or sides are pulled back; this adds a dynamic touch and can display two contrasting colors for all the more drama. However, with double the drapery comes double the price. The majority of our clients want the double-hung effect but only about one-third actually decide to go with it. Conversely single drapes can be just as stunning. No matter the style, drapery panels should always have more than enough fabric—nobody wants them too short! When placing, be sure to sock the drapery poles to ensure that no unappealing poles are poking out.

For weddings, drapery is generally used around the altar at the ceremony and at the head table or sweetheart table at the reception. The rest is for covering unsightly things or to sheath windows to soften the lighting in the room.

For corporate events, covering the walls of the space is a great way to transform the room. If there are guest speakers, adding drapery behind the stage can draw eyes to the front of the room and allow the speakers to shine.

Care and treatment
As with many other facets of an event, it’s important to use proper care and handling to preserve them for as long as possible. When it comes to drapery, always fold and launder after the wedding to keep them clean and unwrinkled. Luckily, many of the fabrics are machine-washable which can save a lot of time! It can also be prudent to steam the drapes prior to an event—while it may take more time, it’ll guarantee that the drapes are wrinkle-free by show time.

Whether it’s as simple as emphasizing one spot of an event space or as complex as transforming the entire venue, bringing in some high-quality drapes can certainly do the trick!

Kevin Dennis is the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and the immediate past national president for WIPA.

Get FreshMay 2016

Kevin Dennis

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.